The best Shell Service station is in Rehoboth - Namibia Safari and Lodges - Gondwana Collection
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The best Shell Service station is in Rehoboth

Avatar of inke inke - 06. April 2017 - Tourism, Gondwana Collection

Erno Bertolini in front of his Service Station, which has received a prestigious award. Within two years, the petrol station has become an attraction to tourists who have gone through Rehoboth. (© Dirk Heinrich)

Customers and tourists usually cheer when they check into the B-One Service Station along the B1 in Rehoboth. Clean toilets, friendly and efficient service at the fuel pumps, a well-stocked shop, shaded parking and information boards on the history of the town, can be found along the main road that leads south. 

On the morning of 31 March, owner Erno Bertolini and his employees rejoiced when they heard that they were crowned the “Best Shell Petrol Station of the Year 2016 in Namibia”. The Service Station received prize money to the value of N$225 120.00, which was evenly distributed among the 52 employees. Erno Bertolini and his wife Cindy, have also won a trip to New York, where they will meet the winners from 92 other countries. 

The competition has taken place in Namibia since 2010 and prizes are awarded quarterly, said Johan Grobbelaar, Managing Director of Vivo Energy Namibia, who is responsible for all Shell Service Stations in the country. Vivo is also represented in 16 African countries and operate the Shell filling stations there. Various individuals from an independent company, visit the Shell Service Stations in Namibia anonymously every quarter. None of the owners or employees know who these individuals are or when they appear. Service at the pumps, in the shops and on the premises is assessed, along with the quality and selection of products, the sanitary facilities and the premises are inspected for cleanliness and the knowledge of employees is tested. In 2016, the B-One Service Station received silver and gold status, twice after the quarterly assessments. Additionally, there is always prize money that is evenly distributed among the employees. About N$50 000.00 was awarded for the silver award and about N$120 000.00 for gold. 

Erno Bertolini worked with the Gondwana Collection for seventeen years. Two years ago, he fulfilled a lifelong dream and opened his own company, the Service Station at the new shopping centre in Rehoboth. And now he, his wife, and their employees received the award for the best Shell Service Station in 2016. In the past, this award was given to Service Stations in Ondangwa, Otjiwarongo and Windhoek.

Erno Bertolini wants to make a difference in his hometown and boost the tourism in the area. Countless busses already find their way to his Service Station, not only because of the clean bathrooms but also because of the information boards provided in cooperation with the Gondwana Collection, offering information about Rehoboth. Other companies should recognize that tourists feel comfortable when a place is safe and clean. In addition, 85% of the employees are single mothers who Erno and his wife would like to help. Their success is reflected by this award, which was won through team spirit. The employees are to invest the money well, for example, use it in their homes. Rehoboth has something to offer, says Bertolini, not only to tourists but also to the locals. Erno Bertolini is a shareholder to the Gondwana Group. 

Dirk Heinrich

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