Boland Vineyards International (BVI) has completed the first stage of a comprehensive broad-based Black Economic Empowerment deal.

This white Afrikaans male dominated company, which has about 110 farmer members supplying it with grapes for wine production, has signed an agreement with Boland Basadi Investments (BBI), which has a number of high-powered black women at the helm. These include Dr Namane Magau and Dr Thandi Ndlovu.

BBI will acquire a 26% stake in a marketing, procurement and service company presently wholly owned by Boland. Another 10% will be allocated to a workers' trust beneficiary owned by Boland cellar workers.

This forms part of the ANC government's drive to enforce black participation and ownership at all levels of business in South Africa.

BVI Chairman, Jannie le Roux, said his board believed this strategy would create meaningful opportunities for people from previously disadvantaged communities to enter the wine industry at various levels in the wine value chain.