City Lodge Hotel Group has announced several changes to its operations department. Foremost is Patrick Tate’s retirement after 32 years of loyal service. Tate joined the group on its third birthday when it consisted of only three hotels. He has since managed several of the brand’s properties before being promoted to divisional director of operations at central office in 2001.

Stefan Janse van Rensburg has been promoted to general manager: operations. He currently holds the title of general manager of the group’s three hotels in Nairobi, Kenya. Janse van Rensburg joined City Lodge in 1996 as a receptionist and night auditor at City Lodge Hotel Bloemfontein after receiving his National Diploma in Food Service Management. He has since worked in various positions in different City Lodge hotels, before being promoted to central office.

The operations team’s responsibilities will shift with Janse van Rensburg’s arrival, to encourage fresh ideas, oversight and competitiveness in the market. The team includes divisional directors of operations Tony Balabanoff and Ross Phinn and general managers of operations Andrea Anderson and Morné Bester.

“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.”

Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo, chief operating officer at City Lodge Hotel Group, explains, “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.”

Brendan Luttig has been appointed opening general manager for the new Courtyard Hotel Waterfall City, which is set to open in the first quarter of 2021. Luttig joined the group at the start of his hotel career in 1993, as a receptionist at City Lodge Hotel Bloemfontein. He subsequently worked his way up through different positions, and left City Lodge to work at other hotels before rejoining again in 2004 as assistant general manager at City Lodge Hotel Durban. He has held the same position at a number of other City Lodge properties, including most recently five years at City Lodge Hotel Fourways.

Elzabe de Jager will take up the position of general manager of City Lodge Hotel Fourways with Luttig’s departure. She began her career journey with the City Lodge Hotel Group 19 years ago as a receptionist at City Lodge Hotel Johannesburg, Barbara Road. Since then she has completed training through the City Lodge Academy and attained an international hotel diploma from the Three Cities Hotel School. She has held the position of general manager of Courtyard Hotel Sandton since 2011, and played an integral part in the Courtyard Hotel Revitalisation process.