SA wine industry ‘driving jobs, GDP’

The South African wine industry’s annual contribution to the economy grew to R26.2-billion or 2.2% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2008, a new study finds, confirming the substantial growth in the industry and its economic impact since 2003.

According to a study conducted by Conningarth Economists for the South African Wine Industry Information and Systems (Sawis), when the previous study was done to measure the wine industry’s macro economic impact on the economy in 2003, the industry’s annual contribution was R22.5-billion.

According to Sawis chief executive Yvette van der Merwe, the study on the wine industry’s macro economic impact confirmed the industry’s growth trend.

“Wine is firmly established as the leader in exports from the agricultural sector, and is second only to minerals and motor cars, with the growth in exports substantially contributing to the rise in the industry’s contribution to national GDP,” she said at the release of the study at the Groot Constantia Wine Estate earlier this month.

Economic contribution, job creation

Of the over R26-billion contributed to the national economy, about R14.2-billion was generated in the Western Cape, with the industry supporting about 275 600 employment opportunities overall.

The total turnover of the wine alcohol industry in 2008 amounted to R19.2-billion. Of this amount, R6.3-billion was exported directly, while imports amounted to R237-million or about 2% of domestic sales.