South Africas wine industry is booming - its more professional, more transparent, and gaining credibility in leaps and bounds in international markets. According to an article recently published in the US "the best wines are exceptionally good and there is every reason to expect that dozens, no, hundreds of Cape wines will improve exponentially in the years to come."
Shoprite Holdings and the Department of Trade and Industry's Khula Enterprise Finance have signed a groundbreaking agreement to grant a limited number of retail franchise concessions, back by outfitting, training and mentoring support, to black entrepreneurs.
The local olive market is thriving, with a 10% growth in demand each year for table olives, and 20% annually for oil. The industry is almost 80 years old and experienced substantial growth in the 1990s as consumers became increasingly aware of the health benefits of olive consumption.
Industry-specific empowerment charters have been developed for South Africa's mining, information and communications technology, and financial services sectors, while work is under way on charters for agriculture, transport, construction, health, cosmetics, tourism and the wine industry.
The government says it is committed to developing the fledgling aerospace industry in South Africa - in the same way that helped the country's motor industry out of the starting blocks. And new deals in the sector are beginning to pay off.
Online banking in South Africa is growing rapidly - with over a million online accounts registered in 2003. Research indicates that, despite security scares, growth is set to continue.
South Africa's national carrier, SA Airways, is facing increasingly stiff competition from no-frills airlines offering budget deals to local and international fliers - the most recent player being Civair, which will offer low-budget flights direct from the UK to Cape Town and Durban later in 2004.
South Africa's nutriceutical industry - covering a broad range of health supplements and complementary medicines - has grown rapidly over the past decade, and is now estimated to be a worth around R7-billion.
A portable morgue, an inflatable refuge chamber for miners, a gearbox technology that eliminates the need for traction fluid, and an adjustable canoe seat were among 18 design prototypes recognised at the annual SABS Design Institute Prototype awards.
The department of trade and industry, with funding from the World Bank, has established the Black Business Supplier Development Programme, aimed at fast-tracking small and medium black-owned enterprises with potential for growth into the mainstream of the economy.