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Ntsiki Biyela ventures into uncharted territory

Ntsiki Biyela, founder of Aslina Wines has recently been announced as the new brand ambassador of Subaru Southern Africa. When SAWITU (South African Wine Industry Transformation Unit) chatted to her about this wonderful achievement, it became very clear why this match was written in the stars! The similarities between Ntsiki’s story and the Subaru brand is almost uncanny, but so relevant for this newly formed partnership. “My life is a story of endurance and going where no-one has gone before.  This is what the Subaru brand means to me”, says Ntsiki.  She will be testing out three different Subaru models, the Forester, Outback and XV to find the one she likes most, which is indicative of how she selects the

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SAWITU collaborates with labour unions to advance transformation through training and development

The South African Wine Industry Transformation Unit (SAWITU) continuously engages with stakeholder groups to advance transformation on multiple levels in the wine industry.   One of these levels is training and development. Although SAWITU has been funding qualifying students to further their education at tertiary institutions, they also identified a need for assistance to primary and secondary production workers.  The organisation therefore collaborates with labour unions to facilitate training and skills development for farm and cellar workers in the wine producing regions. “SAWITU is committed to working in collaboration with labour unions to uplift and empower workers in the wine industry, “says Wendy Petersen, Operations Manager of SAWITU.  “One of the ways in which we do this, is to fund training

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Lifelong dream becomes reality for Dawid Diederiks of Klein Môrewag

Klein Môrewag, a grape producing farm in the Swartland district of the Western Cape has been home to Dawid Diederiks for most of his life.  It is on this very farm that Dawid worked as a farm labourer for more than thirty years before his dream became reality and he was granted farming rights by the state in 2012. At the same time, Perdeberg Wines was looking for a new grape supplier when their paths crossed with Klein Môrewag.  This was the start of a strategic partnership between the farm and the winery, with Perdeberg providing operational funds, mentorship and a long-term grape supply agreement to Klein Môrewag.  “The supply agreement enabled Perdeberg to issue Dawid shares in the company

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Akkedisberg Boerdery, a small start to a growing enterprise

In a narrow valley of the Kleinrivier Mountains in the Overberg District is the Dreyer’s Family vineyards called Raka Wines. This is the southernmost mountain range in Africa and its slopes provide a variety of soil types ideally suited for vineyards. With breezes from Walker Bay and Agulhas, the Klein River wine district is cooler than the traditional wine growing areas of the Cape. It is here that a group of farm workers started growing their own vineyards. The Dreyer Family is involved with different businesses across several sectors and have been staunch supporters of employee empowerment. In 2013, the Raka Empowerment Trust was formed for 20 of their farm workers. This led to the development of Akkedisberg Boerdery Pty

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Elethu’s growth an inspiration of true empowerment

Elethu is a 62ha grape farm near Bonnievale in the Breede River Valley. Surrounded by rugged mountains, the valley is climatically diverse and known to be the largest fruit and wine producing valley in the Western Cape. Elethu was awarded to the Bonnievale Workers Empowerment Trust by the Langeberg Municipality in 2007.  At the time, the farm was in need of development, but it has since been cultivated with 24.2 ha of vineyards, producing white and red grape varietals.  The farm is a producer member of the Bonnievale Wine Group (BWG). “Making a success of a long-term perennial crop require meticulous planning from Elethu’s management, and seeing the farm produce high quality grapes and good yield over the years makes

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De Goree, a sterling example of successful employee empowerment

Nestled between the striking mountain ranges of Langeberg and Riviersonderend and with the graceful Breede River running through it, is the Robertson Wine Valley. It is here that the Retief family, owners of Van Loveren Family Vineyards successfully concluded the historic Black Economic Empowerment land reform partnership with employees and pensioners back in 2004. The De Goree farm has since been awarded the National Agri BEE project of the Year in 2008 and has expanded its operation from 50 to 80 hectares wine grapes and pears. We chatted to Phillip Retief, Managing Director of Van Loveren Family Vineyards. What was the motivation behind this Employees Trust? In the mid-2000’s Van Loveren was in a growing phase and the De Goree

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