In 1930, when the staff of the then South African Railways and Harbours (SAR&H) in Cape Town felt that the English language dominated their workplace, the staff members found the Afrikaanse Taal en Kultuurvereniging (ATKV). The aim of the founding members was to demonstrate that Afrikaans was important to staff. Later popular Afrikaans music concerts followed, and in 1936, the ATKV bought the farm Hartenbos as a holiday resort for members of the organisation. Today, the ATKV boasts 70,000 paying members or more than 220,000 family members. The ATKV is a unique entity, as it is a self-funded non-profit organisation, which allows the organisation to focus directly on its strategy to be a marketer of Afrikaans and to grow the Afrikaans culture in an inclusive manner, to the benefit of all South Africans. The ATKV is about Afrikaans and the way the language informs culture. The ATKV’s focus areas determine their activities, defined as arts, language, education, and community programmes. The ATKV’s business division includes seven superb South-African holiday resorts, offering affordable yet quality accommodation and facilities. The ATKV also owns and operates two lifestyle retirement developments and recently started construction on a lifestyle retail development at Hartenbos.
Whilst the beginning was rooted in the preservation of Afrikaans, through an organisation mainly devoted to the white Afrikaans-speaking community, the ATKV has grown into an organisation that is inclusive of all races and languages in everything the organisation does. The strategy of the ATKV is to be a marketer of Afrikaans and to leverage the Afrikaans speaking community to the betterment of South Africa and all of its citizens. The brand is one of trust, quality, integrity, and reflects the organisation’s cultural and business activities. The brand is categorised as caring, trustworthy and wise, supportive and preferring to make an impact through actions rather than words.
As marketers of Afrikaans, the ATKV practices Afrikaans language and culture in a creative and inclusive way and sees itself as a responsible citizen who contributes to making South Africa successful. The ATKV is renowned for its art and culture projects and has a rich history of 88 years.