I vividly remember the euphoria that overcame the country in 2004 when the then FIFA President Joseph Blatter, announced that South Africa would host the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The excitement was around the ubiquity of economic opportunities that would come with hosting the global showpiece.
“The announcement made by the then President of South Africa Thabo Mbeki in 2005 that South Africa has won the bid to host the Soccer World Cup in 2010 was a breaking point for me to pursue what I really love- tourism,” Florence Mondi tells Spot-On.
The senior citizen who was born and bred in Soweto, saw the World Cup as an opportunity to open her business, Flossie’s Bed and Breakfast in Pimville. The name of the B&B is a nickname that Mondi is fondly known by in the community, derived from her real name. The business has been operational since 2006 while she was still an employee at the Post Office.
“I was an Area Manager then at the South African Post office in Alberton, when I decided that I needed to register a company that will allow me to run my guesthouse,” says Mondi.
“I started operating before I resigned my day job to test the waters. I realize that it was a challenge to run a business whilst having a day job and decided to resign and ran my business full time.”
Flossie’s B&B is conveniently a walking distance to Maponya Mall and the University of Johannesburg Soweto Campus. Whether you’re commuting through a taxi or by bus or driving your own car, the B&B is a stone’s throw away from the Chris Hani main road while their pricing is fair.
By starting her operation in 2006, Mondi gave herself enough time to grow it a few years before the actual tournament kicked-off. “I had only three bedrooms then, but I was able to fill those rooms from May to July 2006. Today I have ten rooms because of financial gains of the Soccer World Cup,” a proud Mondi says.
The businesswoman says the tourism business is like all other business, but compliance is very important in this industry. “You need to pay for compliance like Municipality requirements, Health Certificate, safety and business license. Then there is also Grading Tourism Council that must grade you yearly to keep up with the standard.,” she says.
More than a decade after launching her guesthouse, Mondi’s business just like many other in the world, was badly affected by Covid19. “It feels like I’m starting all over from scratch,” she somberly says.
“In 2020 Covid came and stopped all our business activities, I had a coffee shop which was eight months old and had to close it down,” she says. “During 2020 I could still keep my four employees with their full salary but 2021 we were desperate. Our cash flow and reserves were low or non-existing. I had to cut employee’s hours on duty with less salary.”
“I know the business is starting to pick up after the last two years of Covid and to recover is going to take time. My prayer for the business is to see it returning to its high income generating and my employees earning full salary.”
Find out more about Flossie’s B&B here: https://flossiebnb.co.za/