Gavin Pieterse, one of the stalwarts of the transformation of the South African wine industry, has resigned as chairman of the South African Wine Industry Trust (SAWIT).

Pieterse spent four years at SAWIT, formed in 1999 to drive the ANC government's black economic empowerment initiative in the industry.

SAWIT also helps with co-ordinating and funding scientific and technical initiatives as well as international marketing drives through Wines of South Africa.

Pieterse intends developing strategic financial investments in the industry. His first task will be to source funding for SAWIT in North America and from other international partners now that its partnership with KWV has come to an end.