KWV chairman Lourens Jonker today announced his retirement from the board. The company was also looking at bringing a black empowerment partner on board, while considering its options of selling its products on the domestic market.

Addressing the company's AGM, Jonker, who has held the position since 1994, said he would step down at the end of the year and would be succeeded by fellow Robertson wine estate owner, Danie de Wet.

Jonker said ongoing negotiations had been in progress for the past few months with two or three potential black empowerment shareholders and he predicted that an agreement could be reached by as early as next April.

This is one of two major projects he will be leaving to De Wet, who also has until July to find a distributor for its products. This follows a ruling by the Competition Tribunal earlier this year that Distell cease from distributing KWV products.