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WC wine stewards boost tourism talent pool
WC wine stewards boost tourism talent pool

With the Festive Season nearly upon us, the Department of Tourism is gearing up for the summer holidays and today hosted the graduation of the Wine Service Training Programme in the Western Cape and welcomes the new cohort of 139 graduates to populate the talent pool in the tourism value chain. 

This is hot on the heels of Statistics South Africa reporting a 31.2% increase in the Food and Beverages Industry in Quarter 3, 2022 compared to Quarter 3, 2021. This year on year growth is a boost for the tourism industry. 

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. 

Graduates will receive certificates for skills programme in Wine Service accredited by Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality and Sports sector education and Training Authority (Cathsseta) and the Sommelier Academy.  Collaborative partnerships with industry stakeholders, offering in-house practical training for learners, have contributed to the success of the initiative.

The Programme trained unemployed youth from the Western Cape Province in the hospitality related 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 (An Introductory Sommelier Certificate). It entails 30% theory and 70% workplace experiential training.

Today, learners will be issued with Skills Programmes certificates accredited by CATHSSETA, Sommelier Academy and SASA (S.A Sommelier Association). The Programme commenced on 01 November 2021 and the learners exited on the 31 October 2022.

The Department appointed Tourism World (Pty) Ltd as the Implementing Agent for this Programme. The Programme was implemented on the basis of three months theory training and nine months experiential training at the workplaces

Graduates were excited to share their sentiments. Asanda Sidiya, a 31 year-old graduate from Franschhoek said: “This opportunity is one that I will cherish for years to come as I now have the opportunity to share the knowledge I have with guests at my current workplace and assist me to fulfil my dream of owning my own restaurant one day.”

Benjy Pienaar, 22 from Wellington said: “I love what I have achieved in this industry and I have yet to learn and achieve so much more. I am grateful to the Department of Tourism for this opportunity.”

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.

This intervention plays a major role in the tourism value chain and positions the Department in readiness for the festive season. 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 recovery plan.  



Ms Susan de Bruin

Director: External Communications

Department of Tourism

Cell: +27 (82) 921 7303