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Finweek English Edition - - ENTREPRENEUR -

Over the past 17 years the wheels of BEE have turned with in­creas­ing mo­men­tum in the South African wine in­dus­try, with the wine com­mu­nity be­com­ing in­volved in em­pow­er­ment projects. Gov­ern­ment and agri­cul­tural in­dus­tries have also sup­ported the trans­for­ma­tion of the sec­tor lead­ing to a grow­ing num­ber of agribusi­nesses owned by pre­vi­ously dis­ad­van­taged in­di­vid­u­als.

The quan­ti­ties and qual­ity of emerg­ing agribusi­nesses’ pro­duce is also im­prov­ing ex­tremely well. Need­less to say, so­cial ac­count­abil­ity extends be­yond fair labour prac­tices to a trans­fer of skills and, ul­ti­mately, own­er­ship in an in­dus­try that has his­tor­i­cally been white-owned.

There are now a num­ber of black-owned wine ven­tures in South Africa, as well as oth­ers struc­tured to be­come en­tirely black owned over time, with shareholding fi­nanced from prof­its.

Trans­for­ma­tion is also oc­cur­ring across the value chain, with pref­er­en­tial pro­cure­ment ini­tia­tives en­cour­ag­ing long-es­tab­lished mem­bers of the in­dus­try to use BEE sup­pli­ers. What are some of the ma­jor chal­lenges the BEE wine­mak­ers are fac­ing and how can th­ese be over­come?

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