The siting of The Township Winery in Philippi, on the crossroads of Lansdowne and New Eisleben Roads, plus the market positioning of its products and the design and structure of its buildings are all part of a plan (a spark) to regenerate the area that we call the Cape Flats.
Philippi (the original name of the whole Cape Flats) was once the market garden of the Cape Colony and remained a thriving agricultural community until it was wiped away by a stroke of an official’s pen, under the infamous 1963 Group Areas Act, when it became the dumping ground for surplus populations and, as a result, millions of Rands of real estate value and annual household income from the gardens, orchards and vineyards disappeared under bulldozers.
Today, there is a new population living on the Cape Flats. Most of these newer township residents have an outlook on their future very similar to those who first settled on the Flats; “Now we are here, what can we do with this? We have nothing, we are far from anywhere, and we have poor transport. We have no income, no resources, no help”.
There was a significant difference between the first stage of Cape Flats settlement and this recent one, where the 19th Century pioneers had a ready and openly accessible market for garden produce in Cape Town, which was encouraged by the local and national government (at that time). The newcomers today have no such preference or encouragement.
The Township Winery and ancillary business structures are designed to provide highly desirable products to market opportunities. These opportunities are almost all outside the township environment, and form an export trade, where goods are made inside the township environment and exported to markets outside, and where the income comes back to replenish the township income.
This is, regrettably, unique. Almost all current income in the townships comes every Friday in wage packets that the employed residents carry home. This revenue lubricates the domestic economy of services that repairs cars and fridges, pays for school equipment and seasonal trips back ‘home’ as well as the normal household purchases.
The Township Winery produces high value products from raw materials brought in from outside the township, using township materials and services, and exports these to markets to markets in Constantia, Craighall, California and China, in fact to the best opportunities anywhere. The Winery is the core business in a group of township-owned and operated manufacturing and retail enterprises all located inside the township, all operating under the stewardship of Kate Jambela, who operates her mass, entry-level housing supply business from the same site.
First black-owned winery
The Township Winery is the first black-owned cellar in South Africa, according to the Wine Industry Ethical Association (WIETA) of South Africa. Kate Jambela and her Matriarch colleagues own the majority of the company’s shareholding.