A holistic approach to the community and land, to winemaking and to enduring good business practices is what sustains life at Delheim. The aim has always been to nurture a strong culture of sustainable development on the farm and within the community.
The Sperlings believe that everyone’s lives on the farm are entwined in the same way that the land and the vines are integrated. The community that grows up and works together on the Delheim estate is, in turn, supported by a mini infrastructure:
- The crèche is attended by numerous children and babies of parents who work on the farm. It has a fully qualified teacher whose recent training courses (including one on how to work with special needs children in support of the Pebbles Project) were sponsored by Delheim.
- The Pebbles Project has helped establish a library for the community and the children on the farm as well as an aftercare club for the school children. They also take the children on monthly outings and support the families with educational lectures.
- A vegetable garden has been established to supply vegetables for the communities and also to the Delheim Garden Restaurant.
- Employee training is given on everything from Aids awareness and heavy vehicle driving to restaurant management, cellar stock control and nursery and seed propagation.
- Giving to the wider community, Delheim also donates food weekly from the restaurant to the Stellenbosch Night Shelter, helps to raise funds for Child Welfare, contributes to Life Line and collects the money that tourists throw into the Delheim pond for the local hospice.
Delheim strictly adheres to the South African labour law, and takes care of its farm community to a degree that is above and beyond the norm, as is evident from the following examples:
- Free housing
- No charges for water
- Subsidizing electricity
- The payment of all medical expenses of pensioners
- The payment of 50% of all medical expenses of other employees and their dependants
- The availability of a crèche and after school care under professional guidance from accredited organizations
- The availability of a recreational room for adults and children
- Continued adult education in line with the concept of Life Long Learning
- The monthly outings on which the children and senior citizens are taken
- Free transport is given on request
- Each house is allocated a piece of land which is used for home growing vegetables
We do not have a union representing our employees although they are free to join at any time. We have a supervisor team, elected by the employees, who sit with management on a weekly basis to discuss any matters.