The owner of Durban Funworld, Nic Steyn, says 30 workers have lost their jobs after the business finally closed its doors on Monday. The amusement park had been one of the attractions on the Durban beachfront for 75 years.
Steyn is the third generation in his family who operates the facility.
His lease for the property ended in 2017 and he says he has been operating on a month-to-month basis ever since.
The 65-year-old Steyn says he has been trying to find a buyer for the park, but all efforts have faltered when the municipality refused a long-term lease.
“Some of the staff have worked here for decades. Apart from them, there are so many traders. There are hundreds and hundreds of traders all around us that rely on the people. If they come to Funworld, they going to end up losing. The people that are all having fun and enjoying themselves, they are going to end up losing out as well.”
An employee who has worked for Funworld for 43 years says, “This is the saddest day in my working career. It is (an) absolutely sad, sad day. And I mean you can see the people out there enjoying themselves. For 43 years I’ve seen the people enjoying themselves. Different races, different cultures, and different people from all over the world, so it’s the saddest day for me today. They’ve been a very dedicated staff, they’ve given us everything they could, and even they too are disappointed with the council for not trying to even keep this place open.”