We are Keeping an Eye on Hotel Industry Trailblazer Siyanda Dlamini and His Recently Opened R350-million Hotel
Entrepreneur Siyanda Sabelo Dlamini, 35, is a veteran businessman and hotelier but it was the launch of the R350m luxury hotel, The Regency, last month that saw him make headlines and being lauded on social media as an example of #blackexcellence and a source of inspiration for other South African entrepreneurs.
Here is what we know about the man behind the hotel and the multimillion rand launch.
According to hospitalitymarketplace.co.za, the hotel has 220 suites and offers both residential and hotel accommodation. Located in Menlyn, Pretoria, it took two years to build.
It caters “to a mix of local and international professionals, investors, diplomats and embassy staff with different needs and requirements. Conferencing facilities are available for corporates on request. There is a growing demand for accommodation to cater to the busy Menlyn district and we have created the ideal offering,” Dlamini says.
A young trailblazer
Dlamini hails from Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, according to Destiny Connect. He graduated from the Cape Town Hotel School with a hotel management qualification.
His career in the hospitality industry began in 2001 with Protea Hotels, where he, according to Sowetanlive, only earned R860 a month.
“Growing up, I was not as exposed to hotels as some of the white boys and girls that were in my class at hotel school. My level of exposure was more limited, I refused to feel inferior – I stole with my eyes, asked questions left, right and centre to broaden my understanding and the wisest thing I ever did was to align myself with the old papas and mamas that had been in the industry for years.”
The journey to becoming a business owner
Dlamini worked his way up in the hospitality industry, at 26 he was appointed as GM at Protea Hotel Cape Town Tyger Valley, making him the youngest GM at Protea Hotel.
“Besides being the youngest GM, I was also the only black GM at the time,” he says in a Bizcommunity interview.
In 2013 he joined Fortis Hotels, a local hotel brand, as General Manager (GM) at Protea Hotel Manor. He worked his way up through the ranks to assume the position of sales and marketing director.
In 2016 bought shares with Fortis Hotels – becoming a co-owner. The company now has eight hotels running successfully underneath him, including The Regency.
Words he lives by
“If you’re not willing to go the extra mile you will not get to the other side.”