The horses of Noordhoek not only bring joy to their owners, but they also provide jobs and boost the economy by R45 million annually.
Noordhoek, South Africa (22 July 2020) – There are many reasons people love Noordhoek, often mentioned are the open spaces, tranquillity – and the horses. These majestic beasts we see on our village roads or grazing in the fields, not only add to the beauty and rural-feel of the valley – but they also provide much-needed employment for people living within the valley, Ocean View and Masi, generating approximately R45 million a year for the local economy.
A report on Noordhoek’s Equestrian Economy, complied by Brigette Spaltman of the Noordhoek Riding Club (NRC), breaks down the numerous aspects of the equestrian economy. From the grooms, livery, animal feed and riding instructors, to the vets, farriers and the many local women who make a living making and repairing horse apparel. It also highlights the many skills development and upliftment programmes riding associations provide.
Brad Bing, Noordhoek Ratepayers Association Chairperson, says, “This report clearly shows why horses – such an integral part of our community – are also key to our local economy, skills development and employment. As the Ratepayers Association, we are committed to continuing and enhancing the rural feel of the valley. Through the spatial development programme, we have analysed what is important to maintain and where to build on the existing infrastructure. We encourage residents who own large pieces of land not to subdivide as the more development that takes place, the more the rural feel of the valley will dissipate,” he says.
“What we cannot afford is for the valley to lose the importance of the equestrian economy and end up with the situation that does not generate as many jobs nor as much revenue for our surrounding communities as the horses currently do,” he says. “Horses are the reason Noordhoek has the large open spaces and rural feel that we all love, and why this equestrian economy should be protected by all of us, riders or not,” says Bing.
“Noordhoek’s horses also generate value for the City of Cape Town. The Noordhoek Common, the heart of our village, gets paid as the venue for the riding shows. These funds are used to keep it in good condition for locals and tourists, which means the Common is self-sufficient and not a cost to the city. It also ensures we can all enjoy it.”
“Being known as a location for horses, means that larger properties and farms are protected by buyers wanting the space for their horses. This maintains the low-density rural feel, which adds to the desirability and therefore contributes significantly to the value of properties in Noordhoek. The increased property values mean increased revenue to the city,” says Bing.
Spaltman’s report also highlights the numerous businesses, not directly related to riding, that benefits from the horses, like B&B’s, restaurants, shops and the Farm Village. “Noordhoek is one of Cape Town’s must-see destinations and attracts thousands of local and international tourists every year because of its beauty, green spaces and tranquillity. It is part of the reason Cape Town is such a special place, and horses are key to this,” he says.
“This report proves the vital role horses play in our community’s economy. They are central to our community, not only because they ensure Noordhoek retains the green open spaces but also because of the thriving economy and jobs this industry generates,” says Bing.