Did you know that agricultural workers in the Cape Winelands District of South Africa are worse off than agricultural workers in other parts of the country? Studies show that agricultural workers in the Cape Winelands District depend on their employers for access to the most basic social services. This means that they are extremely reliant on farmers for transport, education, food subsidies, health care and subsidised housing.
Add the problem of alcohol abuse, and the picture gets more grim. In the Western Cape, it is estimated that alcohol abuse accounts for 60% of violent incidences resulting in trauma. The Western Cape also has the highest prevalence of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) in the world. Due to the ‘dop system’ under Apartheid rule, these problems now pave a legacy in the lives of agricultural workers in the Cape Winelands District.
Learners are also negatively affected the District’s educational situation. Factors like poverty, rural context and FAS requires specialised education. Despite this, many learners drop out of school and few complete their National Senior Certificate.
In 2007, Stellenbosch Gemeente joined forces with the Maranatha Fellowship. Together, they are addressing the most pressing issues facing residents of the rural Vlaeberg area. Volunteers from these congregations support each other with the following initiatives: