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PRESS RELEASE:  17 February 2017

Sand mining poses risk to wine and tourism industries

An increase in sand mining in the Paardeberg area, Swartland, might have a detrimental effect on wine tourism and South Africa’s reputation as a producer of top quality wines.

The South African wine industry bodies VinPro and Wines of South Africa said in a joint statement that sand mining – especially in cases where it is done illegally – poses an increasing threat in the Paardeberg.

Two legal sand mining sites are currently operational in the Swartland region, two have recently been approved by the Swartland Municipality, but the decisions will be appealed against, while one more is being considered for approval.

Prominent wine producers have expressed their discontent about the negative impact that mining development might have on the character and community of this region in the long term.

Advocate Martin Coetzee, who represents the Protect Paardeberg Coalition, said that sand mining developments in the Paardeberg are currently isolated and limited. However if new mining permits are to be issued, it would create a precedent that might have a considerable effect on the sustainability of the wine and wine tourism industries going forward.

Wine cellars in the Swartland have made a considerable contribution towards enhancing South Africa’s image – especially with regard to quality wines. Wine tourism and the expansion of South Africa’s quality packaged wine segment are both targets of the Wine Industry Strategic Exercise (Wise), an industry plan with a more profitable and sustainable wine industry as end goal.

“The decision to grant mining permits in the Swartland region comes as a true blow to the regional wine fraternity, who have worked hard over the past ten years to establish itself both locally and internationally as top quality wine producers and getting immense acclaim for their produce. Due consideration to the full extent of the damage to both the wine and tourism industries should be given before soils are lost and damage is done to the wine industry and the broader agriculture sector,” said Siobhan Thompson, CEO of Wines of South Africa.

“Sustainable development is a crucial pillar of the South African wine industry. Any developments that may damage the environment will be strongly opposed. We condemn illegal activities and where there have been transgressions, the law must take its course,” said Rico Basson, managing director of VinPro.

Comments on this issue to be directed to swartlandmun@swartland.gov.za.

MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Lee-Anne Davidson, tel 021 276 0429, e-mail info@vinpro.co.za.

MEDIAVERKLARING:  17 Februarie 2017 

Sandmynuitbreiding kan wyn en toerisme bedreig

Die uitbreiding van sandmynbesighede in die Paardeberg-streek, Swartland, mag groot nadeel vir wyntoerisme en Suid-Afrika se reputasie as produsent van topgehalte wyne inhou.

Die wynbedryforganisasies VinPro en Wines of South Africa het in ? gesamentlike verklaring gesê dit is betreurenswaardig dat sandmyne – veral in gevalle waar dit onwettig bedryf word – ? toenemende bedreiging in die Paardeberg geword het.

Daar is tans twee wettige sandmynoperasies in die Paardeberg omgewing, twee is pas deur die Swartland Munisipaliteit goedgekeur waarteen appél aangeteken gaan word, terwyl nog een aansoek tans oorweeg word vir goedkeuring.

Prominente wynprodusente in hierdie area het hul misnoeë uitgespreek oor die negatiewe impak wat mynontwikkeling oor die langtermyn op die karakter en gemeenskap van hierdie streek kan hê.

Advokaat Martin Coetzee, wat die Protect the Paardeberg Coalition verteenwoordig, het verduidelik dat sandmynontwikkeling in die Paardeberg tans geïsoleer en beperk is, maar dat die toekenning van nuwe mynpermitte ? presedent kan skep wat noemenswaardige gevolge vir die volhoubare voortbestaan van die wyn- en wyntoerismebedrywe kan inhou.

Wynkelders in die Swartland het die afgelope dekade ’n beduidende bydrae gemaak tot die uitbou van Suid-Afrika se beeld – veral ten opsigte van kwaliteitwyn. Wyntoerisme en die groei van Suid-Afrika se verpakte kwaliteitprodukte is beide kerndoelwitte van die Wine Industry Strategic Exercise (Wise), ’n bedryfsplan wat ’n meer winsgewende en volhoubare wynbedryf ten doel het.

“Die besluit om mynpermitte in die Paardeberg-streek uit te reik is ? groot slag vir streek se wyngroepering, wat in die afgelope tien jaar hard gewerk het om hulself plaaslik en internasionaal as topgehalte wynprodusente te vestig en ook reeds groot lof vir hul wyne ontvang. Deeglike oorweging moet geskenk word aan die volle omvang van die skade wat hierdie ontwikkelings aan die wyn- en toerismebedrywe kan berokken, voordat gronde verlore gaan en die wynbedryf en breër landbousektor verder benadeel word,” sê Siobhan Thompson, HUB van Wines of South Africa.

“Volhoubare ontwikkeling is ? sterk pilaar van die Suid-Afrikaanse wynbedryf. Wanneer ontwikkeling skade kan berokken aan die omgewing, sal dit sterk teengestaan word. Boonop word onwettige aktiwiteite veroordeel en in gevalle waar daar oortree is, moet die wet sy gang gaan,” sê die besturende direkteur van VinPro, Rico Basson.

Kommentaar oor hierdie aangeleentheid kan aan swartlandmun@swartland.gov.za gerig word.

MEDIANAVRAE: Lee-Anne Davidson, tel 021 276 0429, e-pos info@vinpro.co.za.