The South African Wine Industry Council (Sawic), after almost four years of intensive consultation and deliberation between representatives of all major industry stakeholders, has finally approved the Wine BEE Transformation Charter and will submit the document to government for adoption as a 12 charter. he charter, which is aimed at ensuring the long-term sustainability of the industry, provides a clear statement of intent and commits all role-players to transformation of the industry, Prof Kader Asmal, chairperson of Sawic, said at a media briefing following a Sawic board meeting. Three enterprise categories I n line with the Codes of Good Practice published by government in February this year, the Wine Charter identifies three categories for scoring purposes: large enterprises with an annual turnover above R35 million are required to comply with all seven scorecard elements; small enterprises with a turnover of between R5 million and R35 million are judged on four of the seven elements; and micro-enterprises with a turnover below R5 million – which includes almost 80% of wine grape farms – will be exempt from the provisions of the charter.
Upliftment and transformation H owever all enterprises, irrespective of whether they are large, small or micro-, will have to contribute to upliftment and transformation to ensure that those who labour to create wealth are treated with dignity and that there are opportunities for all. This was a social obligation, Asmal said. E xempt businesses are especially urged to become involved in skills development, rural development and poverty alleviation. Asmal said strategies were being created to reward participants for their efforts. nterprises earning above R5 million will have to use the generic scorecard in the Codes of Good Practice to measure their status.
This arrangement will remain in place pending a decision to apply for a Section 9 Code, whereafter the industry scorecard will obtain legal status. Asmal is optimistic that the minister of Agriculture will not have any objections to the charter, as it is based on and substantially aligned with the Codes of Good Practice on Black Economic Empowerment that were published by government in February. “The minister might complain about the absence of a scorecard, but am certain that she won’t find anything to object to in the gist of the document,” he said. – Glenneis Erasmus