Western Cape

Goedgedacht Catholic Trust, Malmesbury

The Foundation's donation to Goedgedacht Catholic Trust provided for the purchase of farm implements, olive trees and the installation of an irrigation system. This initiative increased direct employment of farm workers from 40 to 100 employees.

Goedgedacht Catholic trust is a registered, non-profit and public benefit organisation with level 4 BEE status. It is a development organisation that empowers others, enabling them to reach their highest level of competency, thereby strengthening the community and promoting democracy. It has a board of trustees that oversees the work.

The activities of the trust centre are on a farm of 171 hectares called Goedgedacht, which is situated in the Riebeeks river valley in the district of Malmesbury. The educational and charitable trust was established in 1993 after the farm was purchased in 1992. With the help of generous friends and international development agencies, they have managed to renovate, convert and add new buildings when required.

Goedgedacht has three clusters of projects:

The first cluster centres around rural poverty alleviation and it aims to give children of farm workers a better future. This comprises of:

  • Parenting skills training
  • A crèche for children aged three to five
  • A preschool and reception class
  • Youth work
  • School support and after-school educational support, including a sports programme
  • e-Pap distribution to 940 hungry pre-schoolers in the area each day
  • A valley delicatessen
  • Safe houses for orphans and vulnerable children on farms
  • Home-based care and directly observed treatment training for carers
  • Foetal alcohol syndrome and foetal alcohol effected education to rural communities
  • HIV/AIDS peer training workshops.

The second cluster centre around climate change projects. This is achieved by planting crops that are environmentally friendly, and include element like fog harvesting, earth bricks, community cycles, the Esterhof flower project, and the 90% by 2030 programme, bio-diversity programme, the Goedgedacht olive farmers’ association, olive peace grove and the climate change crops project.

The third cluster is made up of projects that do not fall easily into either of the first two clusters but which enrich Goedgedacht ’s contribution to important and pressing national issues. The most important is the prestigious Goedgedacht forum for social reflection, which houses the lovely Goedgedacht conference and retreat centre. This offers a range of high quality accommodation and conferencing options to organisations and groups at competitive rates.

Economic development streams of the trust’s projects include: the following:

  • 29,5 ha of arable land that has been planted with olive groves; to date 11 000 trees
  • 3 ha of fig trees have been planted
  • 3 ha of pomegranate trees were planted in 2007.

The Goedgedacht olive farmers’ association (GOFA) started in 2007 and involves 53 emerging black small-holder farmers in the planting of 15 ha of olive trees in the West Coast region. Some farm independently and some communally. These groves will take some years before the olives can be harvested.

The C3 – climate change crops project is test planting more hardy alternatives to traditionally grown crops at Goedgedacht farm. It disseminates information to farmers about climate change and is working with them to plant hardy crops which will yield more crop and income in the years before the olives ripen.

The old Cape Dutch buildings on the farm were renovated and added to during the period 1993 and 2008 to set up a conference and workshop training centre. At present the Goedgedacht centre has 67 beds which are used by NGOs, community organisations, schools, universities and some corporates for a range of training and workshop needs.

As the Goedgedacht trust is tax exempt and cannot trade, the Goedgedacht trading company was set up to trade with olives, figs and pomegranates grown on Goedgedacht Farm. The trustees are the only directors of the trading company, which is run by a general manager, supported by the farm manager and a group of experienced business people who give of their time voluntarily.

Thandi Nkonzo and Cecil Ramonotsi from Eskom await the arrival of the Goedgedacht
Trust members to hand over the farm implements funded by the Eskom Foundation