An integral part of Mayime Winery - and the drivers of the continued improvement and investment in the vineyard, contributing towards a growing Eastern Cape Winelands - our people include a qualified local winemaker and a passionate, motivated and committed winemaking team comprising mainly of women and youth who manage the vineyard and irrigate, fertilise and shape the vines, as well as another 100 local community members who assist during the annual harvest. The team also includes directors from FarmInvest and Mayime Primary Agricultural Co-operative, who jointly manage the winery.
Born in Queenstown and raised in the township of Shiloh in Whittlesea, Vumile Makapela matriculated from Vela-langa Senior Secondary School before attending Stellenbosch University’s Cape Institute for Agricultural Training: Elsenburg (Elsenburg Agricultural College) to obtain his B. Agric (Cellar Technology) degree in Oenology/Viticulture.
Vumile’s career has seen him work at leading wine farms, including as Winemaker’s Assistant at Montagu Wynkelder; as Harvest Intern and Casual Tasting Assistant at Mulderbosch Vineyards, and as Tasting Assistant at Bilton Wines. In 2013, Vumile was employed as a Vintage Winemaker at Asara Wine Estate in the Western Cape before joining Harrison Hope Wine Estate, the first wine estate in the Eastern Cape, as Winemaker and Viticulturalist.
Vumile is now the winemaker and viticulturist for Mayime Winery in Whittlesea, his hometown. Here, with his local community, he has produced the first-ever community wine in South Africa, harnessing all his practical and academic training, together with his knowledge of viticulture practices, wine making, wine tasting and integrated wine production.
Lieb Venter is the managing director of FarmVision, an organisation dedicated to the establishment, planning and development of strategic agricultural projects in Africa. He graduated from the University of the Free State with a M.Sc. Agric degree in Agricultural Economics and has 35 years’ experience as an agricultural economist, involved in planning and development of several strategic agricultural projects in the dairy, beef and crop farming industries in Southern Africa, as well as Africa.
He commands strength in financial modelling for agricultural enterprises and conducting feasibility studies. He is also involved in the establishment of new operations (capital intensive turnkey projects) and the improvement of current operations.
Lieb has been a consultant to various government-funded projects as project manager, strategist, trainer and mentor. As an agricultural entrepreneur, he brings vast technical expertise to the venture.
Managing Director, FarmVision
Thukela Mashologu Eustice
Managing Director, FarmInvest
Mashologu Eustice holds a diploma in Agricultural Management from Fort Cox College of Agriculture and Forestry; a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Agricultural Economics and an MBA in Leadership from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
He started out as an Agriculturist for Nestle South Africa, developing emerging farmers in both dairy and chicory production. As Farm Operations Manager and lecturer for Agribusiness at Fort Cox College of Agriculture and Forestry, he trained students while managing the day-to-day farm operations. This was followed by almost six years with ASGISA Eastern Cape, where he held position of Local Economic Development Manager in Queenstown and then Agribusiness Manager in East London.
His career path led him to take up the position of Acting Chief Operations Officer of Eastern Cape Rural Finance Corporation; followed by a position at the IDC as Senior Regional Officer, responsible for driving new business development and identifying new business opportunities focussed on Corporate/ IPAP objectives; and five years as the CEO of Chris Hani Development Agency (Queenstown), before he took up his newly appointed position as Managing Director of FarmInvest, a major shareholder of this social development project
Chairperson of Mayime Primary Agricultural Co-operative
A farmer, leader, visionary and spokesperson, Selborne Cecane was elected by the community as Chairperson of the Mayime Primary Agricultural Co-operative more than 11 years ago. As a local familiar with the community and as ‘the voice of the Co-operative’, his knowledge of farming, the community, the area and cultivating grapes to produce wine has made Selbourne an invaluable role player in the agricultural development in the Whittlesea area.
Selborne’s responsibility as Chairperson of the Co-operative is ensuring that the interests of the 395 beneficiary members of the Co-operative are best served in the co-management of both the Shiloh dairy scheme and Mayime Winery venture, providing the members with both a sense of ownership and the potential for an ongoing income.
His commitment to the reduction of the high unemployment rate among the youth in the Enoch Mgijima Municipality is evident through successful social development initiatives like Mayime Winery. The Co-operative serves as an important link between FarmInvest, the Chris Hani District Municipality and the Chris Hani Development Agency, which are all working together to develop the winery, source funding, create jobs, expand the local economy and establish wine tourism in the Eastern Cape.
Samuel Mthuthuzeli Mtshiselwa
Member of Mayime Primary Agricultural Cooperative
Samuel Mtshiselwa holds a Management Advance Program (MAP) from Wits Business School, a Personal Computing Diploma from Damelin’s Computer School and a NCC Training Diploma for Computing Benefits - Systems Analyst.
He worked in the commercial banking industry for a number of years, holding positions such as Manager – Computer Systems, Assistant Credit Manager and Branch Manager at MEEG BANK Ltd. (part of ABSA Group) and African Bank Ltd, and completing the “Train the Trainer Course” and obtaining a Growth Leader Certificate and a management Certificate of Achievement. Samuel also worked in the insurance industry as a National Sales Manager at Unica Group of Companies and later as a Financial Advisor at Old Mutual. He is currently a Business Development manager at Leza Group, an insurance company part of Lifewise, responsible for the sales and marketing structure nationwide as well as for business expansion and the training and motivation of agents.
Samuel’s extensive background in banking, investment and computing systems, together with his sound business acumen and leadership qualities, contribute to his important role at Mayime Primary Agricultural Co-operative, assisting with key business decisions and business contracts to serve the best interests of the Co-operative’s members.