History / Background of Kopano Nokeng
Kopano Nokeng (Sotho for “gather by the rivers”) was the brainchild of Dr JDE Cronje and his late wife Annemarie. Formally known as “Klub tussen die riviere” the 7O HA premises consisted of a residential house, a small building used as a clubhouse for members, several natural dams and a natural wetland. All of this is situated between the Bloem and the Renoster Creeks. A 20m suspension bridge connects the area between the clubhouse and the residence.
In 1999 the residence was rebuild and converted into a 12-room guesthouse. The clubhouse was rebuild as a 2-room conference venue and a small kitchen and restaurant. These venues could accommodate between 40 and 80 delegates. Annemarie Cronje and Helena Botha (first manager at Kopano Nokeng) were the driving forces behind the development of the initial gardens, interior and services. Starting out with a staff of only 9, Kopano Nokeng today has a permanent staff of 21 and a casual staff of between 30 and 100. Between 2001 and 2002 the Guesthouse was enlarged with 4 additional rooms, the existing conference center was enlarged and game was settled on the premises.
In 2004 a new hall was build that could accommodate 540 conference delegates. This opened the door to accommodate bigger conferences and functions that includes the Inauguration gala luncheon for Free State Premier B. Marschoff, the opening function for the Free State Legislature, Volkswagen vehicle launch and many more. With an enormous growth over this 6-year period, Kopano Nokeng is growing from strength to strength. Between 2004 and 2005, with the help and guidance of the Tourism Enterprise Program, Kopano Nokeng has been evaluated and graded by several organizations such as AA and TGCSA. Thanks to TEP delegates of Kopano Nokeng could attend the Tourism Indaba in Durban and will also attend the Meetings Africa Exhibition in Sandton in 2006. Kopano Nokeng has also recently been nominated as a SAACI member. This puts Kopano Nokeng amongst the major roll players in the industry and would never have been possible without the financial backing and personal relationship of TEP and more specific of Ben Cederstroom and his team.
In 2013, 3 tended grass areas were prepared for larger functions in tents. National road shows, conferences and events like Macufe shows were now being hosted for up to 3 thousand people. Ever evolving, this owner managed business is still growing with the passion and love for the trade being the driving force behind it.
Social responsibility and Sustainability Programme:
Kopano Nokeng has proven itself as an industry role player in sustainable tourism and is dedicated to continuously improve systems, procedures and visible results. Our vision is for our community and staff to live and work to the highest possible level of commitment to protect and enhance the environment.
Corporate Social Investment:
For the past 13 years Kopano Nokeng management and staff have hosted a chistmas party every year for children forming part of the programmes of Child Welfare in Bloemfontein. This tradition was started in 2002 for only 20 kids and have grown into a massive party catering for 150 kids. With the help op the Round Table 158, the Bloemfontein Fire Brigade and many loyal sponsors, this party has become the highlight on the calendar for all the Kopano Nokeng employees.