Vergelegen gets WESSA award

WESSA CEO Dr Thommie Burger, Vergelegen commercial and risk manager, Leslie Naidoo, and WESSA chairman, Professor Michael Kidd, at the award ceremony.

Vergelegen in Somerset West is the recipient of the WESSA (Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa) 2019 corporate award, which recognises the wine estate’s sustained commitment to environmental initiatives.

Vergelegen was crowned the first Biodiversity and Wine Initiative champion in 2005, and last year completed South Africa’s largest privately funded alien vegetation clearing project. This programme restored 2 200 hectares of vegetation, while supporting job creation and skills development in local communities.

“We salute Vegelegen wine estate in the knowledge that it will continue in its dedication to caring for the earth,” said Dr Thommie Burger, WESSA CEO, at the organisation’s 93rd annual general meeting in Muldersdrift, Gauteng, on Saturday September 14.

WESSA marketing and communications manager, Sarah Alcock, said the NPO was established 93 years ago, and has presented its annual awards since 1974. “The awards recognise and honour those who have made a significant contribution to the conservation or environmental education sector in South Africa over the past year in an exceptional and sustained manner.”

Vergelegen, MD Don Tooth, said: “We are delighted to receive this award from such a highly respected and well-established environmental organisation. Our programmes are team efforts and we are very pleased that the hard work and dedication of Vergelegen’s staff, and our many partners and collaborators, such as CapeNature, have been recognised.”