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Gavin Pieterse resigns from SAWIT

Published:  23 July, 2008

The chairman of the body charged with spearheading black economic empowerment in the South African wine industry has resigned to concentrate on his business consultancy.

Pieterse had attracted criticism for having a conflict of interest as he was in charge of both a government body - the South African Wine Industry Trust (SAWIT) - at the same time as working as a paid consultant to the industry, including work on dealing with the reforms SAWIT was introducing. In a statement, he said: I had always planned to pursue my own business interests in the wine industry and had stated my intentions to do so when I was asked by the Minister of Agriculture to renew my term as chairperson in 2004. However, after careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that I cannot do justice to both my business interests and my obligations as chairperson. The current chief executive, Charles Erasmus, will no doubt continue the good and influential works with a new chairperson.'

SAWIT is currently working on the final stages of the Wine Charter, which will introduce a scorecard system for judging if wine companies are meeting their responsibilities in ensuring black economic empowerment.

Pieterse will continue to work with SAWIT in a consultancy role.