Sun International’s Fish River Sun Hotel and Country Club Resort in Port Alfred, Eastern Cape, is likely to be affected by a land claim being heard in the Port Alfred Magistrate’s Court.

According to a report in the local title, Talk of the Town, some 86 farms are being claimed as historical land where the Prudoe, AmaZizi and Tharfield communities resided. Sun International’s property is on some of the land in the dispute.

 

According to the report, the council representing Fish River Sun’s interests, Advocate Nyoko Muvangua told the court that the business would not continue in operation for longer than another six months.

 

 

However, Sun International has not confirmed its plans to pull out.

Spokesperson, Zoleka Skweyiya, told Tourism Update that the group was considering all its options.

Skweyiya pointed out that the court cases had been dragging on for years. “As a business we need certainty,” Skweyiya said. “To date the various communities have not been able to reach agreement despite various proposals.” The dispute has been ongoing for 17 years.

She said Sun International had resolved to withdraw its objections to the land claim.

According to Talk of the Town’s report, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti told the court the department did not want the operations of the Fish River Sun to be jeopardised. “We do not want people to lose jobs. We will negotiate with the owner. Ideally, we would like to see the business owner collaborate with the families,” the Minister is quoted as saying.

The Minister suggested a model where the department would purchase the hotel and the land, with the current owners paying a form of rental compensation to the claimants.