A new coat of arms was unveiled in 2000, helping to brand the country, which was becoming increasingly tourist friendly. It was the same year Kievits Kroon Country Estate decided to expand to meet that market.
A new coat of arms was introduced on Freedom Day, 27 April 2000 for a new democracy. The motto adorning it is: Ike e: /ixarra //ikeis. In the Khoisan language of the /Xam people, it translates literally to "diverse people unite".
In that same year, the Industrial Development Corporation's executive management approved a building loan of R19.5-million to Kievits Kroon. This cash injection was to partially fund the luxury 75-bedroom country estate. It also has conference, wedding and health spa facilities.
At the time, Kievits Kroon Country Estate intended to expand its accommodation facilities and refurbish its existing restaurant and conference amenities, to cater to the high demand for its venues. In 2001, the estate expanded its operations and repositioned itself as an upmarket four-star country venue.
On completion of the 24-room expansion, Kievits Kroon had 99 luxury rooms, all en suite; a refurbished restaurant; a health spa; extensive upgrades to the conference facilities; a chapel and banqueting hall; a ladies' bar; cigar lounge; bistro; swimming pool and deck; as well as a veranda for high teas.
The upmarket Cape Dutch-styled country estate is situated on 16 hectares of land north of Pretoria, near the Roodeplaat Dam. With the continuous assistance of the IDC, it has grown tenfold. It was originally established in 1996 as a holiday farm, but today offers 142 elegantly decorated rooms equipped with modern facilities.
Before expanding further, Kievits Kroon said it had had to turn away an estimated R20-million in enquiries and actual conference business during 2004/5, mainly as a result of the capacity constraints of its existing accommodation. Upgrades began in line with four-star grading requirements, with construction starting in June 2005. They were due for completion in February 2006.
Once those upgrades and refurbishments were complete, Kievits Kroon employed 21 full time additional staff, creating employment for the surrounding rural area of Hammanskraal.
Tourism is a big earner. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the South African tourism industry contributes an estimated 7.1% of the country's gross domestic product. Gauteng, which is where Kievits Kroon is located, counts as one of the top four tourism provinces. An estimated 20% of foreign tourists to Gauteng stay in four- and five-star accommodation.