Project Background

SAWIT’s definition for framing land reform includes the alteration in societal arrangements in respect of possession and use of land which involves the redistribution and restitution of land, tenure reform, rural development and rural livelihoods, as well as the redefinition of the character and legal status of land rights. However the costs related to suitable agricultural land for viticulture often far exceed any other form of agricultural enterprise mainly due to location, demand and competitive alternatives such as property developments, making it even more difficult to fund and leverage land for transformation. Furthermore, viticulture is capital intensive and marked by relatively low levels of profitability, especially within the first 5 to 7 year period thus limiting new entrants at the level of primary agriculture.Additional incentives are necessary to support land reform, or the wine industry cannot be transformed. Many of the transformational ventures have included partial forms of land redistribution and where it has most has been provided to large community groupings or conceptualised in integrated business ventures. To date, the outcome has been limited, and little sustainability has been attained. The Charter has proposed that bonus points be added to the ownership element to reward participation in projects with larger land components and bolster transformation, yet very little land has been accessed or transferred!

We find it necessary to ask:

•    What has been achieved and what can be done to further access to land, redistribution and sustainability?
•    Can the concept of land reform be broadened and speak to all the components of the Wine Transformation Charter and include the full Wine value chain and so doing, stimulate transformation?
•    What types of reform that exist are foundational?
•    What is sustainable?
    What should be improved, how can they be improved, and
•    What options could still be developed?

Project Strategy

To answer these and other questions, the project will undertake a baseline study of 9 different existing BEE initiatives as case studies which will be informed by the indicators of a previous land reform baseline released by Vinpro & Nedcor in 2004. In addition to this, a focused review of the virtual winery models in partnership with WIDA, will be undertaken to assess their sustainability and viability as components to or building blocks towards land reform.

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