A place to call one’s own
Transformation at Solms-Delta
Solms-Delta is known as one of the South Africa’s most progressive wine estates for empowering its previously disadvantaged worker and resident communities through facilitating the sharing of land and equity in the business with them, helping them live with purpose and dignity and working towards restoring some of the injustices of the past.
The Wijn de Caab Trust, Delta Trust, Music van de Caab and Museum van de Caab are all initiatives driven by the Solms-Astor partnership, to not only help improve the lives of the people of Solms-Delta and surrounds, but to instill a sense of pride in their vibrant Cape heritage and the place they call home.
The Wijn de Caab Trust
People are the heartbeat of Solms-Delta. So the Wijn de Caab Trust was established to help the farm’s residents live happy, healthy lives and break the cycle of poverty and dependence that so often determines, and limits, just what kind of life they and their children will live. The trust holds the tenants’ 45% interest in Solms-Delta and stands to benefit in the years ahead from a further 5% shareholding currently held by the National Empowerment Fund, and 50ha of the 76ha estate currently held by DRDLR.
All of the Wijn de Caab Trust programmes are overseen by a full-time social worker whose focus is to ensure that the needs of the community are addressed.
The largest investment the trust makes is in the future. It opens up the world beyond the farm for the farmworkers’ children, who would otherwise have few options other than follow in their parents’ footsteps. They benefit from school funding, remedial support, a crèche and after-school educational facilities. Assistance with facilitation of funding for tertiary education, as well as an active adult education programme are also available.
The Wijn de Caab Trust addresses social ills such as substance abuse and domestic violence and looks after tenants’ physical and mental wellbeing. It subsidises medical costs, while giving them access to structured health programs/education, counselling and a clinic located on the farm. To encourage healthy lifestyle, residents can spend their free time using a variety of recreational and sporting facilities.
The Delta Trust
The Delta Trust was established by the Solms and Astor families in 2007 to contribute to nation building on a local scale. With the mission to promote social cohesion and inclusivity among historically disadvantaged communities, the Delta Trust supports a broad range of projects focused on education, health, cultural heritage, social upliftment, sport and recreation.
Some of the programmes funded by the trust include the research projects Music van de Caab and Museum van de Caab, which explore the heritage and history of the local people. The Delta Trust also supports the annual Oesfees, South Africa’s only authentic wine harvest festival targeted at ensuring workers on wine farms throughout the Franschhoek valley get to celebrate the harvest in which they play such an integral role, and which features vernacular music and traditional cuisine – embracing the workers’ culture and heritage. The founders of the Delta Trust believe that positive change on Franschhoek farms could spread through the valley, the Winelands, the country and even beyond.
Solms-Delta and The Delta Trust have recently partnered with Boschendal to expand the scope of activities carried on by the trust and, in so doing, to extend significantly how initiatives have a positive impact within the broader community of the Franschhoek and Dwars River valleys.