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Wine Route & Tourism

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Wine Route & Tourism

2017/01/18 7:38 PM CAT

The Reality is that we are currently farming in the Paardeberg just south of Malmesbury and the reality is that obviously the agricultural land is coming under various forms of pressure be that urban development or simply mining or just the lack of good caretakers in some instances.

The Paardeberg has in recent years gone through massive change and being situated just South of Malmesbury with parts of it being governed by Drakenstein Municipality and another part of it by the City of Cape Town have made it a complex dominion to control or at large to have an integrated vision for.

In terms of substainable living we have to turn in this region to the core of agriculture and it being one of the best grape growing regions for high quality wine, the respective wineries and cellar doors and guest houses with add ons in terms of wedding venues, it certainly makes for a region that sustainably can generate income nationally in terms of tourists (national & international) visiting the farms be that for wine tasting , hikes , weddings or just a simple break away being very well situated between Riebeek kasteel, Malmesbury, Paarl and Cape Town. And on the other hand a major part of the produce is being exported as high end South African wine generating forex.

Tending vineyards and tourism is a major generator of job opportunities from fairly unschooled to high end expertise and it is sustainable as it involves a 360 day cycle.

But all of this is threatened by low income once of mining that is currently been allowed with not only the destruction of arable agricultural land, but also the destruction of the landscape being one of the most important points of sale in terms of tourism and defending the high end produce when the international traders visit the Paardeberg vineyards and cellars.

The issue on the table is that many of us as producers have heavily invested in this region as it has always been a viticultural region with the co-existance of wine cellars and tourism and landscape that goes in hand. But recently some mining activities have infiltrated the region that has for sure to date turned off a number of investors that have thought to come and set up more wineries and vineyards and have made it difficult for us already existing operations to explain to clients what is going on with our surrounding landscape.

If one was to set up a hotel in the middle of a number of mines and then come to the realisation that it is not working, surely the reverse should also be in that where we have set up this amazing story with vineyards and cellars and tourism, mines should not be granted. I am baffled and would love for this topic to take serious priority in the next number of years in terms of the planning forward.

Many Thanks, Eben Sadie


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1. 2017/01/19 1:04 PM CAT

Many thanks Eben,

Very important and valid issue. Tourism is long term and sand mining short term. Mining and tourism often conflict and decisions are required for the greater good.

Lets build the case for the best overall result and mobilise an appropriate response by the municipality. As an immediate first step, could you please add some photos with comments to paint a visual picture in support of the text. And/or make a smart phone video, upload to youtube and provide the link?


John Lawson

2. 2017/01/30 4:35 PM CAT

Fully agree with Eben Sadie's statement above. Here at Lammershoek we have enjoyed some much needed investment over the past few years from over seas investors for the exact reason that they as many others realise the incredible opportunity for eco tourism and the establishment of a potentially very popular and well managed community managed wine route in the area. This remains in my point of view the best possible solution to the current poverty levels in the area and can greatly benefit, farming activities, community initiatives and the protection of our natural resources in an sustainable manner. The very real, very serious mining activities in various areas of the Paardeberg does not only deter investment into the area but also add to the decline of property value for its owners and investors. Just now I had a chat with a German friend of mine who are in the process of buying a property in the Paardeberg area. What do you think he will do if he had to learn today that he might be buying a beautiful peace of agricultural land but might be covered in the dust from the mines and the 10 000 trucks passing his property every day. This topic needs serious attention from those appointed to protect our agricultural farm lands and any one who cares enough for his community, environment and want to leave something worth while for his kids to inherit one day.

Thank you for the opportunity to raise my concerns on behalf of Lammershoek Farms and Winery and its investors.


Schalk Opperman

3. 2017/01/30 9:30 PM CAT

The Paardeberg is special.

Winemakers and wineries are being recognized for the exceptional wines that they are producing from fruit of the Paardeberg.

The international recognition and accolades speak for themselves. The Platter Guide recognized a winery in the Paardeberg as the Winery of the year.

The old bush vines found in the Swartland and Paardeberg is unique. Nowhere else in South Africa, and on the wine route, will you find the concentration of old bush vines, as here in the Swartland.

This all resonates with the Wine Route and Tourism.

Major investments from local&international investors into the region creates new and sustainable income. Investments in cellars and vineyards are made, thus creating income for the families living and working on the farms.

The Paardeberg has unique and special fauna and flora. The Cape Leopard, Black-Eagle, Fish Eagle and Grysbokke all call the Paardeberg home. On the flora side, there are plants that only grow here. Fauna and Flora resonating with Tourism once again.

We have to look at the future here. Not 5 years. The next 100. Sand mining is not the future of this mountain and this special region.


Charl van Reenen

Lammershoek Farms & Winery

4. 2017/01/31 6:06 AM CAT

Thank you Eben for your statement. We, at Ayama totally agree with you. Over the 12 years owning the farm we did invest money, energy and time to create a suistanable business and a better life for our "Slent community". We do have 55 people living on the farm and looking at our business as their only way to a decent life. A wine route in the area is the future for many families. The beauty of a rustic, untouched and naturalist area attracts turists from overseas and from inside South Africa. This remains the best possible solution to the current poverty levels in the area and can greatly benefit, farming activities, community initiatives and the protection of our natural resources in an sustainable manner. This is threatened by sandmining, bringing to the area trucks, dust and noise. Spoiling the amazing views and scaring away any sort or tourism and investors. Poverty and crime will raise to unsustainable level if sandmining is allowed in the area, as the rural community have no chance for a job in town. We are investing in our business continuosly not surely to become rich but to offer a chance to adults and children living here. Our workers and their families are improving their life standard amazingly. The Creche and after school project we run is part of the investment for a better future for all of us. Farmers agreeing on sandmining on their land should think about what they are doing to themselves and to the next generations of Perdeberg community. Authorities should really not allow this kind of activity anywhere close to this mountain. There are thousands of things we could say about this matter but the reality and the bottom line is that Authorities should lead the community towards a better future for everyone. And in this area the only way is to protect the Mountain from businesses that are not granting employment, conservancy, land value increase.

Regards, Michela

Ayama WInes - Slent Farms

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