Farmer Hands Over R30m Village To His 150 Workers


It’s compensation without expropriation in the Cape winelands, where a British couple are giving their farmworkers a R30m architect-designed village, complete with a crèche, aftercare and entertainment centre.

David Potter and his wife, Elaine, are giving land away – transferring title deeds to 22 cottages they built on a 4ha site with millionaire views of the surrounding mountains.

The move has stunned the 150-odd staff of Nieuwe Sion farm between Paarl and Franschhoek, who can count among their neighbours Remgro chairman Johann Rupert and – further up the road – billionaires Richard Branson and Analjit Singh.

“They look like guesthouses – we were in tears,” said Diane Fraser, one of the soon-to-be homeowners. “I would never be able to buy my own house.”

Fraser, 50, who lives with a daughter and two granddaughters, said the village development had transformed her life beyond domestic comforts. A former farmworker supervisor, she now works full-time at the village crèche and benefits from regular training courses.


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