Dutch director Paula van der Oest is directing the project, which will be her first English-language feature after previous films including Oscar nominated Zus & Zo.
Riba is the lead producer on the Euros 7m project, and co-producers are German Pandora Film and South African Unital Film. The UK's Future Films may also come on board.
Jonker was a well-known and acclaimed white poet living in the South Africa of the 1950s and 1960s. Her mother went mad and died young, while her father - who rejected her and left her to be raised by black servants - rose within the ranks of the apartheid government.
The film has been presented at Rotterdam's 2005 Cinemart with Dutch director Willem van de Sande Bakhuyzen. Later that year, the 47-year old filmmaker passed away of cancer.
Before Smoke and Ochre, Van Houten stars in Dorothy Mills, a new psychological thriller by Agnes Merlet.