Owners of the iconic Soweto Hotel and Conference Centre say they are barely surviving. Cable theft, vandalism, and the COVID-19 pandemic have put the business in jeopardy.
The hotel has attracted many visitors since its doors were opened almost 15 years ago. These include guests for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Hotel Management has met with the City of Johannesburg Mayoral Committee to seek urgent intervention.
The hotel, located in one of the oldest historic precincts in Soweto, is on the brink of collapse.
Since it was built, the hotel has hosted a number of events including DJ Black Coffee’s African Rising Concert.
General Manager for the hotel Dineo Setsetse says, “The hotel itself has hosted quite a lot of very big people. We do quite a lot of massive events in the square.”
However, Setsetse worries that at some point they might have to close shop.
The hotel has 48 rooms – two of which are presidential, as well as conference venues. The building overlooks the site where the Freedom Charter was signed in 1955.
On the other hand, it’s a railway track, a squatter camp and children could be seen playing.
In addition to the slow business, there were issues of theft, vandalism, and flooding. As a result, 18 people have already been relieved of their duties until further notice.
After engaging with the MMC for Environment, Infrastructure and Services, Setsetse says she hopes the city will live up to its promises.
The City says it is working with Joburg Water and City Power to address the Hotel’s current issues. City Power says it’s losing billions due to cable theft.
Spokesperson Isaac Mangena says, “The losses that we are experiencing as the city are about 20 billion annually that we are losing due to non-technical loses which includes illegal connections.”
SABC News was at the Soweto Hotel: