Tourism by the people, for the people – Klein Goederust Boutique Wine Farm

The legend, Nomaroma Siguqa welcomes you at Klein Goederust wine estate.When you meet the owner of Klein Goederust Boutique Wine Estate, Paul Siguqa will start the story with his mother, Nomaroma Siguqa. She has been a farm labourer and never wanted that legacy for her four children. Today, she humbly welcomes you at the gate of the very first black-owned husband and wife team in Franschoek history. His story also includes Rodney, his childhood friend who is now his winemaker and their dream of owning a farm.
The 10 ha boutique farm is quint and cured at the entrance of the French Huguenot town in the Cape Winelands. This was not the case when they bought the land. The farm was run down with no fencing, the two buildings were dilapidated, and the diseased vineyards had to be taken out and replaced with new ones. There was no infrastructure at all. Paul’s approach was to restore the buildings to their 1905 historical and heritage state, and it took them the last three years to rebuild, replace and restore before its opening in December 2021.
I sat down with Paul to ask many questions, of which the ‘why’ was the most imminent and interesting answer to hear. Apart from growing up on a farm, it was about changing the narrative and not becoming the next generation of farm labourers. Secondly, to challenge the stereotype that black people can’t own or run their businesses well. There are countless stories of black people given land by the government and, within a year, failed. Growing up on a farm, he only saw his people as farmworkers, which had to change. He fondly tells of his first job as a teenager selling manure and, in his heart, believed that he would one day own his land and make wine. For this, he had to study and work twice as hard to compete within the white-dominated industry. Paul knows that as a small boutique wine farm, the quality of their wines needs to be of the highest quality and standards consistently. They are proud to serve only South African cuisine like ‘lamb on the spit’, rooster brood and delicious desserts from Wednesdays to Sundays.

While walking on the grounds, Paul also highlighted that he wanted to create jobs for the local community. After only four months in operations, he now employs up to seventeen staff who, according to him, are the success of his story. When I asked one of the young waiters serving us what it was like to work for Paul, he was not just grateful for employment after the pandemic, but Paul was a role model…someone who proved that black excellence is possible! 99% of Paul’s team is black South Africans, and the chef and winemaker are highly qualified and from the Franschoek local community. He wants to see the farm’s success as the success of its community.
I was also curious to know who invested in this dream, to which he responded, ‘I saved for fifteen years to buy a farm’ He explains that, unfortunately, the biggest barrier for people of colour is access to finance for land. The farm is fully funded by himself while running another business in Johannesburg. Because there is no money to waste, he stresses the importance of mentorship under local La Motte Farm owners Hanneli Rupert-Koegelenberg. A tractor was given to them by Cape Town’s Department of Agriculture as part of the Casidra scheme, and they also received assistance with the irrigation system.

The farm contributes to employment and tourism in the Franschoek area. Siguqa owes his success to the government’s assistance and relationships with surrounding established farmers. He smiles broadly when he speaks about how he is inspired by the hardworking farmworkers, especially his mother, who is his biggest inspiration.
And in honour of her, he launched the Nomaroma 2018 MCC in March this year. Again, I walked away inspired by this community hero. As Paul says, unapologetically South African!
Themba Travel supports community-based tourism and always designs our itineraries to showcase the creativity and hard work of the local people that make a significant social impact in the tourism industry. Klein Goederust is another stop on our Beautiful Mix tour.
Published LinkedIn Article: 3 April 2022
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