When the present owner, Mark Solms, bought the farm in 2001 he realized that he would have to transform the estate radically if he was going to seriously address its legacy. This was done through the establishment of a Trust in 2005 to attempt to address the social and economic inequalities of the historically disadvantaged farm residents and other employees of the Solms-Delta company. The aim of the Wijn de Caab Trust is to break the cycle of poverty and dependency among farm residents and employees. The Trust tries to fulfil these aims by providing financial assistance for education at all levels, and by providing private healthcare, improving quality of life, and assisting those in distress.
A Rural Cape Music Project
It was in the hope of creating a more inclusive sense of Winelands community with wider access to resources and opportunities for all who live in it, that in 2007 the Delta Trust initiated a Cape music project in the rural Boland region with the help of local musician Alex van Heerden. Fieldwork consisting of interviews with musicians in the surrounding region and more formal academic research into the origins of traditional Cape music was initiated with the aim of using this information to establish a Cape Rural Music Centre on Solms-Delta. The music Centre will showcase the work of the farm’s Cape music project: Music van de Caab and will exhibit the research by Alex van Heerden, who passed away in January 2009 and was employed at the farm to research and promote the vernacular music of the Winelands and its origins.
Solms-Delta wine farm won the Cape Winelands Social Inclusion Award for the “excellent and innovative” steps it has taken in promoting the economic, social and cultural well-being of its farm workers.
The social investment was demonstrated by new houses having been built for the workers, among other things, and the cultural investment bears fruit in the harvest festival today “Oesfees” that celebrates the farm workers’ music. Trade unions and the Solms-Delta workers have given the thumbs up to these efforts.
To experience the delight of Music van de Caab, pay a visit to one of our Solms-Delta events such as Oesfees or Bastille Day.