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Some small businesses frustrated with govt's private quarantine site selection

It seems that the repatriates are mostly accommodated for a 14-day quarantine period in hotels such as Saint George's, StayEasy and the Radisson Blu Hotel among other highly-rated private facilities.

Group of more than 100 South Africans arrive at the Polokwane International Airport from Chinese City, Wuhan. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Several small businesses in the hospitality industry are frustrated with government's selection of private quarantine sites.

Earlier this year, the Health Department assessed and approved several facilities, including hotels and lodges, to accommodate repatriates for 14 days.

However, four months later, some small business owners have told Eyewitness News that despite meeting all requirements, only well-known hotels were being chosen.

OR Tambo International officials said that about six flights carrying about 200 people had been landing on average per day.

It seems that the repatriates are mostly accommodated for a 14-day quarantine period in hotels such as Saint George's, StayEasy and the Radisson Blu Hotel among other highly-rated private facilities.

A managing director at a small Pretoria lodge said that he had been sent from pillar to post by people within the department who had been entrusted with overseeing the process of identifying facilities.

"No one would listen. To me, it was so wrong that the people that could actually do something about this are not doing anything."

Another owner of a hotel, also in Pretoria, is starting to think that government's promise to support small business is nothing but a farce.

"We know that there are flights that come in with more than 100 people stay in the same hotel, yet other hotels and lodges have been found to be compliant quarantine zones. When are they ever going to be used?"

In May, the Public Works Department told Parliament that government is spending over R28 million to quarantine repatriated South Africans at private hotels across the country.

Minister Patricia de Lille has promised that those responsible in her department will look into the matter.

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