NEW HOME FOR SOCCER GUESTS

FLAGS of six countries taking part in the Confederations Cup are flying high at the accommodation facility along the Ascot Road in Bertrams, Johannesburg.

FLAGS of six countries taking part in the Confederations Cup are flying high at the accommodation facility along the Ascot Road in Bertrams, Johannesburg.

Inside the couple who owns the Ascot Guesthouse, Neville and Merle Pithamber, smile from ear to ear. They are certain that the big bucks are coming home.

Their business is within walking distance of Ellis Park, a venue for the Johannesburg Confederation Cup matches.

"Today I picked up calls from our regular patrons from Malawi and Zambia," Merle Pithamber says. "We don't have a confirmed booking yet, but we know for sure there will be guests coming.

"We have hosted people who come to Johannesburg for big games of teams such as Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates. These people just follow the sign in the street and find a place to sleep after the game"

The couple say they started working on their plan in 2004 soon after South Africa was announced host country for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

"People thought we were crazy when we bought property in such a rundown area as Bertrams. But is has paid off," she says.

The guesthouse has 15 rooms, some with TVs that have DStv access. Standard rooms, which have no bathrooms and toilets, cost R160 a night per person. Those with television sets and private bathrooms cost R260.

"Our customers are mainly people from other parts of Africa who come here to buy goods to sell in their countries.

"We have had people from Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and even Australia.

"When it comes to food we cater for everyone. We have African cuisine and Western dishes," Neville Pithamber says.

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