The owner of Laslappies started farming during 1978 after taking over his retired father’s farm of 13Ha. Today it has developed into a family business of roughly 1000Ha including citrus, game and three guest houses.
Not only have we established a citrus producing company exporting about 60% of a million cartons packed of a wide range of different varieties to more than 70 countries over the world, but were involved in two transformation projects in line with our dream to change specifically the face of the Agricultural sector in striving to a better life for our employees.
In 2003 Mr Potgieter sold a 75% share in his farm – Brandwag – now “Luthando” – meaning “to love”- to his own farm workers. With a 50% subsidy from the government and 50% bank financing we manage to establish about 70 employees (including some spouses) on the farm. The initial agreement was that Mr Potgieter would be involved in their training and education for a period of 5 years. During this time he and his management team visited several citrus producing areas in South Africa as well as fruit destinations in Europe and Finland. With the help of “Fairtrade” they also established a guest house, community hall and pre-primary school on the premises. After that period of 5 years, with the agreement of Luthando, he sold his 25% share to the Sundays River Citrus Company – a packing and marketing company which is until today actively involved in the day to day management of the farm as well as training and mentoring in order to transfer farming and business skills to its employees.
Initiated by the Sunday River Citrus Company and then joined by a couple of farmers, a major land reform project was formed during 2019. An undeveloped farm measuring 1191Ha has been purchased and registered in the name of “Ikamvu Lethu farms (Pty) Ltd” – meaning “our future”.
The full development of the farm is expected to be completed over four phases from 2019 to 2022. It is anticipated that the development will cost approximately R120 million which amount will be contributed by the 17 farmers who have agreed to participate in the project.
A trust is established with a approximately 300 of their black employees for their own benefit with at least 59% shareholding. The project is further expected to create approximately 800 jobs. On this basis Ikamvu Lethu will be one of the largest citrus growers and employers in the Sundays River Valley.