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Mike Ratcliffe on black empowerment in South Africa

This show was published 07 September 2007


Mike Ratcliffe is Deputy Chairman of South African Wine Industry Trust and General Manager of Warwick Estate. We talk about black economic empowerment and how the trust is helping disadvantaged people to get into the wine industry.

Mike's definition of black economic empowerment is about empowering people to take their rightful place in an industry by giving them the tools to make an active contribution. It is not about giving them money. After 3-4 years of apartheid the distribution of opportunity in the wine industry was unfairly allocated. The South African industry is predominantly white owned yet the workforce is predominantly black. Ultimately, for a successful society you have to aim for a more equitable distribution of assets.

An example of the programmes the trust funds is the Protegy Programme which helps mentor black winemakers and viticulturists to work their way up the industry. The programme encourages young people to partner with established players rather than try to go it alone. The protegies have the opportunity to gain international experience working in vineyards and bring that invaluable life experience back to South Africa.


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The music used for the UK Wine Show is Griffes de Jingle 1 by Marcel de la Jartèle and Silence by Etoile Noire.

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