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R1bn investment to uplift EC

Dec 14 2012 10:24


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Cape Town - A new five-star hotel and international convention centre at The Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World on the Port Elizabeth beach-front have opened for business as part of a billion rand investment by Emfuleni Resorts, the Eastern Cape’s biggest leisure empowerment company. 

“This is the largest single entertainment and tourism investment in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, and is a vote of confidence in the region,” said Emfuleni Resorts chairperson Bongi Siwisa. 

Emfuleni, which also owns the Fish River Sun, has an effective BBBEE shareholding of 52.1%, with an Eastern Cape-based BBBEE shareholding of some 35%. 

Sun International South Africa owns the remainder of the shares in the company, and manages both properties. 

The Boardwalk Casino was opened in October 2001, and in September 2009 Emfuleni Resorts was granted the rights by the Eastern Cape Gambling and Betting Board to continue operating the casino for another 15 years. 

A new smoking casino, which was built as part of the billion rand investment, was opened in the middle of 2012. 

The five-star hotel, which opens to the public on December 14, 2012, has 140 luxury sea-facing rooms, along with a 3 000 square metre international-standard Convention Centre, as well as an Africology health spa and restaurants. 

Situated just 10 minutes away from the Port Elizabeth International Airport and the main freeway leading into the beach front, The Boardwalk Hotel and Convention Centre are among the most accessible in South Africa. 

Other improvements to the property include additional retail space, and a Multi Media Musical Fountain experience, which was switched on for the first public performance on December 15. 

It is overlooked by a selection of restaurants, all of which are either new or were upgraded by the operators. 

They include national franchises such as Spur and Wimpy as well as most of the top fast food brands. 

According to Siwisa, the construction of the new hotel, convention centre and other facilities “has delivered substantial benefits to the Eastern Cape, and created hundreds of jobs during the post-World Cup slump in construction. 

“The intention right from the beginning of the R1bn upgrade was that Boardwalk be a fully inclusive project, and it has delivered substantial benefits to the Eastern Cape. 

The combined average of the tender BBBEE percentage at the Boardwalk is approximately 83%. 

In addition to the hundreds of construction jobs it has supported, the investment into The Boardwalk has created an estimated 480 new jobs, she said.

 

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