Helderberg Community Unhappy With Tsogo Sun Casino Proposal
Tsogo Sun is planning to expand its casino operations in South Africa after it came to light that its subsidiary Headland and Southern Sun had sent in an application for rezoning to use a portion of the Somerset West Golf Course to develop a new casino resort.
Western Cape Casino Project To Boost Local Economy
Tsogo Sun will invest heavily to develop the new casino resort which will create close to 1000 new jobs directly and indirectly for the local community. There will be hundreds of part time jobs created during the construction phase and an additional 650 direct jobs for the running of the casion resort. The casino resort will bring in additional revenue in the form of gaming taxes for the local government and also provide a tourism boost in the region as it will involve the development of a casino, luxury hotel and high end restaurants.
Helderberg Community Objects
The Helderberg Residents Association (HRA) is not buying into the rosy proposal as they think the casino resort will harm their community. The local community said they were not aware of Tsogo Sun’s plans and only found out after news broke of the rezoning application.
In a statement, Stephen Leppan, chairperson of the HRA said “The community knows little about this. We don’t even know what we should comment about or object to. This has not been a fair process, and as far as I am concerned there has been no public participation on this project.”
Stellenbosch Expert Says Casino Will Cause Harm
Professor Pieter Human who teaches at the University Stellenbosch is an expert on Western Cape casinos and has done a thesis on the subject. The Professor said that based on his expertise casino operators tend to exaggerate the benefits the local community will experience from a new casino. He pointed out that the main market for the proposed Tsogo Sun casino will be the nearby community who will start spending their money at the casino instead of saving it or spending it at other local businesses who will suffer as a result of this.