HISTORY OF TKABIES
The name Tkabies is a Khoi or Nama word which means “Place of the Bush”. In 1904 Henry Carl Turner bought the farm Tkabies from the estate of Nicolaas (Klaas) Bok for £5 037-10-0 which was just more than 6 455 Morgan 271 Square Rod. Deed 5047 was transferred five years later on 10 November 1909. Henry Carl Turner, born on 24 August 1854, was a widower with three sons when he married Johanna Jacoba Maria (Hannie) Burger. Two sons James Alexander and Cornelus Van Wyk and two daughters Anna Claudina Francina and Martha were born from this marriage. Henry was 35 years older than Hannie and when he died at the age of 77 on 26 June 1931, the 42 year old widow took over the farming activities in the throes of the Great Depression that started in 1929 and lasted until 1934.
The sudden lack of demand destroyed prices of commodities that were profitable to many farmers. A large portion of the agricultural industry was unable to repay mortgages on their over-capitalized farms. But Hannie was a very resourceful woman who understood business as well as the practical aspects of farming. During the Depression years she sold fruit in season to the railway workers who were of the few who possessed cash to save for taxes. She also rented out large portions of the farm to people who arrived destitute with only the clothes on their back. The agreement would allow them to farm free of charge for two years and only pay a rental from then onwards. Many of these people stayed for a year of rent free farming only to move on never to be heard from again. She also had good tenants like the Crafford, Du Plessis Burger and Nel families who would give her a portion of whatever they harvested because there was no money to pay the rent. The portion North of the river she farmed in her own capacity and the rest she rented out to one Karel van der Westhuizen for ten years at £100 per year and later £110 per year.
Hannie obtained the help of Ben Burger of Keimoes to make 12 inch cement pipes and during the drought of 1933 he helped her to lay these cement pipes from the canal through the dry riverbed to Sandkop Island. Ben received his piece of land rent free from her for five years. Hannie was one of the first farmers in the area to farm with Karakul sheep. Second and third generations of three of Henry and Hannie’s four children currently farm Tkabies where vineyards fill the biggest portion of the fertile soil. Grapes not used for raisin production are delivered to the local Orange River Cellar Co-op for wine production.