His Majesty King Makhosonke II Mabhena from AmaNdebele Kingdom
Her Majesty Queen Sekhothali Mabhena from AmaNdebele Kingdom
Prince Bereng Seeiso from the Kingdom of Lesotho
Representatives from Bakoena Ba Mopeli Royals
Representatives from Mpondomse Kindgom
Representatives from Bakgatla Royals
Ceo and Founder of the Brand Luc Mo Wines
Members of the Media
Ladies and Gentlemen
I have got a feeling, that tonight is gonna be a good night” – that’s melody by artist Black Eyed Peas – “a good good night indeed!
I’m excited because we are not only here to celebrate the launch of the African Royals Edition of the Luc Mo Legacy Range, but even more because the brand is female and black owned. This is inspired by our government’s transformation agenda of the economy and the means of production.
Let me take this opportunity to congratulate Ous Mmatlali Lucia Motloung for this enterprise achievement. We celebrate Ous Lucia because she embraces and articulates the true history of the African Royals, and the communities which they represent in a respectable, elegant and sophisticated manner, with the long term ambition of also providing employment to the locals in the communities represented by the African Royal Families who are on board as participants of the edition.
Not only is she advocating for women to be given opportunities, but also a living example that women do not only want to be given opportunities but they can also create opportunities themselves.
Programme Director, we are gathered here to celebrate and enjoy this unique legacy range of African Royals Wines during Africa Month. Just few days ago, on the 25th May 2022, the African Continent observed and celebrated the most significant day in her geo-political calendar - the Africa Day.
During this month, the beating of the African drum reverberates deep within our souls as Africans. With its lush landscapes, majestic mountains and melting pot of cultures, the spirit of Africa and the cradle of humankind reverberate in all of us.
It draws us closer with its hypnotic pulse of people, splendid in its alikeness as well as its diversity. Africa beats for you today and the mighty giant that is Africa is rising! Happy Africa month to all our people in the continent!
As the tourism department we are always excited to be part of activities that have a positive impact on our country’s brand and more importantly the potential to attract more tourists to our shores.
South Africa is the world's eighth-largest producer of wine and the wine estates are part of our most visited attractions in our country. Globally, South African wines are regarded as some of the best wines in the market and they have carried our country’s brand to all corners of the world.
The wider economic benefit of this industry is that in the process of manufacturing, packaging, exporting and distributing wine products, throughout the entire value chain, the local wine industry supports a wide spectrum of economic activity.
These includes a wide range of producers and suppliers, such as wine grape farmers, as well as retailers, distributors and the downstream industries such as hospitality, restaurants and aviation industries.
The wine industry is an important part of the tourism value chain. South Africa has an increasing number of world-class restaurants, with South African wines being part of the highlight.
More significantly, various leisure tourism offers a wide variety of activities, from horseback trails to mountain biking and hiking as part of diversity of our tourism offering. The wine industry service this market. A study commissioned by the wine industry body Vinpro found that Wine tourism is a significant revenue generator for the South African economy.
Although the South African Wine industry contributes R55 billion to the GDP and employs over 265 000 people, it has seen a rapid decline in vineyards due to a lack of investment. This is fundamentally the reason why as government we welcome this new initiative type of an investment. We need more and more investment in the wine industry to uplift our communities and grow our economy.
In this regard, government will do its part by creating a conducive environment for business investment to flourish. This is echoed well in the words of President Cyril Ramaphosa on the occasion of the State of the Nation Address, when he said: “the state must create an environment in which the private sector can invest and unleash the dynamism of our economy”
Programme Director, COVID-19 has had negative impact on everything, the wine industry included. The global collapse of the tourism supply and demand market led to a significant reduction in the number of travelers.
This meant that hotels and restaurants are seeing lower occupancy levels, resulting in wine demand decline. The lower demand was felt across the value chain. As a result of fewer visitors, the revenue generated at the wine farms has reduced and several wineries have shut their tasting rooms due to the risks of the virus.
Today we want to give hope to the wine industry. We do so because we have a plan to reverse the impact of the devastation of the tourism sector by the pandemic. We have developed the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan (TSRP) in partnership with the private sector.
The plan elaborates on the actions that will be undertaken by various implementing agents, public and private, for the tourism sector to get on the path to sustainable economic recovery. The Plan is anchored on three interlinked pillars or strategic themes: protecting and rejuvenating supply, reigniting demand and strengthening enabling capability for long term sustainability.
The addition of a new brand into this important sector can only bode well for our economy and for our recovery efforts. More importantly, the addition of a black woman owned wine brand enterprise is a positive step for economic transformation not only for the wine industry but for the tourism value chain as a whole.
As you may be aware, women in the tourism sector are in the majority in terms of participation, however they are found at very low level jobs. Women, black and white, are absent at managerial and ownership level. We should all support initiatives such as Luc Mo Wines to reverse this tendency.
South Africa has been producing wine since the first vines were planted in the 17th century, brought by the Dutch governors of Cape Colony. The industry has been thriving with South Africa ranking among top producers of good and premium wine globally.
We have over the years seen tourist travelling from different parts of the world to experience our vineyards and different wines produced locally.
Your Majesties King Makhosonke II Mabhena from AmaNdebele Kingdom Her Majesty Queen Sekhothali Mabhena from AmaNdebele Kingdom, Prince Bereng Seeiso from the Kingdom of Lesotho and the representatives of various other Kingdoms,
During the annual address by the President to the National House of Traditional Leaders in February 2019, the President indicated that it is important for traditional leaders to actively participate in the Tourism sector. This call underpins the pivotal role that Traditional Leaders can play to unlock the potential of tourism especially in rural areas and communal land under the jurisdiction of Traditional Leadership.
The role of Traditional Leadership is critically important in supporting tourism development on Traditional Land and in particular in rural areas of our country. Without the support and buy-in from Traditional Leaders in these areas, tourism development would not be possible. The role of Traditional Leaders in tourism development includes but is not limited to:
It is therefore beautiful to note that AmaNdebele Royal Family represented by His Majesty King Makhosonke II Mabhena and Her Majesty Queen Sekhothali Mabhena are part of this historic range. The AmaNdebele culture is colorful and rich. The Ndebele people have amazing patterns and very distinct attires.
More than ever it is important for us to preserve our cultures so that the younger generation can embrace and be proud of it. The world must now yearn to learn more about who we are and where we come from. Having premium wines named after our own Royals sends a beautiful and yet bold statement to the world.
It is a statement that invites the world to now come to us and learn from us about who we are and what we stand for. With more wines like this found in local tourists attractions and establishments we will always be reminded about the rich heritage that we have as a nation.
We wish to thank and salute His Majesties the Kings and Her Majesties Queens.. for being part of this important milestone. With their support we have no doubt that our African Gods will guide and bless this initiative, for it is intended to bring opportunities to the sons and daughters of our communities.
In conclusion, just a reference to Ous Lucia and all the women entrepreneurs in our country, I wish to say to them, by quoting one of the revolutionary freedom fighter and leader of our people, the late Mama Charlotte Mannya Maxeke; “this work is not for yourselves. Kill that spirit of self and do not live above your people, but live with them and if you can rise, bring someone with you”
Tonight is gonna be a good good night indeed!
I thank you