Exclusive Content:

US consulate seeking ways to collaborate with the CUT

Staff Reporter The Consulate of the United States of America...

Top politicians test positive for COVID-19 after attending Bloemfontein church gathering

Staff Reporter Two well-known politicians have tested positive for COVID-19...

Gas it out, give Eskom the boot

Electricity has simply become unaffordable. And, as if that’s...

Talks to make Thaba Nchu hotel SA’s coronavirus quarantine facility break down

A new search for a venue to house 184 South African citizens set to be brought home from the epicentre of the global and deadly Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, is now underway following a breakdown in talks between the government and management of the original facility.

It has been confirmed that officials are no longer in discussion with the luxury Black Mountain Hotel in Thaba Nchu in the Free State, which was earmarked to become a quarantine facility for those returning to the country.

According to two senior government officials with direct knowledge of the matter, the Black Mountain Hotel situated in the Maria Moroka Nature Reserve had attempted this week to drastically increase its original price for the use of the facility.

This allegation was rejected by Black Mountain Hotel general manager Peter Leonard.

“Black Mountain can confirm it has been in discussions with the government about the use of the Black Mountain Hotel as a quarantine facility for South African evacuees from areas of China affected by coronavirus (Covid-19),” he said in a written statement.

“We absolutely reject the insinuation that there has been an attempt to increase pricing as part of those discussions, which we entered into in good faith. Black Mountain is justifiably concerned about the potential future impact on its business by accepting this responsibility and have sought to ensure that our ability to trade once the facility is handed back to us is protected,” Leonard said.

“Our primary concern has been to protect the future livelihoods of our staff, and to guarantee the safety and sanctity of the communities around the facility,” he added.

Leonard said the fact that it had been made public that Black Mountain was being considered as a venue had impacted the business, as some concerned guests had indicated their intention to cancel future bookings.

Hotel staff had endured sustained abuse, he said.

“As a result of this, Black Mountain has had to disengage from these discussions and continues to trade as normal,” Leonard said.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize told Parliament on Thursday, shortly after the announcement of the country’s first positive Covid-19 case in KwaZulu-Natal, that the returning citizens would be screened for the virus by officials before returning.

One senior government official, who could not be identified as they are not authorised to speak with the media, said the hotel had increased the price to an amount which was “exorbitant”, leading to officials abandoning the hotel as an option.

The source explained that nearly 20 people had been dispatched across the country to search for an alternative venue.

Another official said, on condition of anonymity, that the price Black Mountain wanted to charge was too high.

The SABC reported on Friday that the South African National Defence Force plane identified to be used to evacuate people from Wuhan remained grounded over safety concerns raised by crew members. – News24

Latest

Active citizenship needed to unlock South Africa’s potential

I know that there is great hype around the...

Robber who raped fellow inmate in jail gets life term

A PRISONER at the Mangaung Correctional Centre has been...

Free State sides eye Varsity Cup glory

THE University of the Free State (UFS) rugby side,...

What to think about when buying a new home

BUYING a home is a great idea because it...

Newsletter

spot_img

Don't miss

Active citizenship needed to unlock South Africa’s potential

I know that there is great hype around the...

Robber who raped fellow inmate in jail gets life term

A PRISONER at the Mangaung Correctional Centre has been...

Free State sides eye Varsity Cup glory

THE University of the Free State (UFS) rugby side,...

What to think about when buying a new home

BUYING a home is a great idea because it...

How baby got brain damaged at Free State public hospital

SHOCKING negligence by maternity staff during a baby boy’s...
spot_imgspot_img

Active citizenship needed to unlock South Africa’s potential

I know that there is great hype around the upcoming national and provincial elections this Wednesday, 29 May, some going as far as calling...

Robber who raped fellow inmate in jail gets life term

A PRISONER at the Mangaung Correctional Centre has been slapped with a life sentence after he was convicted of raping a fellow inmate. Jeffrey Bona,...

Free State sides eye Varsity Cup glory

THE University of the Free State (UFS) rugby side, the Shimlas, will be looking to get off to a flying start when they open...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here