SOUTH Africa, Pretoria – Miss SA Shudufhadzo Musida wows guests at Sun International’s Time Square Casino in Pretoria entertained as she danced to the super mega hit Jerusalema by Master KG.
Normally, due to privacy regulations, photography and videography is prohibited on casino floors. However, the R2 million Black Pearl Roulette Tournament was held at the Sun Arena and selected media witnessed the event where the grand winner of the night became R1 million richer.
Since the revised level 3 Covid-19 lockdown was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in June, businesses, including resorts, hotels, casinos, and restaurants, gradually re-opened, but Sun International chief executive Anthony Leeming said the going had not been easy, particularly in the hospitality sector. “There are two sides to our business – on the casino side we are sort of doing probably okay, but on the hospitality side, places like Sun City [in the North West] and Table Bay [in Cape Town] are really bleeding in terms of international travel.
“They are still very soft in terms of business and do need government support to get tourism back on the map and to ensure that we can keep people employed,” Leeming said.
There had already been retrenchments in Sun International’s food and beverages and hospitality divisions.
“That is where we have had the job cuts.
It’s not really in the casino side, but in the food and beverage and hospitality [divisions] that has been difficult. Support from government in those areas will be well received,” Leeming said.
Before Covid-19, Sun International employed over 10 000 people across South Africa, but as the global pandemic intensified, the international group has had to cut thousands of jobs.
“We have, unfortunately, had to reduce that [number of employees] by 2 000.
“But some of those will get their jobs back through outsourced contracts. Certainly, job reductions within Sun International is probably 1 500 in total,” he said.
“At this stage we have completed our retrenchment exercise. At first we had a voluntary retrenchment and there were quite a number of people who volunteered to be retrenched, and there [was] the forced retrenchment which affected about 1 000 people, unfortunately.”
Leeming said Covid-19 regulations, including regular screening and sanitising of patrons, were some of the measures the group had implemented to keep the pandemic at bay.
“We have had some staff members who tested positive, but we have been able to control it.
“When we have someone sick we immediately isolate them and we have had no spreads,” he said.
African News Agency (ANA)