Monday, November 28, 2016

SOUTH AFRICA - Cape Town's Vineyard

"Cape Town's urban vineyard could revitalize the city's poor" PBS NewsHour 11/24/2016


SUMMARY:  South Africa is known for its breathtaking vineyards -- but the poor urban settlements of Cape Town are not.  Yet here, too, farmers are relying on growing grapes to support themselves, in a community where the average annual income is only $1800.  The Township Winery represents an experiment that could revolutionize the socio-economics of the city.  Special correspondent Martin Seemungal reports.

JOHN YANG (NewsHour):  From food to drink, our Thanksgiving meal theme continues with a story about a new vintage from South Africa.

Special correspondent Martin Seemungal brings us the story of some fledgling vintners trying their hands at the ancient craft in the unlikeliest of places.

MARTIN SEEMUNGAL, Special correspondent:  South Africa`s breathtaking vineyards near Cape Town, perfectly manicured estates spreading for miles in every direction, famous for world class wines.  But a world away, from the sprawling townships on the outskirts of the city — infamous for forced resettlement of mixed race and black South Africans, for crime and poverty — you have to look pretty hard to find a common link — but it is there, one little square among a sea of shacks,  a man planting a vineyard.

Manelisi Mapukata is part of an innovative collective; growing wine grapes in small plots that will one day make wine.  `The township winery started production using grapes from those traditional winemaking areas, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinotage, but the labels are unique… The Flats, Philippi, names from this part of town.  Ultimately, more and more of the grapes will come from these tiny township plots.

MANELISI MAPUKATA, Vineyard Farmer:  I feel proud about it because if just give me enough time also I will learn more about grapes.  How it`s important to have in our townships.  People can learn.  People can come to visit also to see what is happening.

MARTIN SEEMUNGAL:  The vines he is planting here won`t actually be ready to bear fruit for another three years, but after that, he will have a guaranteed harvest every year, and that means a guaranteed income.

That guaranteed income is an enormously important project to the farmers.  Many have spent years growing and selling vegetables and have been at the mercy of fluctuating prices.  Those empty rows in a section of this small plot will soon be growing grapes and ultimately earn annually as much as all vegetables combined.
Lulama says it will change their lives.

LULAMA, Vineyard Farmer:  It means that we want to generate more income so that we can put bread on the table for our children and the generations to come.

MARTIN SEEMUNGAL:  They stand to double what they are making now.  The average income here is roughly $1,800 a year.  Easy to understand why people are energized, why word is spreading.

Nomhle Zondani is marketing the Township Winery internationally, and here in South Africa, she also has to manage expectations among these first time growers.

NOMHLE ZONDANI, Marketer, The Township Winery:  Its not going to be an easy money making scheme.  You`re not going to get rich in like two years.  So, within that five years, you will get exposure.  We will bring people to say this is an idea that we have we would love to grow it and after five years, we would then we will have this whatever grape we can harvest from those vines.

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