La Motte: Great Wine Capital of the World
Ladies and Gentlemen, wine lovers, members of the press, thank you very much for the opportunity to say a few words here today: But before I say anything else: Congratulations to La Motte for being crowned for a second year in a row as: South Africa’s Best of Wine Tourism, by the Great Wine Capitals of the World organisation. You are achieving on the international stage and therefore you are making South Africa proud.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have more than enough bad news in South Africa:
- Unemployment statistics of between 25% and 40%, depending on the definition you use.
- Labour unrest; also in our agricultural sector.
With the above in mind, I do not only want to congratulate La Motte for your achievement. I want to thank you as well. I want to thank you because you are shining a light in a room which is at risk of being flooded by darkness, and then hopelessness.
South African society in general, but the agricultural sector in particular, needs positive stories now more than ever before. I see it everywhere I go. I will be in De Doorns again this weekend where labour tension is still simmering. In times such as these a positive story is worth more than gold.
With a positive story, such as this one of La Motte, we can motivate people and we can hold it up as a model to aspire to. Your achievement also benefits all other South African wine producers competing on the international markets.
As Minister of Agriculture, I am proud of your achievement from a farming perspective. I am also responsible for Rural Development, and here I am particularly pleased with the tourism aspect of your award.
We need to find ways in which to revitalise our rural areas. The Western Cape is blessed with natural beauty, but also with an agricultural economy suited to tourism. I want to applaud you for exporting a value added product (wine), but then also for importing tourists into our economy.
Let me conclude by wishing you well for the future and please accept the Western Cape Government’s sincere gratitude for playing a positive and constructive role in our Province. You make us proud.