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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.

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