|Kees van der Waal|
The Cape Winelands region is well known for the economic value derived from producing export wines. It is a landscape of exquisite beauty, with towering mountain ranges protected by conservation management and valleys treasured as agricultural land. Heritage is a rich resource here, evidenced by the Cape Dutch architecture of Boschendal and a recorded history going back to the 1680s. The Cape Winelands area is presently strongly associated with elite tourism and a wealthy lifestyle, embedded in viticulture and deciduous fruit production. However, the obvious visual importance of landscape and heritage hide the mundane relations of production experienced by agricultural workers. Relations between workers and owners in the wine industry were extremely exploitative during the slave era and have remained paternalistic to this day. Farm labour unrest in the Western Cape in 2012 attests to the tension generated by extreme inequalities.