A raging fire broke out in Mmabatho Palms Hotel on the 8th of September, 2021. Unfortunately, the fire razed the casino and hotel to the ground. According to reports, the unfortunate fire incident started in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Mmabatho Palms Hotel features the oldest casino in South Africa. Aside from the loss of jobs, the Mmabatho Palms Hotel fire incident is a huge blow for the province’s tourism industry. Besides, online gambling is still not legal in SA. No doubt, a new online casino would have provided an alternative to the province’s revenue.
Also, it doesn’t seem like the firefighters were able to save any part of the building. From reports making the rounds, Mmabatho was razed to the ground.
Possible Cause of the Mmabatho Palms Hotel Fire
Reports about how the fire started are still sketchy. However, investigations about the cause of the Mmabatho Palms fire are ongoing. During the time of the incident, Police and other security agencies were seen trying to forestall order.
Although there is no confirmation, some people suspect foul play, considering several high-profile government officials lodged at the hotel. The Provincial Chairperson Paul Sebegoe also voiced these fears when he spoke to reporters after the fire incident.
The North West police spokesman told newsmen that an investigation would commence as soon as firefighters were done with fighting the flames. Brig Sabata Mokgwbone told reports that the cause of the Mmabatho Palms fire was unknown at that stage. Mokgwabone is the spokesman of the North West police.
Rumors of High-Profile Guest at the Mmabatho Palms Hotel
Although details are scarce about the cause of the Mmabatho Palms fire, there are reports that several high-profile guests were lodged at the hotel before the incident. The Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development, and Land Reform was lodged at the hotel. During an interaction with reporters, the honorable minister Zoleka Capa said she was awakened by thick smoke around 1 am on Wednesday.
Capa added that she couldn’t breathe, and everywhere was dark too. Then she screamed and started shouting “Fire, Fire”, and several people were running. Capa was immediately rushed to the hospital because she could not breathe properly. Also, Capa added that the safety protocol at the Mmabatho Palms was not poor. Furthermore, Capa and other government officials were in the town to attend the swearing-in of newly elected Northwest Premier Bushy Maape.
About Mmabatho Palms Hotel
The Mmabatho Palms Hotel houses the oldest casino in South Africa. Mmabatho Palms is located in Mafikeng, and it was built more than 40 years ago. Also, Mmabatho Palms had restaurants and conference facilities. The hotel had 150 rooms, and it is rated a four-star hotel. Before the fire incident, some of the facilities at Mmabatho Palms were:
- Hotel Bar
- Kid’s Club
- Boardroom Facilities
- Tennis Court
- Wellness Center
- Children’s Playground
- Conference Venue
- Sun Deck
- Swimming Pool
Meanwhile, Mmabatho Palms casino features 155 slots and 9 gaming tables. Also, some of the table games were blackjack, roulette, and poker.
The Effect of the Mmabatho Palms Hotel Fire Incident
The Mmabatho Palms Hotel is one of the major attractions in Mafikeng. Aside from that, the town’s tourism industry will be hit very hard by the loss of Mmabatho. As a matter of fact, the town became popular because of the presence of Mmabatho Palms Hotel.
No doubt, Mmabatho Palms is considered an “iconic” place because of the several historical events attached to the venue. Since the news of the fire, several comments have been pouring in on social media. From the various comments, it was obvious that Mmabatho Palms meant so many things to the residents who have lived around there for years.
From the pictures and videos circulating on the internet, it is obvious that Mmabatho was razed completely. The loss of revenue for the government and job loss will be one of the major effects of the fire incident.
Assuming Mmabatho Palm Hotel and Casino had invested in online gaming, the loss would have been reduced since their online platform will also generate revenue. Top players in the SA land-based gambling industry need to push for online casino gambling to be legalized. That way, online casino gambling revenues that fly to other jurisdictions will stay in the country. The National Gambling Board (NGB) has not made any statement since the Mmabatho fire incident. Hopefully, an NGB representative will speak on the matter soon.
Will Mmabatho Palm Hotel Ever Come Back?
The provincial government has not made a statement about Mmabatho Palm’s reconstruction and its duration. Apart from being an “Iconic” edifice, the Mmabatho Palm Hotel is a first-class tourism attraction. No doubt, it generates huge revenue for the government and the owners. Based on that, there are prospects that Mmabatho will be rebuilt.
Finally, considering the place the Mmabathos Palm holds in the hearts of residents, efforts will be made to rebuild the hotel and casino.