Tugela Ferry couple turn dreams into reality

2009-09-12 00:00

BUSINESS is booming for Simanga and Phumzile Mabaso, a dynamic couple who run the only lodge in Tugela Ferry in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

The couple, who were born and bred in Tugela Ferry, own the Siqalo Court Bed and Breakfast Lodge, a luxury lodge on the banks of the Tugela River.

The lodge has beautiful rooms, some of which overlook the river and the nearby hills, giving guests a panoramic view.

The couple took a huge risk by opening the lodge in the area, which is well-known for faction fighting that has claimed the lives of hundreds over the past two decades.

Simanga Mabaso told Weekend Witness it was a dream to build the lodge as he wanted international tourists to visit the area and experience its natural beauty.

“Ever since I was a little boy, I wanted to change the image of this area. I loved it so much and wanted others to see how beautiful it is,” he said.

Mabaso said the lodge is the perfect resting place for people who are travelling between Dundee and Greytown.

“It’s a long drive between the two towns. Now people have a place to sleep and get the opportunity to experience Tugela Ferry,” he said.

It wasn’t easy getting the lodge started. Mabaso had to deal with opposition from political leaders in the area.

“A lot of people were against the opening of the lodge. I still understand why. I’m just glad that I overcame them, which is why I’m so proud of the lodge,” he said.

Besides the lodge, the couple own a security company, a funeral parlour and a garden services company.  The businesses create employment for more than 300 people in the community.

“I’m happy that we are able to help others in the community so that they can lead better lives. We will continue to use our business to help uplift the community,” he said.

His passion for his community is ­evident as he speaks. Mabaso says he has more plans to develop the area into a tourist attraction.

“Someday I hope to leave this legacy to my three children who I hope will ­carry my dreams forward,” he said.

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