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 Tourists pay up to 3x more

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PosOnderwerp: Tourists pay up to 3x more   Sun Jun 20, 2010 5:58 pm

2010-06-18 08:50


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Mia Willemse, Beeld

Pretoria - If you order a drink with a foreign accent in Hatfield Square, Pretoria, you could pay as much as three times more for your drink than locals do.

Martin White, organiser of the "month-long party" during the Soccer World Cup at this popular spot admitted that foreigners paid more. This is apparently to compensate for the R1.6m that he claims they had to pay for additional security guards, among other things.

White reacted to the findings of a Beeld investigation, which showed that foreign soccer fans at this local watering hole paid a lot more for their drinks - due to their accents and the fact that they didn't have a so-called "loyalty card".

If you ordered in Afrikaans, a double brandy and Coke cost R18. But if you ordered with a foreign accent, you paid R55 for the same drink at the same bar (Herr Gunters). More expensive prices were also in place at Cheeky Monkey, Oxford, Chillies, OppiSquare, Dropzone, Flair and Aandklas.

"If I can ensure the guy's (tourist's) security and he pays more for his beer, then I have done my job," said White. According to him, the money was also used to pay for paramedics, cleaners and entertainment.

Loyalty card

White said "regular clients" could show their South African IDs and buy a loyalty card, which ensured they paid normal prices for drinks and gained free access to the square. The card costs R50.

Four Dutch supporters were on Tuesday stunned by their apparently exorbitant bill in Herr Gunters.

They had to pay R140 for a Savanna Light, a Hunters Dry, a double Wellington and Coke and a Hansa Pilsner. When Beeld later during the day bought the same drinks at the same place, ordering in Afrikaans and without a loyalty card, the bill was R69.

When one of the Dutch tourists, Jeroen van der Klaauw, asked the barman for a price list, he was told there were no price lists.

He paid R55 for a double brandy and Coke, while Beeld paid R18.

Jaco van Wyk, manager of Herr Gunters, said they had World Cup and local prices.

"We don't want to scare off our regular clients, who are our bread and butter, with beers that cost R30. The foreigners pay the same for a beer in their country anyway," he said.

He said all the watering holes on the square worked with the same system. It did, however, exclude the two franchise restaurants, Spur and News Café.

Alan van der Westhuizen, head manager of the restaurant section of News Café, said he didn't know about the card system at the square. "We in any case have a very strict franchise policy and would've said no if we had been approached to be a part of it," he said.

Short-sighted

Beeld on Thursday visited Cheeky Monkey, Oxford and OppiSquare. Beeld was offered a loyalty card for R100 at Cheeky Monkey and then later for R50 at Oxford.

But even without a card, Beeld was able to buy drinks at the normal price at OppiSquare.

While a tourist would pay R90 for a Redds, Brutal Fruit and Smirnoff Spin, Beeld paid R49. No receipts were available.

Mmatsatsi Marobe, CEO of the Tourism Business Council of SA, said this kind of trading was illegal. "It is not at all common that foreigners have to pay more than local consumers. I am surprised to hear this."

Brett Dungan, CEO of the Hospitality Association of South Africa said this was not illegal but disappointing. "They have to watch out against discriminating against people. It is a short-sighted approach."


- Beeld
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