On 19 April, 12 loyal staff members of Bosman Family Vineyards were given the keys to their brand new apartments in the nearby village of Wellington. This forms part of Bosman’s comprehensive Social Development Plan which aims to take care of the needs of every age group on the farm, from the babies in the crèche to the old and infirm.
The apartment block consists of 12 units, 10 one-roomed apartments and 2 bachelors, all complete with aluminium doors and windows, built-in cupboards and tiled floors. It has been funded by the Adama Workers Trust of which the beneficiaries are the employees of Bosman Family Vineyards.
Chairman and seventh generation of the family, Jannie Bosman explains: “Just as we have been on the farm for generations, so have our workers. The older generation is still working on the farm, but now their children have joined our work force too and are married with children. So in some cases there are 3 generations living in one house, so we had to make a plan.”
In 2003 already, the company built accommodation in the village for their retired workers. They renovated an old Victorian farm house, and then built a small apartment block on the property to accommodate several more pensioners who aptly named it Adama.
This new development Adama Heights II has been built diagonally across from the original Adama complex and both are within easy walking distance of the shops, church and the community health clinic. There is also a house on the property for Maintenance Manager John Apollis and his family who have been part of the extended Bosman family for five generations. John will be transporting the Adama residents to work on the farm every day.
Transformation and sustainability have long been watchwords on the Bosman family farm. A Workers’ Committee was established in 1992 where workers and employees were able to negotiate and cooperate, building a relationship of mutual trust by recognising that empowerment cannot happen without addressing basic needs such a housing.
This developed into the Adama Trust, established in 2008, and today it owns 26% of the entire business from vine to wine. Adama Heights II is therefore owned by the Trust who will manage the maintenance and administration of the apartment block. The residents will only pay for their electricity and municipal services, while the Trust will take care of the rest.
Janine Goosen (27) was thrilled to get the keys for her new apartment. An assistant accountant in the Finance Department, Janine has been living on the farm since she was a teenager and is a single mother to Keisha (8). They have been sharing a small cottage with her father, a tractor driver; her mother, a domestic worker; as well as her brother and cousin, so their living quarters were rather cramped.
“I am so looking forward to having my own space,” says an exuberant Janine. “I think I will be able to build a better relationship with my daughter and teach her the right moral values if we can live on our own.” Keisha, who attends a nearby school, is also very excited, especially as two of her friends are also moving into the apartment block.