In Memoriam

NTHA & SALTHA mourn the passing of SALTHA President Churchill Mrasi

The National Tourism and Hospitality Association mourns the untimely passing of president of SALTHA (the South African Leisure Tourism and Hospitality Association), former deputy president of NAFCOC (National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry) and fellow member of the Gauteng Liquor Forum, Mr Churchill Mrasi.

To the liquor industry and business formations on which he served, his passing has left a massive void and big shoes to fill.

He was part of a family that spread beyond the biological lineage and neighbours of Orlando East, Soweto. He dedicated his entire life to serving and building a movement of partnership between other formations such as SALTA and NTHA and by extension, serving the downtrodden members of the liquor industry.

Members of SALTHA, I attest on their behalf, believed that he was indeed a giant among us. He led many in their heroic struggles. Speaking about him is indeed confirmation of difficult facts to comprehend, the reality that he is no more. President, we want to thank you for being who you were to all of us. It is no exaggeration when we say President, commonly known as Bra Churchill, was full of life, love and energy which was written all over his smile. If you were lucky enough to have a conversation with him, it would always be about those less fortunate than himself.

The importance of self-preservation

To the liquor industry and business formations on which he served, his passing has left a massive void and big shoes to fill.

Covid-19, in more ways than one, has exposed the extent to which the country remains divided between the haves and have-nots.

While these remain fundamental challenges, we must soldier on to repair these challenges, especially in the liquor industry, which Bra Churchill spent all of his time fighting for. This brings to light the importance of self-preservation among us who remain as well as the challenges of transformation in the liquor industry and tourism across the value chain, which is why SALTHA, NTHA and SALTA must continue with the struggle for which Bra Churchill sacrificed his time.

We say that Bra Churchill was made of steel because he had little to no tolerance for indecisiveness and if decisions were to be taken, he could as the President be accused of being a dictator. It is this kind of action-orientated leadership that is lacking today and that part of him made us appreciate his leadership and guidance.

It is for this reason and many others that we say, President, we shall forever cherish having shared some time and space with you. We have learned so much and shall continue to strive to build a strong movement among the liquor traders and other business formations you led to pursue transformation.

Enkosi

By Richard Zulu - SALTHA and Phumzile Ratladi - NTHA Secretary