Winde Wine farm documentary could harm WC economy, says MEC Alan Winde

SA wines were reportedly pulled off shelves after documentary depicts poor working conditions on farms.


CAPE TOWN - Western Cape economic development MEC Alan Winde says his department is investigating allegations raised in a documentary focused on the working conditions of South African farm workers.

Some supermarkets in Denmark have reportedly removed South African wines off their shelves following a screening in Sweden and Denmark this week.

The documentary, _Bitter Grapes - Slavery in the Vineyards _produced by Danish filmmaker Tom Heinemann, depicts widespread violations of labour laws including below-minimum wages for 12-hour shifts.

Winde says while he can't confirm whether local wines have been pulled off the shelves in Denmark, his department is investigating the allegations raised in the documentary.

"I am also asking questions of various organisations, like the union itself, if there have been any charges laid of any illegal activities, I need to follow through each of these allegations. We need to deal with them quickly and decisively so that we can move on. We must understand that it's three farms that are visited in a scope of 3,100 farms."

Winde says the documentary could have a damaging effect on market shares.

"This can have damage to our market share, which concerns me because that's going to cost us jobs and as a region it would blemish our hard-won image at the moment and a good market share of our wine into Europe."