On Western Cape farm Bergendal, near Citrusdal, deciduous fruit, citrus, rooibos, wine grapes and livestock is being produced. It also boasts a packhouse, dried fruit and rooibos factory. Kara van der Berg from Hortgro reports that, in 2005, the Bergendal-Maneberg Workers’ Trust was established by farm owners Potgieter and Ronel van Zyl in collaboration with the workers.
Today, 32% of Maneberg Properties (which includes four farms), is owned by the trust. Over the years, the trust has grown to 146 participants, with different levels of participation. Farm director Ronel van Zyl says that it was always important to get all the farmworkers involved. “Transformation is about managing people’s expectations and transparency. People will hear they are participants in the workers’ trust but may not know what that means.”
Marthine Ras, Ronel’s daughter who also grew up on the farm and now serves as the farm’s financial director, said the farm’s emphasis on transformation stems from the fact that the farm is a family business.