The KwaZulu-Natal government has hailed the building of the ZAR 100-million state-of-the-art casino in Newcastle, northern Zululand, as a major boost for the region.
Century Casino will be launched next month during a colourful function which will be attended by a delegation of political bigwigs, including former deputy president Jacob Zuma, King Goodwill Zwelithini and KwaZulu-Natal Premier S’bu Ndebele.
The Century Casino development is spearheaded by business magnate Vivian Reddy and will create more than 250 employment opportunities, provide the region with a much needed hospitality and entertainment facility and bring in huge tourism investment.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said the KwaZulu-Natal government fully supported the initiative, adding that the fact that it would create 250 jobs meant 250 more families would have a regular income.
Revive the economies of the smaller towns
„It will also attract tourists, having a positive effect on other businesses in the area. One of our key objectives is to revive the economies of the smaller towns, and I believe this new casino will make some leeway in achieving this. We therefore applaud Reddy’s initiative,“ said Mkhize.
Reddy’s gaming group, which has operated a temporary casino in the area for the past six years, has already propelled a major turnaround in the local economy, which was struggling to attract investors.
„Since the announcement that we were moving ahead with the construction of a permanent casino complex in Newcastle, residential property values have quadrupled,“ Reddy said.
The decision by steel giant Iscor to revamp its plant at Newcastle as well as a ZAR 500-million upgrade by Carbochem has also enhanced the town’s mini boom.
„There are also moves for a R6-billion recommission of the Kilbarchan power plant outside Newcastle,“ he said.
Residential property values have quadrupled
The casino complex includes a 40-room, four-star hotel, a state-of-the-art conference centre, a wellness centre, restaurants and 250 slot machines, plus roulette, blackjack and poker tables.
There will also be a children’s entertainment centre and creche in the complex.
The Amajuba District Municipality, which incorporates six local municipalities including Newcastle town, also said the casino would bring about major economic spin offs.
The casino will open on December 2.