'Foreign ownership of wine farms brings huge spin-offs for SA'
"Without foreign owners and their hard currency South Africa would be in the vinous dark ages" writes Michael Fridjhon in a new article.
The international wine expert's piece Thank heavens for the overseas money behind Cape wines appears on Business Day.
Most of these foreign investors bought wine estates after 1994, says Fridjhon in conversation with Bruce Whitfield.
In other words, people looked at South Africa's investment prospects post the democratic elections and obviously had expectations that this would be an investor-sympathetic environment.Michael Fridjhon, International wine expert - Wine Wizard
And they've poured in a lot of money, they really have.Michael Fridjhon, International wine expert - Wine Wizard
In global terms it is actually a small investment, but it is an investment we need because it is a sector that we desperately need for our recovery.Bruce Whitfield, The Money Show host
This investment provides economic stimulus for the agricultural sector, particularly in the Western Cape.
The wine industry is a huge employer as we learned, grievously, during lockdown. There are 260,000 people directly or indirectly employed and then there's the downstream employment...Michael Fridjhon, International wine expert - Wine Wizard
Fridjhon says the trophy estates in foreign hands make up a list of the kind of places people go to when they visit South Africa.
And there's a huge knock-on effect that comes from having proper investments in wine and the beautiful estate venues on show.
The important part that we also forget that one day the tourists will come back.Michael Fridjhon, International wine expert - Wine Wizard
South African wine tourism is considered alongside the Kruger Park and other safari destinations as the primary reason for European and American tourismMichael Fridjhon, International wine expert - Wine Wizard
If they[wine estates] were under-invested in and still in the same run-down state they were in when the foreign investors bought, there would be far less reason for those tourists to come.Michael Fridjhon, International wine expert - Wine Wizard
It is great for Brand South Africa, Fridjhon concludes.
But I think there is within the government a particular resentment about the wine industry and the Western Cape (for different reasons) and they don't see it as an asset. Instead they want to fight old fights... instead of supporting it and seeing what it can do to lead our recovery.Michael Fridjhon, International wine expert - Wine Wizard
Listen to the complete conversation in the audio clip below:
Source : https://previews.123rf.com/images/bennymarty/bennymarty1610/bennymarty161000118/65320946-rows-of-grapes-in-picturesque-stellenbosch-wine-region-with-thelema-mountain-in-background-the-viney.jpg