The farm is owned by Mr Paul Leeuwerik. He is retired and spends part of the year on the farm and the remainder in the Netherlands. The winemaker is the only member of senior management who is full-time employed on the farm.
In the vineyard and the cellar Olifantsberg employs 14 people. More than half of them live on the farm and the others in the direct vicinity. Most of them work already for several years on the farm.
Some did come direct after school to the farm and other in a later stage. We have trained them from the beginning in the skills they need on the farm and in the cellar. Every year we send some staff out for training in all kind of courses e.g. pruning courses, tractor service, forklift driving, cellar training etc. Also we have sent every year one or two staff members for their driver’s licence. When they pass their examines they are allowed to drive the “bakkie” from the farm even in their free time. That also makes them more flexible in their living to visit family, doing shopping, go out for fishing and so on.
Olifantsberg had a BEE rating in the beginning of level one. The requirements change every year, but our philosophy to deal with staff did not and unfortunately the farm was not rewarded a higher rating. In addition Olifantsberg went from Agri level 3 to 4 now and when the new regulations come into forth even lower.
Half of the number of the staff lives in newly built, stand alone houses on the farm with a garden providing some grass where the kids can play.
Wilfred Sebezela is our foreman on the farm. Our cellar workers during season are Canwell Lakey and Rico Minnick. The ladies on the farm are led by Karin Moos. Training what leadership means and learning to work as must as possible within your own capacity and bear your own responsibility. To be responsible for your own work and that the work you do contributes to a better vineyard and as consequence a better product in the cellar.
The waste water from the houses is recycled in our water treatment system. We use that water for the garden and the trees around the cellar. In a valley where water can be scarce we have to aware of water wastage. The water from the cellar is also recycled.
An awareness not to throw waste back into nature (as have been always the case), but to keep your environment clean is being established. The staff brings their waste bins for the farm to collect every week and then taken to the municipality.
Olifantsberg also has started a vegetable garden as a BEE project. A youngster, Emeal Bobbejee, is responsible for the growing and sales of the vegetables. The vegetables are sold to the staff, to people living around us and to the smouse in town. Fresh vegetables are made available to promote a more healthy diet.