Kloovenburg Wine and Olive Estate fast-tracks workers housing upgrades

Wednesday, 28 November, 2012
Lise Manley
Following discussions with members of Kloovenburg’s permanent and seasonal workers, farm owner Pieter du Toit has decided to fast-track several of the planned improvements to workers’ accommodation.
‘The upgrades, many of which have been on the cards for some time, have financial implications, which is why we do them in stages,’ he explains. ‘Every year we budget for and implement improvements to workers’ homes, but following the recent publication of inflammatory articles in several Sunday papers, and after speaking to certain members of our workforce, we have taken the decision to fast-track some of the improvements.’

Some of the families who make up Kloovenburg’s permanent workforce live on the farm in a variety of accommodation options, from stone cottages to single rooms, many with sweeping views of the town of Riebeek Kasteel and the valley below. All are rent-free, with free water and electricity, and solar geysers.

‘We’re tackling the problem areas section by section,’ says Du Toit, who asked his workers for detailed lists of what requires attention. ‘At the moment, we’re replacing broken doors and windows, repainting, and have a plumber and electrician on site doing a complete inspection of all installations and repairs where necessary.’ Du Toit says the total refurbishment of several of the rooms and houses, which has been in the planning stage for some time, will still go ahead.

Du Toit also recently demolished and removed an unsafe wooden building on the farm - once a crèche, it has not been in use for over a year.

When it comes to accommodation for the seasonal workers, Du Toit has decided to remove the existing two wooden bungalows and two containers, and replace them with new container housing. Containers have many advantages over more traditional housing structures, and are fast becoming a strong, cost-effective and eco-friendly accommodation solution not only in South African but elsewhere in the world. ‘We will also be providing a container ablution facility with showers for the seasonal workers,’ says Du Toit. This would be in addition to the existing two flush toilets, two basins with running water and two additional taps.

The farm was inspected by the environmental health practitioner for the West Coast District Municipality on 26 April 2012 and then again today, Friday 23 November 2012, and given a clean bill of health with regards to basic requirements such as sanitation facilities and water quality.

For more information about Kloovenburg Wine & Olive Estate, visit www.kloovenburg.com.