A community that was forcefully moved from Roodewal in 1967 originally constituted Makotopong. The former is an area about 30 km north of Polokwane (then Pietersburg) along the N1 route to Zimbabwe. It is a hilly and fertile area suitable for dwelling, farming and raising stock. Makotopong, on the other hand, was a dry, hostile piece of land with little vegetation.
Without any outside help from government or charity, the community turned the inhospitable environment into a vibrant place for dwelling, farming, raising and educating children and doing business. They replaced Government-supplied tents with mud houses and subsequently brick and mortar, mostly without bonds. People in this small community take pride in building their own houses.
Today Makotopong consists of some of the most beautiful architectural designs usually found in affluent urban centres. Above all, the community has produced quite a number of scholars (such as professors, medical doctors, astronomers, social epidemiologists, social workers, nurses who are recognized international scientists). It currently has about 30 000 inhabitants.
The Olive Branch Conference Centre is a fitting addition to the community’s capacity for self-development. The facility is located on a 20-hectare farm on the Sono Estate. It is an excellent example of rural development, job creation and the spirit of Vuk’Unzenzele. The realization of this business complex was made possible by the contribution of many men and women who live in the area, with minimal outside skills involvement