Conference gives new impetus to black empowerment

Conference gives new impetus to black empowerment News Wine News
  • Wednesday 17 September 2003

Wine leaders in South Africa are set to meet in Cape Town at the end of October to discuss Black Empowerment in a white-dominated industry.

Marked for the 31st October - 1st November, the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) Conference was organised by the South African Wine Industry Trust (SAWIT) in order to debate the successes and failures of black empowerment in the wine sector. The Trust hopes to achieve the smooth integration of black players into the industry.

The conference will be attended by the Department of Agriculture, the SAWIT, commercial representatives, black entrepreneurs already in the industry, local community representatives, wine producers, co-operatives and distributors.

The SAWIT's agenda is both ethically and financially motivated. Gavin Pieterse, head of the SAWIT said, 'SAWIT is an organisation committed to the transformation and growth of historically disadvantaged individuals within the South African wine industry as well as commercial development and promotion'.

One example of what the BEE conference hopes to achieve may be found in the growth of Re-Invest– a black-owned company – as it announced the forthcoming launch of its own wine label Lindiwe. Re-Invest hope to attain a 5% share in the South African market by 2005.

Regarding the example of Re-Invest, chief executive of the South African Wine and Brandy Company (SAWBC), Johan van Rooyen, said 'if we create the appropriate environment, you will find many of these initiatives coming up'.

The SAWBC, the overall industry body, and the SAWIT are co-hosts of the conference.

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