New CWA Trust chairperson Raymond Ndlovu on the state of the SA wine industry and the way forward for the CWA Auction

Tuesday, 30 April, 2019
Cape Wine Auction
The Cape Wine Auction this year raised more than R15 million and its Trust has now amassed nearly R88 million since the first auction was held in 2014. It is regarded as one of the most significant international wine charity auctions ever conceived in South Africa, uniting the industry around a single goal of raising money for education in the Cape winelands.

At the closure of this year's auction, Raymond Ndlovu was announced as the new chairperson of the Cape Wine Auction Trust, having been made a trustee in 2016, Ndlovu is perfectly positioned to grow the Trust thanks to his vast experience in both business and winemaking.
Ndlovu is an investment executive at JSE-listed diversified investment holding company, Remgro Limited and serves as a non-executive director on the boards of several investee companies, within various sectors, in the group. In addition, he is a co-founder and owner of Black Elephant Vintners, an artisanal premium wine producer in Franschhoek.
So where would he like to see the Cape Wine Auction in the next five years?
“Hopefully, the auction will have extended in its two core operational domains – namely fundraising, via the auction and other avenues, and impact investing, which is identifying and effecting sustainable investment in projects and with partners in the education sector in the winelands. With some creative effort and commitment on our part as well as the continued goodwill and generosity of donors and partners, we could make this a global franchise in the foreseeable future,” says Ndlovu.
Was he happy with the results of the 2019 auction? “Absolutely. Despite the current depressed economic climate, this year’s result was a remarkable achievement. The bidding and auction process are largely limited to literally a few hours over two consecutive days. The material and morale support have always been simply overwhelming!

"The South African wine industry comprises a broad array of compassionate, patriotic and generous entrepreneurs, families and corporations. Education is at the epicentre of the industry’s efforts to improve the quality and standard of living for all its stakeholders – in particular, the offspring of the labour force.
“The core purpose of the CWA Trust – supporting quality education for previously disadvantaged learners – has universal appeal, both nationally and internationally. It is highly conceivable that one day we can tap into this common imperative with donors and other partners from elsewhere in the country and the world to attain even more significant outcomes for our chosen beneficiaries.”
What does he believe is the state of the wine industry in South Africa?

“It is in a state of delicate equilibrium - immense promise of global success and prominence on the one hand (for example the acclaimed successes and coveted reviews of home-grown cultivars and vintages) and unpredictable potential pitfalls and challenges (think of the recent precipitous decline of vines in cultivation, labour unrest, relatively poor commercial viability) on the other.
“The future is difficult to predict with any certainty. However, I have every confidence that the continued investment in expanded production facilities, skilled human resources and new technologies, will lead to a sustained renaissance in the growth of premium South African wines, in particular,” he says.