Billion Group opens R130m Mthatha hotel

Mthatha – South African property development company Billion Group, usually known for its development of malls – recently celebrated the opening of its hotel development of the R130m, 96-room four-star Mayfair Hotel in Mthatha.

The hotel is adjacent to the company’s R1.4bn BT Ngebs City regional mall and also offers conferencing facilities for up to 120 delegates.

Billion Group founder Sisa Ngebulana grew up in Corana just outside Mthatha.

“Before Mayfair Hotel, the hotels here were the same ones doing business when I left Mthatha some 30 years ago,” he said.

“My aim with Mayfair Hotel was to create affordable luxury – a four-star grading with the look and feel of a five-star establishment.”

The three-storey hotel boasts a luxurious three-room penthouse suite (at R10,000 per night), a two-room presidential suite (R5,000 per night), as well as executive suites (R2,300 per night), normal suites (R1,495 per night) and a several conferencing halls.

“When we opened BT Ngebs City two years ago, we brought stores to the region which were only found in larger cities. Now by opening Mayfair Hotel, we bring accommodation which previously was only found in Johannesburg or Cape Town.

“Later this year we will bring world-class entertainment to the region when we break ground on a casino and entertainment complex.”

Phased precinct development

The hotel opening launches Billion Group’s phased precinct development around the major South African malls it has developed in recent years.  This includes developing the precincts around Baywest Mall in Port Elizabeth, Forest Hill City in Centurion and Hemingways Mall in East London.

Construction on the next phase of the BT Ngebs City development – a casino complex with cinemas and high-end restaurants – is scheduled to start in the latter part of this year.

Ntshona described the hotel as a coup for tourism in the region.

“Tourism is the new gold and its impact goes far beyond the establishments themselves. It is not just about leisure, but increasingly about business and conferences. Business tourism is becoming increasingly relevant,” said SA Tourism CEO Sisa Ntshona, who attended the opening ceremony.

“Today we see Billion Group making worthwhile inroads into the tourism sector.”

About 750 direct and indirect jobs were created during the hotel’s two-year construction phase, with a further 70 permanent positions during its operational phase. This excludes downstream employment, such as laundry and other outsourced services.

“Other tourism establishments in Mthatha are consistently booked up, which shows the demand in the market for accommodation of this calibre,” said Billion Group Commercial Director Vuyokazi Njongwe. “The area is crying out for development and we are heeding that call.”

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