Cape Town - "If I cry, don't worry, it will be tears of joy," Beyers Truter, cellar master of iconic Kanonkop wine estate and co-owner of Beyerskloof wine estate, said on Friday.
Truter was speaking at a ceremony where he announced that 60 farm workers from three surrounding farms - Beyerskloof, Kanonkop and Uitwyk - had bought 74 percent of the shares in the 56ha Bouwland estate near Stellenbosch for R9.6 million.
It is the first black empowerment deal in the wine industry and comes less than 10 days after a two-day conference on black economic empowerment (BEE) in the industry.
The government's land redistribution for agricultural development programme made a cash grant of R3.7 million available to the Bouwland Deelnemingstrust, which represents the 60 workers.
Truter invested R2.4 million through Beyerskloof and the balance of R3.5 million was loaned to Bouwland Estate by Absa, which in turn was loaned the money by the land reform credit facility of Khula Enterprise Finance, the empowerment agency set up by the department of trade and industry.