The Cape Wine Auction – an exportable concept worldwide

… says Raymond Ndlovu, Chairman of The Cape Wine Auction Trust

Regarded as one of the most significant international wine charity auctions, and one which unites the industry around a single goal of raising money for education, the annual Cape Wine Auction, in partnership with Mastercard, is a much sought-after ticket on the South African social events calendar.

This year, the auction takes place on Saturday, February 18, at the luxurious Hazendal Wine Estate in Stellenbosch, with a catalogue of once-in-a-lifetime lots on offer and tickets for the event selling out fast.

Since its inception in 2014, the auction has raised over R117 million, with all proceeds going to strategically elected beneficiaries, all of which form part of a unique collaboration and best-practice sharing model to accelerate impact and efficiency. A board of trustees with extensive corporate, philanthropic and entrepreneurial experience work with a full-time trust facilitator to strategically monitor impact and needs.

Raymond Ndlovu, Chairman of the Cape Wine Auction Trust, answered a few questions ahead of this year’s event.

The CWA celebrates its tenth outing this year. How are you planning to celebrate this auspicious occasion?

It is a remarkable milestone. The most befitting celebration of our tenth birthday will be an outstanding fundraising outcome at the auction event on Saturday, 18 February. The more money we raise with our generous donors’ support, the more significant the potential impact to mark the occasion.

You were appointed chairman of the CWA Trust in 2019. What have been some of the highlights for you in the past four years?

The key highlights in my journey as chairman of CWA Trust to date have centred on my interactions with the exceptional people who enable and drive the activities and results of the organisation, namely:

  • The talented and energetic children and young adults we’ve had the privilege to support, nurture and eventually launch into the world. My colleagues and I have visited several schools and institutions during my tenure.
  • The CWA Trust’s partner organisations work tirelessly to deliver consistent, high-quality educational outcomes in the various spheres of specialisation. The annual partner conference is enlightening and inspiring.
  • Board and meetings with my fellow trustees and the Trust’s executives. I’m in awe of their selfless passion and commitment to the cause. We push and encourage each other to pursue higher and more impactful goals.

Unfortunately, due to Covid restrictions, the 2021 event had to be cancelled. Was it difficult to regain momentum, and what obstacles did you have to overcome to ensure last year’s auction was successful?

We did not decide to cancel the 2021 event lightly, especially in light of the prevailing challenging socio-economic conditions at the time. Even so, it was easy to re-group and plan for the 2022 auction. This was mainly due to the ongoing regular communication amongst the CWA Trust board and executive and all our loyal, generous donors and especially our partner organisations who keenly and ably contributed to the phenomenal auction lots. We were also very grateful for the immediate and generous donation of a venue by the proprietors of Quoin Rock. It was a vibrant example of teamwork bringing the dream to fruition, and we raised over R12 million.

How many beneficiaries does the CWA Trust support?

I am proud to share the following impact statistics:

  • Over the past nine years, the CWA Trust has supported 38 partner organisations in 13 regions across the Winelands.
  • We have funded 4.1 million meals, and 3,621 children receive a hot, nutritious meal daily. Over 8,000 children have access to digital learning enhancing their maths, language and computer skills.
  • Over 3,370 children received counselling in 2022 alone.

How will the CWA grow and develop over the next five year

The CWA Trust model is unique, and the auction concept is potentially “exportable” to other venues worldwide. In the next few years, we have the ambition to grow the brand and its impact into a household name and as a platform to attract regular donations and interactions with the public. Positive education outcomes in the Winelands and South Africa are an urgent and dire need, so we must think and act holistically and expansively.

What are you most looking forward to at this year’s event, which is being held at Hazendal Wine Estate in Stellenbosch on 18 February?

My colleagues and I look forward to reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. We are all still excited about the ability to mingle and socialise after the prolonged period of social distancing. The venue and event will be stunning as ever. Above all, we anticipate fantastic fundraising for a compelling cause in a convivial atmosphere.

Anything else you would like to add?

There might be a few tickets left for the public, but they better hurry because they are selling fast. They are available from Webtickets (www.webtickets.co.za)