Limpopo Guest Manor is a four-star lodge in the heart of Polokwane, Limpopo, a short walk from the CBD. Owner and Managing Director, Mmabogoshi Bellah Msiza, started the guesthouse in 2006. 

It has 30 air-conditioned rooms: 14 standard rooms, two family rooms, 10 deluxe double rooms, and four executive rooms, all with their own private bathrooms and mini bars. The lodge has a full-service restaurant that can seat 60 people, a licensed bar, two swimming pools and a garden.

Conference facilities can seat around 100 delegates depending on the arrangement, and an executive boardroom can seat up to 30 delegates. Facilities include projectors, a public address system and WiFi.

Msiza says a major business challenge is cash flow management. “Effective and efficient management of strong cash flow during peak season and balancing this with the slow cash flow in the off season is sometimes hard.”

Starting in the accommodation market was difficult. “It is easier to penetrate the market when you have a new product, but the industry is hard to crack because it is highly competitive,” Msiza says. “Because of that I’ve consistently focused on providing a great product, improvement and maintenance of our facilities, and building a solid team of polite and friendly staff.”

Msiza has a strong academic background and holds a B.Admin and B.Com Accounting as well as an Audit Practical Certificate and Project Management Certificate. In 2013 she was awarded a scholarship through the Gordon Institute of Business Science to take part in the 10 000 Women Entrepreneurs Programme.

Her hard work has paid off and the Limpopo Guest Manor has won multiple awards including:

  • Eteya winner 2014/15,
  • Eteya Provincial Finalist 2013,
  • PMR Gold Award winner 2013,
  • PMR Diamond Award winner 2014,
  • Provincial Eteya winner 2014/2015.

The lodge was nominated for the Polokwane Business of the Year 2014. Most recently, The Limpopo Guest Manor was the provincial winner (Limpopo) for the Hotel Category at the Lilizela Tourism Awards, 2017.

Msiza has more planned for the future. “The tourism sector is one of the key economic drivers in our country. With our value proposition based on a client-centric philosophy, the future looks bright.”  Msiza says there are plans to diversify its hospitality portfolio with the acquisition of a lifestyle centre in Polokwane that will offer a conference facility, restaurants and a wellness spa, amongst others things. 

This article is part of a series where Tourism Update highlights small, medium- and micro-sized enterprises in the tourism sector. This series is brought to you courtesy of South African Tourism.