nieuwe sion

The “main road” of the newly constructed residential village. Picture: Daniel Meyer

Cape farmer builds R30m architect-designed village for 150 workers

South Africa needs more families like the Potters.

nieuwe sion

The “main road” of the newly constructed residential village. Picture: Daniel Meyer

A British couple has acted ahead of the land expropriation without compensation and handed over four hectares of land to 150 workers of the Nieuwe Sion farm, in the Cape Winelands.

The R30m architect-designed village also comes with a crèche, aftercare and an entertainment centre.

The homes come in three different sizes, patted up with solar geysers and dual insulation. At the moment, the workers are in the process of formulating a homeowners’ association that will function as the management sphere of the village.

Elaine and David Potter transferred titled deeds to 22 cottages that they built on a 4-hectare site.

What drove Nieuwe Sion farmers to build village for their workers

This plan was in the works for quite some time now, according to the Potters. The philanthropists have always wanted to address the housing issues faced by their employees.

“When we asked what they wanted, the first thing that everybody agreed was that they wanted to remain together. They really crystallised what we did,” the Potters added.

This was after the workers, in response to the Potters’ plan, had indicated that they would like to stay together.

The workers from the farm that is situated between Paarl and Franschhoek were stunned by the news of their new home.

Workers express gratitude for their employers’

Diane Fraser, a 50-year-old worker who lives with her daughter and two grandchildren, is one of the soon-to-be homeowners who could not withhold her emotions.

“They look like guesthouses – we were in tears. I would never be able to buy my own house.”, she added.

The launch of this village has allowed Fraser to retire from her position as the farm’s supervisor to take care of affairs at the crèche.

The farm, being close to necessary amenities, has made life easier, beyond domestic comforts for the farm workers.

“They’ve sent me on courses to get certificates – it depends on you [to get ahead],” Fraser exclaimed.

Jacobus September is also a worker at the farm and he oversees Lumière maintenance, admitted that the responsibility now lies on the staff to ensure that the project works.

“Now we want to build a future for our young people. It is up to us,” he added.

The village has also received the approval of the Drakenstein municipality which is also in the process of building a village in Simondium.

Lauren Waring, who is the municipal head of planning and development stated that

“Drakenstein municipality is excited about the development undertaken at Nieuwe Sion and we congratulate the owners on this proactive and innovative approach to housing and land reform.”