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Rekopane Estate breaking new ground in Orange River

The 2006 grape season was very much different for at least one of the best known table grape businesses in South Africa’s Orange River region. A new partnership between Peu Bezuidenhout of Naftali/Monte Estate and his workers, launched before the start of the season, means that 65 workers now own 25% of the newly established Rekopane Estate which incorporates all the assets and activities of Naftali/Monte Estate.
The historic partnership is the latest land transformation project which is backed by the Department of Land Affairs through its ELRAD funds. The new partnership, which also includes financial backing from Standard Bank in a form of a loan, was celebrated at Rekopane Estates today.

The worker shareholders are all members of the newly formed Lorethabetse Trust. The word Lorethabetse is Tswana and means “the sun has risen for us.” Rekopane is also a Tswane word and means “we have come together.”

Located on the banks of the mighty Orange River near Kanoneiland, west of Upington, Naftali/Monte Estates, and its owners, have become amongst South Africa’s best known seedless grape growers. As the Biblical meaning of the word Naftali indicates, Peu Bezuidenthout and his workers really “fought and have conquered” the harsh climate of this desert-like region with true pioneering spirit to build Nafatli/Monte from a mere six hectares back in 1979 to 528 hectares of land. Of this 212 hectares are planted with table grapes which is exported to markets around the world.

 
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