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Chef Patron Matthew Gordon of French Connection Bistro and his staff took part in the protest against lockdown regulations that are killing the hospitality and tourism industries and causing massive job losses and hunger.

Wednesday, 22 July 2020, was a perfect day for a protest; warm and sunny with nary a breeze. Ordinarily the village would be filled with visitors making the best of a wonderful winter’s day.  Instead, it’s the locals who are out in force protesting Corona lockdown regulations that have choked off tourism – the valley’s economic lifeblood. Chef Patron Matthew Gordon of French Connection Bistro accurately captured the economic reality when he posted that “Our town is on life support”. So did the trending hashtag #jobssavelives.

After four months of lockdown, the hospitality industry in Franschhoek and the rest of South Africa is fighting desperately to survive. Wendy Alberts, CEO of the Restaurant Association of South Africa, said that about 400 000 jobs have been lost in the sector since the imposition of the lockdown, with more businesses folding every day. Margot Janse, chief judge of the Eat Out Awards, summed up what is needed in a Cape Talk interview: “The curfew needs to move to a more realistic time that is respectful to our industry. The alcohol ban needs to be relaxed for the hospitality industry… We should be allowed to act as adults… Let us get back on our feet!”

Mayor Opens Art & Craft Market

After officially opening the Franschhoek Art & Craft Market Executive Mayor Gesie van Deventer inspected the goods on offer. In the photo above she tries out a tea set sold by one of the traders, Ms Tarauai.

It’s been a long time coming but the new stalls for informal traders next to the town hall are finally being used. Executive Mayor Gesie van Deventer officiated at the opening of what is now dubbed the Franschhoek Art & Craft Market on Friday, 13 November.

Capitalworks acquires Brait’s majority shareholding in DGB

New DGB CEO Ricardo Ferreira and outgoing CEO Tim Hutchinson

The South African asset management company Capitalworks and businessman Tim Hutchinson – long-time head of the liquor company DGB – have acquired DGB’s majority shareholding held by Brait, the JSE-listed independent investment company, for an undisclosed sum.

DGB is a leading SA producer and distributor of wine and spirits to the local and international markets.

Wine Industry Unites To Save Jobs

Stellenbosch Wine Routes and at least 300 wineries in South Africa, together with Visit Stellenbosch, are throwing their weight behind an official legal application requesting evidence from the Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs to explain the reintroduction of a blanket ban on the domestic sale and transportation of alcohol.

In an unprecedented show of industry unity, the broad-based wine industry coalition is demanding an explanation from the Minister and questioning the prohibition’s rationality. The wine industry value chain supports almost 300,000 people, is South Africa’s second-largest exporter of agricultural products and has made great strides in inclusive growth. The entire industry has now been put at risk by these seemingly irrational rulings.

‘Purchase with Purpose’ with Haute Cabrière and Together Franschhoek

Haute Cabrière has partnered with Together Franschhoek to create a new Purchase with Purpose opportunity to support COVID-19 disaster relief in the Franschhoek Valley. The proceeds of a special release of the winery’s ever-popular Chardonnay Pinot Noir will bolster the coffers of Together Franschhoek in the fight against COVID-19.

Biltong & All That’s Good

Two locals taken their love for biltong and droëwors and turned it into a small business: Village Biltong & Deli.

Owner Herman du Plessis and shop manager Bets TerBlanche decided early on that they would only stock hand-selected, premium biltong products that are ethically sourced. “Our beef product suppliers rear their livestock with care and no steroids or growth hormones are given. You can taste the difference,” says Herman.

Three Wins for La Motte at Best of Wine Tourism Awards

La Motte Wine Estate

La Motte Wine Estate was crowned the winner in three of the seven categories of this year’s Best of Wine Tourism Awards. This international annual competition is designed to reward the wineries in each of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network’s member regions for their excellence.

Wesgro, the Official Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape worked closely with Vinpro, a non-profit company that represents 2 500 South African wine producers, cellars and industry stakeholders in finalising these awards.

Woolworths Franschhoek to Go Single-use Plastic Bag Free

Woolworths’ new low cost reusable bag

Woolworths’ Franschhoek store will be single-use plastic shopping bag free from 9 November.  Despite Covid-19 lockdown disruptions, this is part of a national 121-store rollout in response to Woolworths’ commitment to phase out single-use plastic bags.

Since making this commitment Woolworths has launched a ‘low cost’ reusable bag in food stores and a paper bag for its fashion, beauty and home purchases and has already successfully switched 25 stores to being single-use plastic shopping bag free.  Both bags are made locally by supplier development beneficiaries and constructed from either fabric made from recycled plastic (PET) or Forest Stewardship Council-certified recycled content, sourced from the same mill where Woolworths (FSC N002141) sends its recyclable cardboard and paper.

“Smart, sustainable solutions often take time to get off the ground but when they do, they change our world for the better instantly.  While Covid 19 has impacted our roll out, we remain committed in our journey to remove single use plastic from our stores. Together with our customers we are looking forward to removing all single use plastic bags from our stores.” concludes Feroz Koor: Woolworths Holdings Group Head of Sustainability.

Text: Editorial Desk | Image: Supplied

GivenGain Opens Up Premium Fundraising Power To All Charities

GivenGain, the leading global fundraising platform for charity, has announced that all charities will now have access to all its Premium fundraising advantages – completely free of charge.

Marc Freudweiler, Executive Director of the GivenGain Foundation, says the online fundraising platform will no longer charge charities a usage fee – $5 per month per campaign – to gain access to advanced analytics, unlimited fundraising campaigns and unlimited users.

These and other Premium features are now free across the board.

Tourism Minister Visits

The Tourism Minister’s visit included a tour of the Huguenot Memorial Museum and Monument. In the photo she is with Museum Manager Anita du Preez and Vignerons de Franschhoek Chairman Gerard Holden.

The Minister of Tourism Honourable Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane spent 24 hours in Franschhoek on Thursday, 18 March 2021, as part of an outreach programme to engage with stakeholders.

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