Our Team

Joey Plaatjies

Joseph Plaatjies was born on 20 December 1971. He was the youngest of four children and the apple of his mother’s eye. He started school in Ashton and things went very well until his family fell apart when he was in grade six. He withdrew from his family, bunked school and stayed in the veld all by himself for days on end. At the age of thirteen, he was sent to live with his father’s family on the farm Klipdale near Bredasdorp. In that same year, he was again uprooted and sent back to Ashton to live with his grandmother. By then his family had lost their house and he very seldom saw either of his parents. He was now a rebellious teenager and his grandmother had little or no control over him. He was then sent to live with his aunt. Once again, he found himself in a dysfunctional household with only his aunt who worked all day with seven children to care for. Times were hard and Joey remembers being hungry most of the time unless he could spend time at a friend’s home or work for the neighbours to earn something to eat. His aunt sometimes brought an ice-cream container with leftovers from work – supper for seven hungry children. He remembers how dismal Christmas and New Year could be without food or celebration. Needless to say he failed grade nine. He ran away to his mother who was then working in Oranjezicht in Cape Town and then to live with his brother in Macassar. To pay his board and lodging he did the housework for the landlady and minded her children while she was working. In 1989, he went back to school in Ashton and passed grades nine and ten only to leave school once again to join the army for eight rands and three meals a day. He finished his basic training in Lohatla, but by then he had met Magrieta and he found a job with the butcher back in Ashton.

In 1993 his daughter Abigail was born. He wanted a better job so that he could take proper care of his young family and went to Cape Town. He became the security guard for De Villiers and Hulme. It was a boring job, but he learnt to read building plans and built the odd scale model to pass the time. In 1999 he got his driver’s license and became the driver and maintenance manager for De Villiers and Hulme. Soon he realised that with only grade ten to his name he was going nowhere and enrolled at Cape College where he finally passed grade twelve in 2000. In 2005 his second daughter Cameron was born. Magrieta was never happy away from Ashton, but however much he wanted to keep his family together, he could not make a decent living there. When Gerard decided to leave De Villiers and Hulme, Joey’s time with the firm also came to an end. With matric and a driver’s license in his pocket, he wanted to become an ambulance driver. However, Gerard offered him a job on Kleinood, which fortunately for us, he accepted. By then he and Magrieta had finally parted ways and in 2008, he married Lizanne. Joey, Lizanne and their little boy, Llewdan José live on Kleinood where the girls often visit during school holidays and weekends.

Joey does just about any and everything on the farm. He delivers wine and olive oil to clients, fetches and carries staff, maintains buildings, machines and vehicles and takes everything that is too much for anybody off their hands. He can braai, take care of the animals, buy groceries, organise a birthday party, fix a broken water pipe or television and speak to a Spaniard. He has also done his first wine tasting course.

Ever since his arrival on Kleinood he has been involved and concerned with the welfare of the children of the Blaauwklippen valley. He has seen and experienced the damage alcohol can do and has initiated various scheme to eradicate the violence, abuse and hardship he sees around him. He spends a lot of time and energy exploring the different avenues in which he and the farm could be actively involved in improving the lives of these children and giving them reasons and the tools to survive their often troubled lives. Joey has become a father figure to many of the children in Weber Gedenk Primary school where he is especially involved with the special needs class. He has also organised sports days, a go-cart building competition and race, works in the garden with the children and runs all the community projects for Kleinood.

Joey is a gentleman in every sense of the word. A man who wants to care for his family and those around him and whose greatest wish is that he can one day be proud of his children and that they will be proud of him.

"Joey does just about any and everything on the farm. He delivers wine and olive oil to clients, fetches and carries staff, maintains buildings, machines and vehicles and takes everything that is too much for anybody off their hands."