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Spirit of Rekopane is alive and well

In South Africa’s Northern Cape region the Tswana language and culture play an important role in the lives of all those involved in the table grape business. Along with the influence of descendants of the Khoi people, and with the influence of descendants of the region’s European settlers, who along with descendants of the Khoi people speak mostly Afrikaans, the Tswana’s have helped created a colourful community.

At Rekopane Estate these contributions are recognised and it is no wonder why the word Rekopane has become the symbol of hope. ‘Rekopane’ means ‘we are together’ or ‘we have come together.’ The meaning of the name of the Workers’ Trust which gives 65 workers ownership in Rekopane Estates, the Loretlhabetse Trust, which is also a Tswana word, is ‘the sun has risen for us.’

Together is the inspiration for Rekopane’s people, for the sun has literally risen for the farm workers as they came together with grape grower Peu Bezuidenhout in a unique new partnership.

Rekopane is one of the latest land transformation projects which are supported by the Department of Land Affairs through its LRAD funds. The estate also enjoys financial support in the form of a loan from Standard Bank.

The workers receive their share through the Loretlhabetse Trust. Rekopane is located in the heartland of the Northern Cape grape growing region and lies on the banks of the Orange River near Kanoneiland, west of Upington. It started in 1979 with only six hectares and has grown to 528 hectares, of which 212 hectares are planted with table grapes.

Future expansion at Rekopane will include a further 68 hectares of the latest table grape cultivars, as well as 60 hectares of citrus orchards. The first citrus orchards were planted in November last year.

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