by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – CITY Lodge Hotels have drawn R720 million – or 90 percent- of its loan facilities as it recovers from the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) setbacks.
Meanwhile, the company is wary of a potential fourth wave of the pandemic impacting on its business at the beginning of this coming year.
In an operation update issued last week, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed firm disclosed it initially had loan facilities amounting to R800 million.
The South African-headquartered hospitality group, confirmed it has access to an additional R115 million overdraft facility.
City Lodge stated COVID-19 and the accompanying lockdown regulations due to the third wave of infections, including the civil unrest in South Africa in July 2021, resulted in a particularly “tumultuous” start to the new financial year.
Eased restrictions over the last few months, increase in the vaccination rate across all adult groups, and the removal of South Africa from international ‘no-fly’ and ‘red lists’ had boosted operations.
Occupancies at City Lodge South African operations have steadily improved each month, from 16 percent in July 2021 to 41 percent for November to date.
There are currently 53 hotels open in South Africa, and five hotels open in the Rest of Africa.
The forecast for December 2021 occupancies has continued to improve and bookings for the upcoming festive season, particularly at coastal hotels, are steadily increasing.
“However the threat of a potential fourth wave has impacted the demand for forward bookings into January 2022,” City Lodge stated.
A fourth wave is forecast for South Africa as COVID-19 numbers steadily increase.
On Friday, government confirmed a new variant of the pandemic, the B.1.1.529, which might have been tied to the recent cluster outbreaks in Gauteng.
Dr Joe Phaahla, the Health Minister, urged citizens to continue following COVID-19 protocols.
“We also have an additional tool, which is the vaccination, which will help us to avert serious illness and ending up in hospitals, ICU and succumbing to this virus,” he added.
– CAJ News