City Lodge Hotel Group has announced several changes to its operations department, starting with the retirement of Patrick Tate, divisional director of operations after 32 years of loyal service. He first joined the group when it had only three hotels, managing the City Lodge Cape Town (now City Lodge Hotel Pinelands) and then moving onto manage several other properties within the group before his promotion to divisional director of operations at central office in 2001.
Stefan Janse van Rensburg has moved into the role of general manager: operations. Stefan was most recently general manager of the group’s three hotels in Nairobi, Kenya, including Fairview Hotel, Town Lodge Upper Hill and City Lodge Hotel at Two Rivers Mall. Stefan has been with the group since 1996 and started as a receptionist and night auditor at City Lodge Hotel Bloemfontein after receiving his National Diploma in Food Service Management from Free State Technikon in 1995. As a result of Stefan’s appointment, the existing members of the operations team have assumed responsibility for revised segments of the group’s hotels, ensuring fresh ideas, oversight and competitiveness in the market. They include divisional directors of operations Tony Balabanoff and Ross Phinn and general managers of operations Andrea Anderson and Morné Bester, soon to be joined by Stefan.
Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo, chief operating officer at City Lodge Hotel Group, says, “The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic certainly threw us the curve-ball we never anticipated and, as such, we have had to really think differently and approach the operations structure in a new way. The emphasis currently is on reducing costs, efficiency through collaboration and balancing of responsibilities in the division. This is a time for change as we reposition ourselves to continue on our journey of recovery. We aim to be agile, focused and timely in everything we do.”
As the opening of new Courtyard Hotel Waterfall City draws closer, set for the first quarter of 2021, Brendan Luttig has been announced as opening general manager. He joined the group at the start of his hotel career in 1993, also at City Lodge Hotel Bloemfontein, where he moved from being receptionist to food and beverage supervisor and head receptionist. He left the group to work at several other hotels in Johannesburg, subsequently rejoining in 2004 as assistant general manager at City Lodge Hotel Durban. He has worked at several other properties within the group as general manager, including Road Lodge Randburg, Courtyard Hotel Rosebank and City Lodge Hotel Sandton Morningside, as opening general manager for City Lodge Hotel Waterfall City, and for the past five years has been general manager at the City Lodge Hotel Fourways.
Elzabe de Jager has been appointed general manager of City Lodge Hotel Fourways. She began her career journey with the City Lodge Hotel Group 19 years ago as a receptionist at City Lodge Hotel Johannesburg, Barbara Road and has gleaned valuable experience in all aspects of the group’s diverse operations. She was invited to join the City Lodge Academy where she completed her training from 2002 to 2004. Thereafter, Elzabe attained an international hotel diploma from the Three Cities Hotel School. She has worked in several of the group’s hotels, including as general manager of Road Lodge Rivonia, before her appointment as general manager of Courtyard Hotel Sandton in 2011. She has played an integral part in the Courtyard Hotel Revitalisation process, and successfully led her team in implementing the new Courtyard Hotel brand standards.