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No more baas or Klaas

In an agreement between the Solms-Delta Wine Estate in Franschhoek and national government, the workers on the farm now own 45 percent of the business, including its brand and land.

Funded by the government’s National Empowerment Fund (NEF), with the NEF itself taking a 5% stake, the farmworkers, as well as residents – through the Wijn de Caab Trust – now share ownership with established wine farmers Mark Solms and Richard Astor.

In 2007, Solms and Astor had handed over a third of the business to the workers.

The deal makes provision for a six-member board, one each for the NEF, Solms, Astor and the farm’s chief executive, and two representatives for the workers.

The R65 million transaction is a pilot project of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform’s Strengthening the Relative Rights of the People Working the Land programme, known as the 50/50 programme.

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