A FIRE that engulfed a multimillion rand lodge in Matsila near Elim has left the community worried about their economic wellbeing during the recession. The lodge employed 50 locals who are now uncertain with what the future has in store for them.
The five-star, 4 000 square meters and twenty-roomed multimillion rand luxurious lodge was destroyed last Thursday afternoon when a raging fire started from outside the yard to the top of one of the thatched roofs in Matsila.
Musanda Livhuwani Matsila said that his employees were extremely emotional when they tried to extinguish the blaze as they truly loved the place. He however allayed their fears, indicating that none of them would be fired.
“I met with them to assure them that they would not lose their jobs. We are going to reassign the employees in other different enterprises such as the chicken abattoir and the red meat abattoir which are opening soon. Instead of employing new people we will use their services until the lodge is up again so they don’t lose income,” said Matsila.
He said he was deeply pained by the damage caused by the fire.
“I obviously I feel a great sense of loss because we put a lot of effort behind the quality of the lodge. But it’s one of those things and life should move on. We have not only lost the building but also investments in the rooms including furnisher, TV screens, air cons, deco and etcetera. We have lost a lot,” he added.
The lodge was destroyed two weeks after having invited President Cyril Ramaphosa to have his statue unveiled at one of the conference venues. Matsila Lodge was started as part of a community project to create jobs and raise local and economic development to create business opportunities for people of Matsila.