Meet André Cloete
Klein Ezeljacht is a family business, owned and managed by André and Charmaine Cloete, as well as their three boys Andrio, Matthew and Noah. André is the Managing Director of the company, Altius Trading 237 Pty (Ltd).
The farm Klein Ezeljacht was bought by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform in 2007 through its Pro-Active Land Acquisition Strategy programme. At the time Capespan Exports signed a caretaker agreement with the department and Andre was appointed as general manager. Capespan provided bridging capital in order to enable Andre to buy movable assets as well as production capital. In 2012 Andre bought Altius Trading from Capespan.
After years of struggling with the department against the short-term lease contracts imposed on land reform beneficiaries, Andre was awarded a 30 year lease in 2017. This is just reward for a capable farmer who is armed not only with practical experience, but one who holds an Agricultural Diploma and is a qualified irrigation designer. He has also completed an Agricultural Leadership Development Programme at the University of Pretoria.
While the land remains government property, the operating company is wholly owned by André and his family. We continue to lobby government for the conversion of these land reform lease agreements into full ownership.
What motivates André?
He wants to build a future for his family and employees. André believes that to own land is empowering because it gives you a special right to existence which can be transferred to your offspring. He encourages young people to consider their motives - not to be solely focused on money, but to find joy in every task that they accomplish and to reach for their dreams. Every day comes with its own challenges and surprises, but every morning the sun also comes up anew - there is hope in every new sunrise to overcome your challenges if you have the right mindset!
André's relationship with TAD
TAD has assisted André from the beginning by giving him production advances and thereby supporting his cash flow. André acknowledges the advantages of being part of the fruit value chain. He benefits just like all TAD-shareholders from the economy of scale through the procurement of diesel, chemicals, packing material, shipping and marketing.