Russians are here, seeking our wine

Deputy Minister Magwanishe addressing the opening session of the Russia Wine Inward Buying Mission in Cape Town, as the dti’s Foreign Economic Representative in Russia, Mr Moloko Leshaba and the CEO of Wesgro, Mr Tim Harris listen.

Russian wine buyers are in town, and the government is steering them towards black producers.

Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Bulelani Magwanishe announced that a Russian Wine Inward Buying Mission that started in Cape Town this week is part of government’s efforts to accelerate transformation.

Fourteen black winemakers based in the Western Cape and another based in Eastern Cape were introduced to the visitors,

“This inward buying mission is one of the initiatives aimed at changing the patterns of ownership, participation and management control in the wine industry in favour of the previously disadvantaged people. This initiative seeks to increase exports of South African wines to the Russian market, and simultaneously contribute to our transformation efforts within the wine industry,” said Magwanishe.

“Wine production, as part of agro-processing, is a priority sector identified in our Industrial Policy Action Plan. As government we remain in the pursuit of a constructive drive to overcome key constraints affecting manufacturing-led and value-added growth,” said Magwanishe.

He added that the South African wine industry has produced exponential growth, with exports having more than doubled between 2005 and 2016. It has created 300 000 direct and indirect jobs.

Speaking at the same event, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, General Bheki Cele said the two departments would continue to work together to support the primary and secondary levels of the wine industry.

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