Sun City vaccination site
(Getty Images)
  • Sun City, which has been closed to the public due to ongoing lockdown restrictions, will start vaccinating its staff, their family members, and the local community.
  • The Sun Arena will be used as the resort's primary vaccination site while EVDS registrations will be completed in the Warrior's Hall.
  • With the site now approved by the department of health, Sun City aims to vaccinate some 7,500 people within two months.
  • It's the first hospitality-specific site to be included in South Africa's vaccine rollout.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

One of South Africa's most renowned resorts, Sun City, will be the first hospitality venue in the country to set up its own vaccination site and beginning administering doses on Saturday.

Sun City Resort's convention centre is being converted into a mass vaccination site in a first for South Africa's tourism and hospitality industry. The popular resort and casino, situated in the North West province roughly 180km from Johannesburg, has been closed to visitors due to ongoing lockdown restrictions which limit social gatherings.

This temporary closure – adding to the lockdown-induced pain of Sun International’s R1.1 billion loss – has given the resort time and space to prepare its own vaccination programme which will run alongside the national rollout.

Sun City's Warrior's Hall, which is big enough to accommodate up to 840 people, will be used as a registration centre, where personal details will be logged on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS).

The Sun Arena – also known as the Superbowl – will serve as the primary vaccination site. The 1,452sqm auditorium is being prepped to vaccinate some 7,500 people.

"We will have 15 vaccinators on site, who can each vaccinate 50 people per day," explained Sun City General Manager Brett Hoppe.

"We will start with five vaccinators for 200 people for the first three days to iron out any potential glitches and then increase capacity. But we don't anticipate any problems. Sun City is used to hosting events of the size and magnitude of the Nedbank Golf Challenge, so we are confident that the preparations for our vaccination site will be seamless."

Sun City staff will be prioritised during the first phase of the resort's vaccination rollout, with more than 1,000 staff members aged 50 years and older being first in line to receive their jabs. Once staff, service providers, and concessionaires have been vaccinated, these employees' family members will then get their chance.

The third and final phase of Sun City's rollout will extend to all workers in hospitality establishments in the Moses Kotane District.

"We obviously want to protect our staff, but it is equally important to us to ensure that people living in our local communities are looked after and are safe," added Hoppe.

Sun City’s convention centre has received the health department's seal of approval to operate as a vaccination site until December. But Hoppe hopes to have all employees, their family members, and eligible community members vaccinated within two months. 

(Compiled by Luke Daniel)

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