Our group of journalists, invited by DStv, departed from the Multichoice offices in Randburg on wednesday morning. No time was wasted and we were off to our first destination for the day, Phokeng in the North West Province. We took the scenic route via Hartbeespoort Dam and arrived in The Royal Bafokeng Nation (RBN) in no time. The group was very impressed with the fleet of Land Rovers and enjoyed every minute!
Date: 17 – 19 November 2010
Venues: North West Province – Phokeng, Kedar Country Hotel, Sun City, Pilanesberg Nature Reserve
Facilitated by: Land Rover Experience Gerotek and Multichoice
Vehicles: Sponsored by Land Rover Experience Gerotek: Land Rover Discovery 4 TDV6 S & V8 HSE, Freelander 2 TD4 HSE, Range Rover Sport 5.0L Supercharged V8
After arriving at the Royal Bafokeng Civic Centre, the group received a very informative presentation that revolved around the past, present and future of RBN, and how the Royal Bafokeng World Cup stadium came about. The group was then spoiled with a traditional Setswana lunch, high quality dining – African-style!
Bafokeng means ‘People of the Dew’ and is home to roughly 300,000 people.
"The Bafokeng people trace their history back to the year 1140. Kgosi (King) Sekete III, who ruled in the early 1700s, was the first in the line of kings, of which the current Kgosi Leruo Molotlegi is the 15th direct descendant. Sekete III was followed by kings Diale, Ramorwa, Sekete IV, and Thethe. Then came arguably the most influential king in Bafokeng history: Kgosi August Mokgatle, who reigned from 1834 to 1891. Pooling community resources, he started buying land the Bafokeng had occupied for centuries. Mokgatle died 33 years before the world's largest deposits of platinum group metals were discovered under Bafokeng land. But his actions enabled his people to lease their mineral rights and eventually to claim royalties, which have been invested to establish a competent administration, civil service and infrastructure.
Today, Kgosi Leruo Molotlegi is the monarch. He is the 36th King of the Bafokeng and the 15th direct descendent of the lineage of the Bafokeng kings.
The mining of the South African diamond started in the 1860s. Thousands of fortune seekers from around the world flocked to Cape Town, the capital of the British governed Cape colony, before undertaking the 1500 km trek north of the arid western and Northern Cape to the mining town of Kimberly.
In the 1920s, geologist Hans Merensky discovered in the Rustenburg valley the surface out crop of arguably the world's greatest ore body, known as the Bushveld Igneous Complex. In particular, substantial reserves of Platinum Group Metals (PGMSs) such as platinum, ferrochrome, rhodium and palladium were discovered on land owned by RBN.
Over the next 70 years, various attempts were made by the governments of the day, aided and assisted by the major mining companies, to dispossess RBN of their land rights. All were ultimately unsuccessful and the mining companies thereafter agreed to pay royalties to the RBN in exchange for the right to mine on RBN land.
Notwithstanding a history of repression and attempts to marginalisation, the Bafokeng have benefited greatly by a rich succession of visionary leaders. Today, especially in the wake of the highly successful FIFA 2010 World Cup, we are confident about the future, and know that we have the plans and projects in place to seize the new 25 years, and realise our esteemed 'Vision 2020'.
At around 15:30 all our guests got back in their luxurious SUVs, supplied by Land Rover Experience Gerotek, and headed off to our overnight accommodation at the famous Sun City Resort. A busy day was rounded off with an outstanding game drive in the Pilanesberg Reserve and an excellent dinner at the Villa del Palazzo, located at the famous Palace of the Lost City.
When we woke up the following morning, the rain was pouring down. We enjoyed breakfast at the Sun City Hotel, and were off to Phokeng once again. The rain did not hold us back and we had an insightful morning, visiting various attractions in and around Phokeng, including Paul Kruger's original farmhouse loacted north of Phokeng at the Kedar Country Hotel. The Land Rovers were feeling right a home on the muddy farm roads. Luxury and comfort in the the African bush...
We returned to Sun City for lunch and had an unforgettable time interacting with and feeding the elephants at “The Elephant Wallow” – certainly one of the highlights of our trip! The team had a couple of hours to themselves before departing to “The Shebeen” for dinner, great food and great company.
After breakfast on Friday morning, our group departed from Sun City to our destination, Land Rover Experience, Gerotek. We took the scenic route once more, appreciating the beautiful North West and Hartbeespoort surrounds. Arriving at Land Rover Experience, the group was treated to a short pratical introduction of what clients experience as part of corporate events and Land Rover owner training. The group enjoyed lunch at Sidibane, Gerotek's in-house restaurant and conference facility, and arrived back at the Mulitichoice offices in Randburg at 14:40.
A truly unique African experience in Africa’s most capable vehicles!
Special thanks to Lerato Molete, Publicity Executive, Marketing And Sales at Multichoice.
Journalist joining us for this remarkable experience:
Lesley Mofokeng - City Press
Thato Sithole - Daily / Sunday Sun
Mandla Motaun - Showbizone.co.za
Gugu Sibiya - Sowetan
Tania Saunders - Passport
Helen Herimbi - The New Age
Gugu Mkhabela - Freelance
Matala - Sunday World
Sindy Coetzee - Passport
Johann Kasselman - Land Rover Experience Gerotek and Inchanga