Who we are

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To help create a better life for all in the Paarl-Franschhoek Valley by strategically investing the Foundation’s resources to demonstrate through action how we can help transform lives and restore the future.


The Val de Vie Foundation funds youth and leadership development as well as projects of a social/spiritual nature. The Foundation follows a holistic development approach in which it also offers mentorship and funding to budding entrepreneurs from disadvantaged communities to create much needed new jobs.

“To leave a legacy that will have a lasting, positive impact on the
Paarl-Franschhoek Valley as a whole.” – Martin Venter, Founder

Martin Venter


Val de Vie Estate and Val de Vie Foundation Founder, Martin Venter, is a successful property developer with a vision to create wealth for all. That vision has resulted in a world class, award winning wellness estate that has provided an amazing return on investment for its homeowners. Yet, his passion is to uplift and develop all who live in the Paarl-Franschhoek Valley, providing new employment on the estate and founding the Val de Vie Foundation. Martin’s company has generously provided the financial foundation to kick start the Foundation and he welcomes all homeowners and stakeholders to join him on this road to a more perfect Valley.

Nationbuilder, an organisation committed to good giving, has called the Val de Vie Foundation a trail blazing model which more and more estates should follow.

Sarel Rossouw


Financial Director and a key member of the Val de Vie Management team, Sarel is also the backbone of the Val de Vie Foundation. He provides the skillset in finance to ensure transparent and accountable reporting and corporate governance, a critical component of a flourishing Foundation. He is also a Val de Vie homeowner and a dedicated family man whose passion is to build communities and translate Martin’s vision both on the estate and in the running of the Foundation.

Simone de Wet


Simone proves that old adage that when you need to get something done, give it to the busiest person around! She seems to juggle hundreds of balls in the air, simultaneously running her Val de Vie Events company, her young family in conjunction with her understanding husband, and always thinking in pictures when it comes to the Foundation. She grasps every opportunity to make a difference in others’ lives, whether it is mentoring or offering the services of herself and staff at no charge to the Foundation.

She pictures a Valley where every child has a decent education, has food on the table and has a loving family to nourish their souls.

John Wilkinson


Chartered Accountant (S.A.) and Certified Information Systems Auditor. He has worked in IT Risk Assurance and Consulting for more than 30 years, 22.5 years of which as a Partner / Director in the Risk Assurance practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Cape Town. During his time at PwC, John was responsible for the information systems components of the statutory audits of a number of PwC’s JSE listed clients in the Retail and Financial Services industries.

John retired from PwC at the end of June 2020 to spend more time with his family, to travel and to fully live out his passion for photography.  John joined the Val de Vie HOA Board of Trustees at the beginning of 2021 and is also a member of the Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC) sub-committee.

John has been married to his wife Catherine for thirty years and they have two children, a daughter and a son. They have lived in Val de Vie for 9 years.

Clifford van der Venter


Clifford and his wife Myrna have been proud Val de Vie Estate homeowners for 5 years.

Clifford is a trustee of Val de Vie Estate and the Val de Vie Foundation. He brings more than 30 years experience in the corporate world, of which he served as Executive Director for a number of multi-nationals including Caltex (Chevron),
Unilever and BAT. He now works as an independent Business Consultant and Executive Coach.

Apart from his broad business experience and an obvious passion for people, Clifford is deeply committed to playing a role in ensuring that the benefits of living in our beautiful Valley are enjoyed by all our people.

“We cannot ignore the fact that many of our surrounding communities are living under very challenging conditions and I believe that we have a responsibility to contribute towards realizing the vision of a better life for all.”

Marli van Schalkwyk


Marli is a consummate media and marketing professional, who adds her magic to the Val de Vie Foundation’s team as its Manager. With a career background as head of marketing for local and international brands, including the management of numerous NPO programmes for these organisations, Marli is responsible for the communications and awareness of the Val de Vie Foundation’s generous work.

Marli is able to draw on her experience as the Marketing Manager of the award-winning Val de Vie Estate, where she has also lived since 2017. She is immensely proud of the positive difference that Val de Vie Estate, through the Val de Vie Foundation, makes in the lives of others.

Lorraine Hadfield


Lorraine and her husband Tim returned to South Africa in 2014, after 12 years in the USA. Their research brought them to Val de Vie Estate, which they characterise as ’their slice of Heaven’.  Lorraine held SVP and President roles in The Nielsen Company and Ipsos in New York City. She also brings extensive marketing knowledge from her time as Marketing Director of South African based organisations like Pillsbury, Enterprise Foods and Tastic Rice. She views this next stage of her life as the best chapter yet, with her greatest wish to make a meaningful difference in the lives of the disadvantaged communities in the Valley.

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