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Cape Town’s hospitality sector affected by small-scale Sona

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the State of the Nation Address at the Cape Town City Hall on Thursday night. Picture: Armand Hough African News Agency (ANA)

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the State of the Nation Address at the Cape Town City Hall on Thursday night. Picture: Armand Hough African News Agency (ANA)

Published Feb 11, 2022

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Durban – The City of Cape Town’s hospitality sector took another financial knock, following the small-scaled State of the Nation Address that took place on Thursday.

This is according to the president of the Cape Town Chamber of Commerce, Jacques Moolman, who spoke to IOL on Friday.

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The address was scaled down because of Covid-19 health and safety regulations as well as a fire that gutted the National Assembly last month. Secretary of the National Assembly Masibulele Xaso said more than 300 MPs and 70 guests attended.

In addition to Sona, Moolman said that the city’s hospitality sector faced another setback because the Mining Indaba was cancelled. This is another big event that attracts local and international visitors.

“I can say that it was much reduced overall but it's also because of the limitations at the moment. Keeping in mind in the previous years, you would have had the Mining Indaba happening almost at a similar time as Sona. The indaba didn't happen as it is planned for May.

“You would have the Mining Indaba in Cape Town followed by Sona and because of that you would have had a whole lot of international dignitaries. I think the fact that Sona took place in Cape Town, at the city hall, despite Parliament burning down, was a positive for the tourism and hospitality industry,” Moolman said.

The Mining Indaba was rescheduled for May 9 – 12.

Rosemary Anderson, the national chairperson of the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa (Fedhasa), said despite the small numbers, accommodation and restaurant businesses reported “fair increases”.

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“It was quieter than what it normally is, however accommodation providers reported fair to good occupancy. Restaurateurs also reported a fair increase in trade. It should be noted that traditionally there would also be other big events happening in the city at the same time, like the Mining Indaba.

“Also in prior years when Sona was held at the Parliament Buildings, VIPs and their partners would also be invited, but this couldn't happen this time due to Covid-19 regulations and the capacity constraints at the city hall,” Anderson said.

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