MTHATHA – In a much-needed boost for the region, South Africa’s newest, world-class casino has opened its doors.
Having broken ground late last year, the Mayfair Casino has opened its doors to the public, creating hundreds of jobs and bolstering the economy of the Eastern Cape’s third-largest city while also bolstering its appeal to business and leisure travellers.
The entertainment centre, built by South Africa’s pre-eminent property development company, Billion Group, boasts Mthatha’s only licensed casino as well as top-tier conferencing facilities, bars and restaurants.
Having been in the pre-development phase two years, the project broke ground late last year. It forms the latest addition to Billion Group’s existing live-work-play precinct that already houses the successful 60,000m² BT Ngebs City Shopping Centre – which opened in 2015, bringing leading brands to Mthatha for the first time – and the plush, four-star Mayfair Hotel, which opened in 2017.
It further continues Billion Group’s stated mission of bringing aspirational developments and world-class facilities and services to areas that would not otherwise have access to them.
“This project completes the vision we had for a world-class shopping and entertainment node in Mthatha,” said Billion Group CEO Sisa Ngebulana. “We are really excited to see this casino come to fruition.”
The 2,000m² facility is expected to have a significant impact on the local economy, with 200 permanent jobs created upon opening. Fifty direct jobs have been created during the project’s construction phase, covering unskilled and fully skilled workers.
“It’s a fact that for every job you create, you create three indirect jobs. We are very proud to be bringing employment to this part of the Eastern Cape,” said Dewald van Staden, development director at Billion Group.
“It is our intention to employ as many locals as possible, and to manage the process of employing workers across all three categories where possible: skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled.”
Three upmarket restaurants within the new complex will span 700m² and offer a choice of a steakhouse, a buffet restaurant or Asian cuisine.
To accommodate both large and small conferencing needs, the casino’s modern conference facilities will cater for up to 275 people – an area which can be divided to create two smaller rooms and a private break-away area. The facilities will also feature a bar area and will have access to cuisine from the restaurants.