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Cheers to 88 KZN Sommelier learners
Cheers to 88 KZN Sommelier learners


The Department of Tourism today hosted a graduation ceremony for the Wine Service Training Programme in KwaZulu-Natal and welcomes the new cohort of 88 sommelier graduates to populate the talent pool in the tourism value chain. 

Wine-pairing is fast becoming a service on offer at many establishments and the demand is growing. The development of this niche sub-sector aims to enhance the hospitality experience in creating a multi-sensory culinary adventure. 

For this reason, the Department allocated a budget from the Expanded Public Works Programme to the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces to deliver a Wine Service Training Programme during the 2021/22 financial year. 

The programme aimed at training 252 unemployed youth from KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape  in the hospitality related Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality and Sports sector education and Training Authority (Cathsseta) Skills Programme, namely Bar Attendant (SAQA ID HSP/BarAtt/2/0027) and Drink Service (SAQA ID HSP/DSRVA/2/0024). Learners also received training from the Sommelier Academy (South African and International Wine and Wine Ambassador) and South African Sommeliers Association (Introductory Sommelier Certificate). It entails three months theory training and nine months experiential training at the workplaces

The training commenced on 1 November 2021 and the learners exited on 31 October 2022. Today, learners were issued with Skills Programmes certificates accredited by CATHSSETA, Sommelier Academy and S.A. Sommelier Association.

Graduates were elated at their achievement and shared their sentiments. Twenty-year-old learner, Yashiel Birkramchud from Phoenix, stated: “This has been a positive and empowering experience for me and I will encourage other young adults to apply for this programme.”

Nothando Khuzwayo (26) from Ballito echoed this, saying: “I consider myself very lucky to be equipped with these invaluable skills and am forever grateful to the Department of Tourism.”

Although the programme was successfully implemented, it was identified that learners would require additional training to be multi-skilled and acquire further job opportunities e.g. barista, wine farm tourist guides, entrepreneurship and management skills.

The Department continues to advance the tourism and hospitality experience and reaffirms its commitment to training and development which will yield many happy returns and that will contribute to the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan. This intervention plays a major role in the tourism value chain.​


Ms Susan de Bruin

Director: External Communications

Department of Tourism

Cell: +27 (82) 921 7303