Bloemfontein resort’s ‘almost open’

2011-10-27 17:01
Cathy Dlodlo
A Free State holiday resort is still closed more than a year after a multimillion-rand upgrade, paid for by taxpayers, was supposed to be completed.

The Philip Saunders Resort, outside Bloemfontein, closed down for its R140-million upgrade almost two years ago and was due to re-open in time for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

However, it wasn’t finished in time because contractors had abandoned the site.

Free State MEC for economic development, tourism and environmental affairs, Mxolisi Dukwana, said the department hoped to have the resort open for business soon.

“I hope we would be able to bury this ghost.”But, he acknowledged that the department encountered another problem that might delay the re-opening of the resort.

“There is a problem with water,” he said. Dukwana said his department outsourced the management of the resort. “We have completed the tender process for the private management company,” he said.

Meanwhile the department has launched two investigations into the delays and how the money was spent on the resort.

The upgrade changed the resort into a luxury centre with top-class accommodation, conference facilities and several outdoor activities, like angling, watersports and tennis.

The resort’s completion comes ahead of the ANC’s centenary celebrations which will see thousands of people visiting Mangaung, the site of the official commemoration.