WOSA look for new digs


It’s not often that WOSA ask my opinion about anything. Heck, I’m not even invited to this month’s Groendas Sokkie (green tie party) like many of my colleagues. So OK I only write for the Sunday Times occasionally, which has nowhere near the reach of the Bolander. But then, this afternoon, my blind tasting of R42,500 worth of Stellenbosch wine for our upcoming Winelands Guide 2013 was interrupted by a tweet from Su Birch, highly paid head of WOSA. “Checking out offices for WOSA as we have to move… what image do we want? Cutting edge modern or Dorp Street Cape Dutch? Your views?”

ce 300x193 WOSA look for new digs

Is “cutting edge modern” the correct image for SA wine?

Well for starters, WOSA are already hideously overpaying for their Dorp Street Dive to the tune of R473,586 a year or R40,000 a month. An outrageous extravagance in an industry facing the biggest financial challenges in its existence. WOSA have already pencilled in increased salaries of over 12% (from R4.188 million to R4.7 million) in their budget and now Su is asking whether Dorp Street drop-dead opulence should be continued or “cutting edge modern” should be embraced. Offices for overpaid fat cats giving dodgy interviews about unemployment on local bottling lines due to booming bulk exports. You can’t invent this material!

Meanwhile the Winelands is awash with unused capacity and there are deals aplenty to be had. Time for a bold move by WOSA to demonstrate solidarity with their constituency. Something like a short term rental of the vacant offices of the Eersterivier Cellar of Cowpee that would demonstrate to the industry that for once WOSA are taking the financial calamity of their employers seriously and it was not just about parties, upgrades to first class and gravy train expense accounts. How about it, Su?