What are the annual dues and fees?
We are well aware that we are living in difficult economic times and that many existing and potential community members will inevitably be financially constrained throughout the process of developing their site. We would therefore like to keep any monthly/yearly fees as minimal as possible so as to ensure that the majority of the funds are allocated to establishing a site.
There are however certain farm expenses which benefit the whole community which cannot be avoided. As such, both villagers and homesteaders are required to contribute financially in the form of yearly/monthly fees. These funds contribute towards expenses such as:
- Maintenance to roads and water infrastructure.
- Rates & Taxes.
- Fire Insurance
Fees due will therefore depend on a variety of factors which will be agreed to upfront during the joining process.
What are the community service requirements?
We encourage all members to partake in community gatherings and projects as much as possible to ensure we maintain a healthy and vibrant sense of community spirit and regenerate the farm as a whole beyond our individual sites.
We currently meet together every Sunday evening at 6pm in the main hall for group meditation followed by a brief reading and discussion.
We also try to make sure that we have at least 2 communal feasts/gatherings a month where each unit prepares a meal to bring.
We have also started a reforestation project on the farm where we slowly start cutting back the black wattle and planting indigenous trees in their place. This takes place once a month for a few hours on a Saturday morning.
If I leave do I get my joining fee back?
The joining fee is not refundable.
What are new members paying for when they join?
We are currently in the process of rezoning the farm to allow for new members to legally sign long-term leases for their sites. The initial buy-in fee therefore does not grant you title deeds to your site, but you will be allowed to occupy the space permanently with the option to either "sell" your site to someone else or to pass it down to your next of kin, provided the new buyer /next of kin is compatible with the ethos of the community.
Community members are given co-stewardship of the land and are entitled to make full use of the community space and infrastructure such as the hall and workshop for any personal needs. They are also given the option to attend community meetings and to play a role in determining the farm's future, provided they show commitment and support in sharing the burden of the administrative, social, physical and cultural work required to create a thriving intentional community.
Members will not be asked to pay for any farm expenses such as maintenance or upgrades to communal infrastructure as these costs will be generated by The Hill and the monthly membership fees.
What are Khula Dharma's current expenses?
Annual Operating Expenses: Wages, rates and taxes, farm insurance, maintenance and upgrades to community buildings and water/energy infrastructure, establishing a communal food forest, road repair.
What are Khula Dhrma's sources of income?
We have been undergoing a slow and steady change of ownership over the past few years abd we are therefore only in the early phases of establishing ways of generating an income.
The farm is currently funded largely by donations from the current farm owner. The Hill currently makes a small income from selling its produce and from joining, membership and visitors fees. We have also begun running courses and immersive workshops centred around natural farming and sustainable living as a means to generate larger amounts of steady income.
Our vision is to establish a processing centre on the hill which will be equipped to be able to add value to crops such as nuts and moringa, as well as any other products produced by community members. These value-added products can then be sold/traded on the farm or sold at nearby farmers markets.
What is the current ownership structure on the farm?
The farm is currently owned by a single owner who has 100% shares of the Khula Dharma CC in which the title deeds for the farm are situated. Whilst other community members do not own any shares in the farm, everyone partakes in community meetings and is given a voice during the decision-making process, especially when it comes to issues which affect the entire community. The owner is committed to ensuring the long term stability and security of all members.
If Khula Dharma is disbanded as a community or undergoes a change of ownership structure, what would the implications for members be?
We are in the processing of writing up a constitution for the farm in which we intend to include a formal agreement on land use and common rights as site holders. This agreement will seek to ensure that you will possess the right to legally occupy your site indefinitely, regardless of the ownership structure on the farm.
The current owner has already expressed a genuine interest in ensuring the long-term safety and security of the community members by making an existing member a beneficiary of the trust which owns the farm and any funds required to keep the Khula Dharma vision alive.
We are also looking into other options regarding how to legally structure the farm in a way which is most suitable for establishing an intentional community such as transferring the farm into a trust whereby members either become trustees or beneficiaries and are recognized as co-stewards/custodians of the land with no hierarchy.
There are a number of complex bureaucratic issues associated with these legal processes and it may take some time before we are able to come to some sort of resolution which will benefit everyone.