Press releases

Woman’s Month – Katy September

“With God in one hand, anything is possible,” says Katy September, reflecting on a life in which the hard knocks were overcome with faith and a will to succeed. The recounting of her life is a veritable reflection of the challenges most female farmworkers encounter and a lesson in overcoming them. Her dream of joining the navy was thwarted early on in life, and like many young girls in the Cape winelands, she was forced to join her parents as farmworkers. “Growing up on the Kromme Rhee Farm, I used to swim in the dams and developed a love for the water. In my final school year, I applied to join the SA Navy, in order to chart a new

Read More »

Woman’s Month – Jo-Anne Mettler

Jo-Anne Mettler exudes a charm, elegance and eloquence that is refl ective of her accomplished career, despite being forced to overcome challenges with grace. Born in Cape Town, her family relocated to Zambia when Jo-Anne was just three, the eldest of four siblings. “It was shortly after Zambia’s independence and my Dad took advantage of a career opportunity and set the family into a self-imposed exile,” says Jo-Anne. Reflecting on her early life in Zambia, Jo-Anne is grateful that her Dad took that very bold decision affording the family the right not to be deemed second-class citizens in the land of their birth. “I was raised in a wonderfully cosmopolitan environment, where I had friends of every colour and nationality.

Read More »

Woman’s Month – Joyene Isaacs

“I am an African, I’m an agriculturalist and I’m a female African Agriculturalist living my passion,” says Joyene Isaacs, chairperson of the Agricultural Research Council and not only one of the longest serving Heads of Department of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, but also in the agricultural sector as a whole. Looking back on her almost two-decade role at the helm of agriculture in the province, in which time she had the singular honour of consistently receiving unqualifi ed audits, Isaacs says, “I just did my job. If everyone just did their jobs, and did them properly, our country would be much better off.” Growing up in the small rural village of Jamestown, on the outskirts of Stellenbosch, she

Read More »

Woman’s Month – Margaret Newman

If there is to be a doyenne of the South African wine industry, Margaret Newman is it. The sprightly 90-year-old’s life is a veritable reflection of the metamorphosis of the sector, as it is of the challenges faced by women in general, and women of colour in particular. Her parents and siblings played a leading role in the local Holy Trinity Anglican Church, school and the wider Paarl community. “I am a woman of great faith,” says Margaret, ascribing her peaceful, cheerful demeanour to her longevity. Living alone in her lovely garden cottage in a Cape Town suburb, she is proudly independent. “I drive, cook, clean, scrub, even sweep the street outside my home,” says the impeccably mannered nonagenarian. Eschewing

Read More »

Tshililo Ronald Ramabulana appointed Chairperson

Tshililo Ronald Ramabulana brings a wealth of experience to Chair the South African Wine Industry Transformation Unit Board The South African Wine Industry Transformation NPC (SAWITU) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Tshililo Ronald Ramabulana as Board Chair with immediate effect. Mr. Ramabulana brings to the position more than 2 decades of expertise in the agricultural sector. With a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Economics, Ramabulana previously served as CEO of the National Agricultural Marketing Council, in which capacity he worked closely with the Ministry on aspects including marketing, exports, competitiveness and transformation. In this capacity he was instrumental in setting up various industry-related organisations. He is currently the CEO of a subtropical fruit and vegetables drying company based

Read More »

Black-owned wine brands make history at ProWine China

Eleven black-owned wine brands, which included Libby’s Pride, Thokozani, Bayede!, Cape Dreams, Carmen Stevens Wines, La RicMal, Koni Wines, Lathitha, M’hudi, Women in Wine and Bridge of Hope Wines made history as the biggest delegation to attend the annual ProWine China trade show in Shanghai, China from 12 – 14 November 2019. This is due to a partnership between the SA Wine Industry Transformation Unit (SAWITU) and the Western Cape Department of Agriculture who financially supported the brands to participate, some of them for the first time. “Our investment in the black-owned brands to participate in this trade show is especially aligned with one of the Wine Industry Strategic Exercise (WISE) objectives that identified China, Africa and the USA as

Read More »