The 26th South African Libertarian Spring Seminar will be held from Friday the 14th to Sunday the 16th of October at the Thokozani Conference Centre onDiemersfontein Wine & Country Estate in Wellington. Please join us to celebrate over a quarter century of gatherings by South Africa’s freedom followers.
Wellington & Diemersfontein
The town of Wellington is situated in the heart of the Cape Winelands, 45 minutes drive from Cape Town Airport. Renowned for it’s wine and rootstock industries, it was proclaimed SA Terroir Top Wine Area 2010. The valley was pioneered by the early Huguenots:
“With more French people settling here than anywhere else in the Cape, the town was initially called Val du Charron, meaning valley of the wagon makers. The robust wagons constructed here to withstand the rigours of long and arduous journeys into the hinterland made Wellington real border country – a wild and untamed place, encircled by a forbidding mountain range that formed the very outer limits of the settlement. It started with the first French Huguenots who dared to venture beyond the furthest reaches of the Cape settlement, across the Berg River, and into the hostile and unforgiving wilderness.”
Diemersfontein is a third-generation working wine estate surrounded by spectacular mountains. During its history, the estate has been associated with Jan Smuts, Woolworths, Maynardville Open Air Theatre, Italian prisoners of war, and South African opera. The estate’s physical address is Jan van Riebeck Drive (R301), Wellington and its GPS co-ordinates are -33.6593611 19.0043889 (copy and paste directly into Google Earth / Maps). See here for further directions and contact details.
The Thokozani Conference Centre
More information on the conference venue can be found here and here. The centre is operated by Thokozani, Diemersfontein’s economic empowerment company. This project is committed to turning farmworkers into long-term shareholders of the business. Their approach is focussed on sustainability and mutual commitment. In addition to shares, employees (including white managers) are given life skills training, mentorship and capacity building. In return, staff must contribute 2% of their salaries to buying more shares, so that they develop an appreciation for the assets, which include valuable real estate. Likewise, David Sonnenberg (owner of Diemersfontein) retains a 40% share in Thokozani so that his interests are aligned with the success of the venture. This model of transformation thus exemplifies the libertarian principles of individual property rights, non-racialism and sound economic incentives.
We invite delegates to arrive on Thursday evening for informal welcome drinks and dinner. The main seminar will take up the whole of Friday and Saturday. Sunday is reserved for relaxing group activities. Possible choices include wine tasting & cellar tours (both Diemersfontein and the wider Wellington Wine Route), Fynbos Horse Trails, Wine Walks, Team Building, Vineyard Beauty salon, Langkloof Roses, gourmet picnics, vineyard tractor trips, archery, game drives, mountain hikes, olive oil tasting, and a low ropes course. A more detailed list can be found here. As the seminar draws closer we can make bookings and organize groups for these activities. Officially the seminar ends at lunch-time on Sunday, but don’t let us stop you from staying longer!
Speakers & Topics
Garth Zietsman and I have already assembled a list of twelve superb speakers (fourteen if we include ourselves). Variety is the order of the day. Speakers are young & old, professors and business owners. Topics range from climate change, to anarcho-capitalist online social networks, to the meaning of equality. We still have a number of spaces, so email me if you would like to speak about an issue that interests you.
We have booked out most of Diemersfontein – 21 rooms in total – for Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. We have also negotiated a fantastic conference rate of R405 per person per night! This includes breakfast and wine tasting. Details of the Diemersfontein accommodation may be viewed here. As you can see from this Virtual Tour, every room is beautifully appointed. Please deal directly with Diemersfontein for your accommodation, or make alternative arrangements (see other places to stay). Some suggestions:
Grand Dedale – www.granddedale.com
Oude Wellington – www.kapwein.com
Mooi Bly – www.mooibly.com
5 Mountains Lodge – www.5mountainslodge.com
Seminar Fees and Payment
The seminar fee will be R500 per delegate for the two days. This includes lunch for both days at Seasons Restaurant, plus refreshments and complimentary wine tasting. Seasons is a contemporary restaurant that boasts views of the farm dam, horse paddocks and surrounding mountain range. They also offer breakfast, dinner and a snacks menu. Dinner and other meals must be privately budgeted. However, we’ll be announcing details of possible evening entertainment on the Friday or Saturday.
To confirm your reservation for the seminar, deposits must be made in full to the following savings account:
Branch code: 201109
Account number: 60016250990
Please email your online bank transfer reference or deposit slip to email@example.com. Please use your name for the recipient reference. Bookings for the seminar need to be made by 9th September at the latest.
Please contact me should you require transport to and from Cape Town Airport. I will attempt to arrange carpools or shuttles. Please also contact me if you’re driving to the seminar and are willing to share a lift. Alternatively, you can email the ‘Libertarian South Africa’ Google Groups discussion forum (firstname.lastname@example.org) to make arrangements amongst yourselves.
My Contact Details
For further queries of any kind:
Home: +27 (0)21 794 2378
Cell: +27 (0)72 753 2181
Finally, I would like to give a massive shout-out to Neil Emerick for finding such a splendid venue! Thanks also go to Barry Kayton for helping me with this invitation.
Looking forward to meeting you all!
Julian le Roux