Introduction

Vanwyksdorp Development Institute (VDI) is a not-for-profit company aimed at socio-economic upliftment of poor rural communities, primarily in Vanwyksdorp and the surrounding Klein Karoo. The means to achieve the Vision and Mission is the establishment of a learning campus that provides the environment and opportunity to learn skills and incubate entrepreneurial activities. 

Healthy, employable youth, with better opportunities for their lives.

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Vanwyksdorp Western Cape

Vanwyksdorp is a small rural hamlet in the Klein Karoo of the Western Cape in South Africa. The nearest towns are Ladismith 45km (33km gravel), Calitzdorp 55km (52km gravel mountain pass) and Riversdale 67km (45km gravel). The population comprises around 800 people, mostly farm labourers, many with only seasonal employment for apricot picking (December) and olives (April to June). There is a small group of new settlers, who are largely retired or living a subsistence life, many of whom practise various forms of art and crafts. The hamlet is poor by any standards but there is a spirit of camaraderie that binds the residents in a unique way.

  • Gouritz Biosphere in relation to South Africa

  • The Gouritz Biosphere

 

VDI Management

  • Anna van Wyk

    Anna van WykDirector

    Anna is a local community member. She works at Rooiberg Lodge. Anna is passionate about community upliftment and improving the lives of children.

  • Petrus van Staden

    Petrus van StadenDirector

    Petrus is a local community member who, with his wife, cares for children whose families cannot care for them. He works at Assegaay Bosch Ranch and Mont Rouge Olives. Petrus is a community leader who is passionate about community upliftment and improving the lives of children.

  • Nicholas Crisp

    Nicholas CrispDirector and Chairperson

    Nicholas is a semi-retired community health specialist doctor. He now farms olives and runs a small sawmill and woodwork workshop in Vanwyksdorp. Nicholas is also passionate about community upliftment and improving the lives of children. He is presently chairperson of the VDI board.

  • Pieter Coetzee

    Pieter CoetzeeDirector

    Pieter is a local farmer and businessman. Pieter owns Assegaay Bosch Ranch, Rooiberg Lodge and Mont Rouge Olives. He is an entrepreneur and philanthropist of note. He is passionate about the environment and has consolidated several unproductive farms into a substantial game reserve.

  • Andries Opperman

    Andries OppermanDirector

    Andries is a local community member who works at Assegaay Bosch Ranch and Mont Rouge Olives. He is intimately involved in water management in the area.

  • Gerhardt Oosthuizen

    Gerhardt OosthuizenManager

    The VDI Board appointed Gerhardt Oosthuizen as Manager from end of June 2018. He is responsible for the project being executed with the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve (GCBR) and for implementation of the VDI strategic plan. Gerhardt is a local farmer. He and his wife also run the Spekboom Restaurant in Vanwyksdorp. Gerhardt is the only VDI employee and is responsible for the implementation of the VDI Board plans. He has extensive business experience and has retired from running his own businesses in cities to the quiet country life of Vanwyksdorp.

  • Andre Britz

    Andre BritzDirector and Treasurer

    Andre is a local farmer. He is intimately involved with conservation and works as a manager in the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve (GCBR). Andre manages the Jobs 4 Carbon Programme, Green Clubs, and a host of other local environmental projects. He is treasurer of the VDI.

  • Willem Botha

    Willem BothaDirector

    Willem is a lawyer practising in Still Bay and Riverdale. He is presently chairman of the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve (GCBR) Board. He is intimately involved with conservation and environmental matters.