Protecting our assets

Koos Jordaan, general manager, Lourensford Estate, Somerset West

(In response to Helga Thiemer’s letter (“A spoiled Sunday afternoon”, Bolander April 17).

Over the last few years, Lourensford has made substantial investments to improve the infrastructure, gardens and tourist facilities, which resulted in the number of daily visitors increasing beyond expectations.

This brought new challenges, the most crucial that we needed to improve access control in order to protect assets, but more importantly, the safeguarding of all stakeholders and visitors.

The message of introducing a pay parking system was well advertised on information boards since September last year.

We believe the subsidised tariff of R10 per car (not per person) per day, in exchange for beautiful and safe surroundings, is reasonable.

Should a visitor buy wine, parking is free. We have now decided to apply the same ruling at the Friday and Sunday markets.

Because we do have many regular visitors, we also introduced a frequent visitor membership card at R200 a year, which allows unlimited multiple entries, plus a 5% discount on any wine purchases.

This means that for a card member who visits Lourensford 50 times a year, parking expense will be a mere R4 per car per day.

The owner of Lourensford also kindly agreed that all parking proceeds will go towards the Lourensford Biodiversity Nature Fund, which basically helps funding various projects in conjunction with WWF and CapeNature to protect natural resources on the estate.