Rekopane is a people orientated business
During the peak harvesting months from November to
January some 1000 people are employed at Rekopane Estate
in South Africa’s Orange River region. During
the rest of the year this figure drops down to around
340, including the 65 new shareholders in the Leretlhabetse
Trust, who now owns 25% of Rekopane.
“That is why it is so important for us to create
opportunities for all the people involved with Rekopane
to advance themselves,” says Jack de Wee, Chairman
of the Loretlhabetse Trust, and one of the two directors
of Rekopane Estates.
Rekopane now incorporates the farms Naftali, Monte
and Sommerdown. Peu Bezuidenhout is the majority shareholder
with 75% and also Managing Director. The equity stake
for the 25% shareholding of the Loretlhabetse Trust
was raised through a grant from the government ELRAD
funds, as well as through a loan from Standard Bank.
In order to achieve the maximum transparency the shareholders
of the Lorathlabetse Trust has appointed an outside
independent trustee in the person of Ms Connie Seoposengwe,
Speaker of the Northern Cape Government.
Mr De Wee says women represent 23% of the worker shareholders
and it is significant to note that 40% of the shareholders
are younger than 35 years. There are also two disabled
persons amongst the shareholders.
“Training, skills transfer and management is
of crucial importance to ensure succesful and sustainable
production of table grapes, wine grapes, raisins and
citrus fruit. The development of the citrus project
ar Rekopnane will also create additional work during
months of relatively low labour requirements.”
Mr De Wee says all staff benefit from formal training
and skills transfer. Specific examples of this is the
fact that Ms Wilmien Draaier has qualified to manage
the guest house at Rekopane, and Ms Eveline Mealangwe
manages the production of roses in a tunnel. The farm
shop is managed by Ms Clara de Wee and Ms Angeline Prins.
The investment in people extends to social, cultural
and health enrichment in the wider farm community and
the local school and church receives strong support
from the Bezuidenhout family.
The People Development Programme at Rekopane has received
certification by the Investor in People Standard which
is based in the Unted Kingdom.