Afriski holiday resort, a popular ski resort in Lesotho’s Malutiberg range, will not open its ski slopes for the winter season for the first time in 14 years. This is because constant load shedding makes it impossible for the resort to offer a safe and enjoyable skiing experience to visitors.
The resort, which welcomes an average of 14,000 visitors annually, shared this news in a post on its Facebook page. “We are very sorry to inform you that we cannot guarantee a safe and enjoyable experience this year, due to various challenges that the resort is currently experiencing.
“We would like to assure you that our executive team members are doing everything in their power to come up with a workable plan C, although plan A and B are not feasible so far.”
Although the post does not specify what the challenges are, Afriski’s CEO, Reuphillan Pelser, told Jacaranda FM Nuus that ongoing shedding makes it difficult to produce the snow used on the ski slopes.
“The technology and snow machines we use depend on electricity. We have seen for the past five months that we have no power for up to four hours daily. Sometimes the power is also cut off even if there is no scheduled load shedding.”
Pelser says the closure is not permanent and that they are looking at alternative power generation methods for subsequent winter seasons.
Eskom introduced much less load shedding in the past week, but experts warn that higher levels of load shedding could be introduced again at any time.
According to the post on Afriski’s Facebook page, visitors are still welcome, as natural snowfall will still occur on some days, making other winter activities possible.
“However, we understand that some guests will want to cancel their booking, and will do everything possible to ensure that the process runs smoothly. Guests are entitled to a full refund of their money if they cancel within 30 days of their planned visit.”
The resort also expressed its thanks to visitors for their “unwavering support during these challenging times”.
“We are still here, we will do our best and we appreciate your support.”
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