Sun International hands Morula Hotel keys to North West Housing Corp

The Morula Casino and Hotel in Mabopane, North West.
The Morula Casino and Hotel in Mabopane, North West.

With Sun International’s relocation to Pretoria’s new Time Square Casino in Menlyn complete, the company has given the keys to its Morula Casino and Hotel in Mabopane, along with all infrastructure, to the North West Housing Corporation.

The North West Housing Corporation has identified an operator to run the hotel.

The gaming component has remained open in the form Electronic Bingo Terminals (EBT’s) operated by Goldrush Gaming Group and is now known as Goldrush Morula.

After relocating its gaming equipment to its new casino at Time Square, Sun International has agreed to terminate the long term lease and hand over the existing buildings, infrastructure, fittings, equipment and all furniture to the North West Housing Corporation.

Sun International CE Anthony Leeming said: “In relocating our licence from Morula to Tshwane, our primary concern was for the existing staff at Morula, and the impact the move could have on the adjacent communities of Mabopane and Soshanguve. We offered new jobs at Time Square to all Morula staff and the majority elected to relocate, while a few chose to take early retirement or to continue working at Morula for the new operator.”

North West Housing Corporation (NWHC) Chairman Isaac Modiselle said:”Morula will form a vital part of the portfolio of leisure properties for the province. It is not only an important draw card for tourism to the area, but it is also a community hub with banks, retailers, restaurants, pubs and other amenities. By providing the entire existing infrastructure, Sun International has ensured that the handover to the NWHC should be seamless for us and for the community.”

The existing infrastructure consists of a 3-star hotel with 73 luxuriously furnished rooms including a presidential suite, the casino, a spa, an area for conferencing and business meetings, a restaurant, two bars, a tennis court and swimming pool. The local library, which Sun International relocated onto the property has been fitted out with computers and other equipment and today it is an important community learning centre. It also serves as a facility for receiving Unisa assignments.

In addition to the children’s entertainment facilities on the property, Sun International originally started a crèche as an enterprise development project and today it is attended by about 70 children in three classes, in a building complete with its own kitchen facilities and playground.

As the property is located on the banks of the Nooidgedacht Dam, it also attracts visitors who are nature lovers. In addition to restoring the indigenous landscape, Sun International has also created a special walkway along the banks of the dam, with hides for bird watchers and spots where the many local fishermen who visit the property and cast off their lines.

Goldrush Operations Managing Director Katleho Thejane said: “We opened with 180 gaming machines, and we will be increasing this to 450 by the first week of June; hence the full complement of gaming machines, will allow us to cater even more to our customers.  This venture has also created over 100 new job opportunities for communities within Mabopane and surrounding areas.”

Said Leeming: “We are delighted that Morula will remain a vibrant, secure and people-oriented property that continues to serve the needs of the Mabopane and Soshanguve communities. We are certain that under the stewardship of the North West Housing Corporation and the Goldrush Gaming Group it will continue to thrive.”