What we know about the Ranch Resort where the 122 Wuhan expats will be quarantined
leJohannesburg - Limpopo residents, along with the ANC Youth League in that province are hopping mad that 122 South Africans being repatriated from Wuhan, China, will be housed in the province for at least two weeks from Friday.
The 122 repatriated citizens will be kept in quarantine at the Ranch Resort in Limpopo for at least 14 days as a precaution. The resort is just 25 kilometres south of Polokwane, the provincial capital.
A SANDF-chartered flight is expected to land in the country in the early hours of Saturday morning.
The resort will be closed to the public and will be guarded strictly by the military and the police. Security forces have warned members of the public to stay away from the area after the ANC Youth League in Limpopo threatened to protest against the move.
Government has consistently stressed that none of the repatriates have tested positive for the coronavirus and it was keeping them isolated before allowing them to reintegrate into society as a precaution.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said the government had signed an agreement with the owners of the Ranch Resort, and the facility would be closed to the public.
"We looked at 84 other possible sites but there were factors that were not suitable. It was narrowed down to three sites that would be most comfortable for those returning. The sites needed to also be close to landing spaces. The venue in Limpopo was ideal. It satisfied all the requirements. We signed an agreement with the owners and the staff of the venue," said Mkhize at a media briefing on Thursday.
ABOUT THE RANCH
The Ranch is a 150 bedroom 4-star hotel just 25 kilometres south of Polokwane, Limpopo. On their website, the Protea Hotel-owned resort said it was situated on a 1000ha nature conservancy.
It is just under three hours away from South Africa’s economic capital, Johannesburg.
The venue has 13 conference and banqueting venues, three restaurants, a bar lounge, kids playground and four swimming pools - with two of them heated, a gym, 12-hole par 3 golf course, two multipurpose sports fields, air-strip and helipad, on-site spa offering treatments and Kolobe tented camp.
The resort also has a hive of activities including game drives, golf, horseback safari’s, walking and cycling trails, spectacular game viewing and birding.
The rooms on offer at the resort differ, from standard guest rooms, family rooms, golf unit rooms, executive suites and the presidential suites.
A majority - if not all of the features, will not be available for use for the repatriates.
The resort boasts an average Bookings.com review of 8.7/10 out of more than 382 reviews. On Trivago, 347 people who have visited the venue gave it an average visitor experience of 8.5/10.
Here’s some of the comments people left of the venue.
“They must extend the swimming pool to be more”, said Mamilasigidi on Bookings.com this month.
“Stay was a bit disappointing at first,my room had no iron, no multi plugs for my devices. Had to ask for both items which took over an hour to get delivered.. At one stage was told there were no plugs and there's nothing they can do. But overall it was a good experience. Loved the game drive. The only thing that got me hyped again along with the excellent food,” said Gabriel Mmushi on Trivago, in January this year.
“The breakfast was delicious and the location was also excellent. We enjoyed every minute from day one. The place was so beautiful and we even enjoyed the pools”, said Rendani on Bookings.com this month.
“Bird lovers like me will enjoy the place. I heard birds I have not heard in a very long time,” said Membathisi on Bookings.com in January.
“Family friendly, comfortable stay with great service”, said Laura on Bookings.com in October last year.
“An iconic hotel and conference destination. Great service, lots of amenities, rooms quite big and clean. Pleasant staff. When I was there I was very pleasantly surprised by how big the place is. There's a small golf course as well that I'm yet to try. There's a chapel for weddings too. Great for family getaways,” said Sonto Ndlovu on Trivago in November last year.
* Video: Sandisiwe Ntlemeza/African News Agency (ANA)