Tag Archives: Western Cape

Drought impacts grapes harvest in Western Cape

South African Distell Group 2018 wine grape harvest was 30% down on the previous year due to drought in the Western Cape but grape quality was promising, its head winemaker conveyed.

South Africa has declared Western Cape and other regions as disaster areas as a prolonged dry spell decimated the wheat crop and reduced apple, grape and pear exports to Europe.

“The ongoing drought in the Cape has certainly had an impact on this year’s harvest,” Niël Groenewald said in a statement. “We have seen slower ripening of the grapes than usual due to smaller canopies, limited water in the soils and that which is available for irrigation.”

South African wine producers at risk caused by drought

A three year drought that is considered once a millenium weather event has significant negative impact on the South African wine industry, particularly with that segment that is geared to the production of low-cost bulk wine which relies heavily on irrigation.

With water rights cut by 50%  in the Western Cape, wine producers are having to choose which vineyards to save.

Quotas have already been triggered to cut the amount of water available to vineyards by as much as 80% according to a “Quartz Africa”. Taking into consideration that  60% of South Africa’s wine exports are in the bulk category, and there is concern in the industry that, if South Africa can’t meet the demands, others exporters such as South America and Australia will take over the market. Once the market for South African wine export is taken by the competitors, the winning it over will be a challenge, requiring time and investment to re-introduce the African wines.

Zeitz MOCAA: Hlobo’ witch’ servant

In Contemporary Art Museum – Zeitz MOCAA – in Cape Town, Western Cape, the BMW Atrium stands at the heart of the museum. It provides Zeitz MOCAA with the ability to commission and exhibit monumental interventions on a scale never before seen in a public museum in Africa.

Nicholas Hlobo’s, iimpundulu zonke ziyandilandela, inaugurates the space. This seminal object, originally created for the 54th Venice Biennale (2011), combines rubber inner tubing, multicoloured ribbons, an animal skull, and pink theatre lights. As light streams in from the glass topped atrium, this massive bird hovers over us. Hlobo seduces us with the haunting lullaby he has created for this space.

As oral histories inevitably disappear, Hlobo represents the Xhosa myth of the Lightning Bird or the witch’s servant, manifesting itself as a bird or an attractive man. Hlobo, however, morphs the myth to particular personal concerns taking into account taboos associated with masculinity and violence. 

The generosity of Hlobo’s practice allows us to enter a fantastical world not normally accessible to us.

This exhibition was made possible by the generous support of BMW

Nicolas Hlob is the winner of the 2006 Tollman Award for Visual Art, the 2009 Standard Bank Young Artist Award, and a finalist for the Future Generation Art Prize 2010. In 2010, Hlobo was selected as a protégé by mentor Sir Anish Kapoor as part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative an international philanthropic programme that pairs masters in their disciplines with emerging talents for a year of one-to-one creative exchange.