Covid-19 sees temporary closure of Centurion’s Leriba Hotel
Pretoria - The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the tourism industry and has now led to the temporary closure of the Leriba lodge in Centurion.
Situated on 8000 sq m on the Hennops River with accommodation for 70 guests, conference facilities, two restaurants, and other facilities, the 25-year-old hotel was rated as one of the top 100 greenest hotels in the world for 2018 and 2019.
Owner and managing director of Leriba, Peet du Preez, is sadly selling the venue which has been close to his heart for many years.
The decision, he said, was a last resort but that many other businesses in the area faced a similar fate owing to the pandemic, and the ban on the sale of alcohol and ban on events, among other restrictions.
“People who know us have been shocked to hear this. I’ve been getting so many calls from people looking to book at our restaurants, and it’s been heartbreaking to have to turn them away, but we simply can’t manage with these regulations,” he said, in a reference to the alcohol ban and curfew.
However, he said the closure was not permanent and there was a plan to open again for business as soon as possible.
Chairperson of the Centurion Business Forum, Johan Labuschagne, said their 200 members, who between them employ 55 000 people, have had to reduce salaries due to the massive loss in revenue during lockdown.
He said they had three members considering liquidating. According to him, Covid-19 was not to blame per se, but the measures that the government has put in place, especially when compared to countries which did not shut down their economies.
“The longer the (hospitality and tourism) industry is stalled (in South Africa), the more workers are directly affected,” he warned.
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