Stellenbosch has a variety of dynamic residents whose stories are interwoven with the town.
In our new series, we ask local Stellenbossers questions about their experience of our lovely town. For this post, we’ve asked Francois Smuts to tell us more. He is a very successful businessman, MD of Evesis Software, and had been Chairman of the Board of Technopark SRA.
– How did you come to be in Stellenbosch?
My grandfather, Prof. Frans Smuts, was a professor in the Classical Cultures Department at Stellenbosch University teaching Latin for about 30 years. This brought me to Stellenbosch as a Computer Science student in 1998 to begin with.
After completing my computer studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands during 2002, I decided to move back to Stellenbosch to start a software development business. I completed my Master’s degree in Commerce and Logistics while building my enterprise in the software development realm, offering services to mobile telecommunications operators and banks across emerging market Africa, which I still do today.
– What are your best memories of Stellenbosch?
Having studied here, those memories are firmly embedded in one’s memory banks. Not so much the good social atmosphere and friendships cultured alike, but also the late nights studying and long hours of writing thousands of lines of code when starting out a new business in a very challenging industry.
– What are the best thing(s) about Stellenbosch?
Its people, rich (from a knowledge perspective) and diverse. People here are world wise and experienced and like sharing their knowledge, which young people can learn a great deal from, if they are willing to listen. Also, the history of the place is one of a kind in South Africa and the way it has been conserved, must be admired.
My grandfather was part of the establishment of the Historical Homes organization which Dr. Anton Rupert financed at the time of establishment. However, if it was not for my grandfather, the seed would never have been planted. This was before the existence of SARHA or Monuments Council SA, who now looks after the National Heritage of our country, but in those days there was no one protecting the old buildings. The protection of and maintenance of the historical architecture of Stellenbosch, is what makes it such an amazing town for tourists as well as students and residents.
– What has changed the most in Stellenbosch?
It is a dynamic town, embracing change and the way in which it leads in terms of new technology, developments and cross cultural integration, while maintaining the status quo is to be admired. It would be an insult to the town, to say that this one thing is what deserves attention in terms of change. It is the change and dynamic adoption thereof, which is itself the biggest change.
– If you had to describe Stellenbosch in one word, what would it be?
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