Snow brings business, and distress

2017-09-01 06:00
Swartberg resident Xolani Jikumlambo outside his house burning his makeshift wood heater.PhotoS: siphelele nketo

Swartberg resident Xolani Jikumlambo outside his house burning his makeshift wood heater.PhotoS: siphelele nketo

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THE cold front with heavy rain, snow and strong winds to Underberg, Swartberg, Kokstad, Matatiele and Mount Fletcher brought joy to many people and businesses, but for people like Xolani Jikumlambo (59), who lives in a house with no electricity, it only brought pain.

Jikumlambo lives with his family in Swartberg and said he was not happy with the weather because it made him sick.
Fever visited Jikumlambo on Friday­ and found him burning an imbawula­ – a makeshift wood heater made out of tin.
“I don’t like winter because it brings freezing conditions and snow, which causes us to get sick,” he said.

Stock from some farms outside Kokstad were caught in the veld when a blanket of snow covered the area­.
Swartberg residents Striker Somvile and Simphiwe Mkhize played happily­ in the snow.

In Underberg the snow was welcomed by hotel and B&B owners and managers.
Michael Steen, Premier Sani Pass Hotel manager, which is at the foot of Sani Pass outside Himeville, said the hotel was booked by many who want to see the snow.
“When the snow started to fall on Thursday evening, the hotel was 60% booked and was fully booked for the weekend. I am excited about the snow because it has attracted more tourists,” said Steen.

Andile Zwezwe, senior tourism officer of Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma Municipality, said the tourism office had many inquiries from “snow chasers” and by Thursday evening they noticed an increase in the amount of cars coming to the area with more accommodation inquiries, resulting in most establishments being fully booked.

“The economic benefits of snow to our area are massive in sectors such as accommodation, Sani Pass 4x4 tours, and food and beverage,” said Zwezwe.

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