Growth potential in SA table grape industry

Cape Town- The table grape industry provides over 29 000 direct jobs in the Western Cape each year.

About 65% of the total table grape production volumes in SA is generated in the Western Cape.

These figures were shared at the South Africa Table Grape Industry's annual general meeting.

In 2014/2015, R183m in income was generated on farms with black ownership and 660 black beneficiaries are involved in 32 farming businesses countrywide. The industry provides 11 000 full-time and 42 000 seasonal jobs valued at R950m in wages per year nationally.

The industry makes a significant contribution to downstream production income – R3.2bn to other product input providers, R720m to packaging material suppliers and R250m to logistics suppliers. The industry’s contribution towards SA's gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated at over R3bn.

At the AGM Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde said the numbers were encouraging and added that the Western Cape government would continue to support the industry to grow.
“One of the ways in which we are currently partnering with the SA Table Grade Industry (Sati) is through the Fruit Logistica Asia Expo. We need to ensure that our agri-businesses have access to markets and the right support to grow their enterprises. These programmes will continue to be key priorities,” said Winde.

“In the Western Cape, we have set ourselves on the path to ensure a 70% success rate of all the land reform projects in which we invest. Over the next three years, we will support 4 195 new farmers to take their businesses to the next level. The SA Table Grape Industry are a valued partner in this mission.”

He said a key priority was improving local agri-processing capacity to boost production for domestic and key export markets.

“To develop more product for processing, including table grapes, we are continuing work on the Greater Brandvlei Irrigation Project. By increasing the height of the Brandvlei Dam’s inlet canal, we will be able to irrigate another 4 400 hectares of land in the Breede and Langeberg municipalities," said Winde.

"This project will deliver a significant job creation boost, adding up to 8 000 jobs to our economy. We are executing this project in concert with an intergovernmental team encompassing 11 departments.”  

Michael Laubscher, chairperson of Sati, said: the table grape industry has a high growth potential and it is labour intensive.

"This industry is the ideal partner of government to pursue and achieve the following National Development Plan goals and objectives, job creation, rural development and the earning of foreign revenue, crucially important for our quite vulnerable balance of payments,” said Laubscher.

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