Sonop Restoration Project 2011-2016


Sonop residents during the late 1970s and early 1980s will remember how workers of the firm Gordon Verhoef & Krause were working at the premises from early in the morning to restore the dilapidated old mansjoens to their former glory. Many residents of that era experienced the privilege of vacating their rooms that had a leaking roof, cracked walls and creaking floor and returning to a five-star room a couple of weeks later.

While the Sonop Restoration Project 2011 - 2016 is firstly aimed at restoring the buildings (dilapidated once again) to their former glory as with the previous restoration project, certain structural changes will also be made this time. For example, the West/East bathrooms are being moved and rebuilt, while the kitchen is being expanded to the West with more efficient offices for the staff, store rooms and a laundry.

While the residence will be boasting an attractive new appearance for the 2016 Centenary, we believe the restoration will also have another dimension, as formulated by the late former Sonop resident Daan de Wet Nel with his financial contribution to the previous restoration: It is heartening to learn that this great and noble task of our residence is being tackled with true Sonop vigour. Through the restoration, Sonop will imprint its immortal historical message of service, accompanied by a resolute Christian character, in the hearts of its students and convey this message to future generations.



The first wheels of the Restoration Project 2011 - 2016 started rolling on Wednesday evening 30 March 2011, when a Pilot Meeting for the planned restoration project was held in Sonop's dining room, chaired by Daan Mills (1973 first-year).

At this Pilot Meeting, two committees were established, namely a Building Committee to focus on the restoration work itself, and a Marketing/Funding Committee for the financial aspects.

Because of a considerable degree of overlapping with former Sonop residents serving on both committees, the committees on a number of occasions met directly after each other and later merged into a single committee.

Die eerste vergaderings van die twee Restourasieboukomitees is gehou op Maandag, 9 Mei 2011 in die Argief van Sonop. 

At the Sonop Mini-Festival in September 2011, former Sonop residents were fully informed of progress made from March 2011 to September, and they were further kept informed by the Bostelegraaf/Bush Telegraph and were regularly invited to contribute their expertise and professional advice.

The initial aim with the marketing of the Sonop Restoration Project 2011 - 2016 was (a) to establish the idea of the necessity of the restoration in the hearts and minds of former Sonop residents, and (b) to establish channels for Sonop residents to begin contributing to the Restoration Fund.


The Restoration Committee, however, actively started talking to architects only late in 2012, when the process of finding the most suitable candidate began.

Following discussions with and short submissions by a number of architects it was decided to use the services of Jaco Minnaar of Minnaar & Minnaar Argitekte. The fact that he was recently awarded the contract for the restoration of the historical Kya Rosa bears witness to his fine appreciation of historical buildings such as Sonop and others.


After careful consideration, it was decided to tackle the bathrooms first and then to renovate the rooms.

Former Sonop residents who recently paid a visit and had to answer a call of nature, or the younger generation of former Sonop residents will no doubt fully support this decision.

Whereas the Northern, Stables, Parsonage and Central bathrooms will undergo only an interior renovation, the structure of the Western/Eastern bathrooms is in such a bad shape that these - as has been mentioned - are going to be demolished and reconstructed in their entirety.

The new bathroom block will be erected parallel to the Eastern road and will link up with the western expansion of the kitchen.


Former Sonop residents have already been informed of the cost estimate of approximately R5 million to R7 million.

In great earnest we call upon each and every former Sonop resident to - like the former Sonop residents during the previous restoration - make a contribution according to his ability.

Contributions may be made in one of the following ways:

  • Debit order

    Feel free to contact the Head of the Residence for more information in this regard - 084 450 1473

  • Buy a brick, build a future

    This is a wonderful idea of a former Sonop resident, Deon Tustin, and information is available on the new Sonop website ( Bricks of R100, R500, R1 000 and R5 000 may be bought electronically, and the buyer's name will then appear on the virtual "wall". Try this and engrave your name on the wall of the 2011 - 2016 Restoration Project for ever!

  • One-off donation

    Some former Sonop residents prefer making a one-off donation for the restoration. Sonop's banking details are: SONOP CHRISTIAN HOME, ABSA HATFIELD, CURRENT ACCOUNT NO. 2140771336, REFERENCE: Name and Year, e.g. Koos Venter 1970.

  • Sponsor a mansjoen - individual / father & son / brothers / nephews / friends

    The more exclusive way to contribute is for a former Sonop resident or a number of former residents to club together to sponsor a mansjoen - R40 000. For such a donation the name or names of the person or persons will be inscribed on the mansjoen concerned. This sponsorship may be paid as a one-off amount or in monthly instalments.

  • Sponsor a mansjoen - mansjoen contemporaries

    The latest contribution of such a donation was by four inhabitants of a Northern mansjoen who decided to sponsor the mansjoen where they lived together many years ago. This is a brilliant idea that may be considered by mansjoen comrades of the past.

Every donor will (by mail) receive an attractive A4 certificate of recognition for his contribution, and the Restoration Committee is still considering options of how and where to install a Donors' Recognition Board somewhere in the residence, to be inaugurated during the main festivities in 2016.


From August 2013 up to the Centenary in 2016 the Sonop premises will again, as in the late 1970s and early 1980s, be a hive of activity to restore the dilapidated buildings to their former glory, but also to effect essential structural improvements for the next 100 years until 2116, when no reader of this will be around any more...