improvement association

In 1954, the Department of Agriculture identified the physical and genetic status of plant material as the most important factors contributing to the increase of agricultural production in South Africa. In 1964, the South African Plant Improvement Association was established to pay particular attention to these aspects of plant material for the wine and deciduous fruit industries. The Department of Agriculture's quarantine facility in Stellenbosch initially identified and tested the deciduous fruit and wine grape varieties (many still used today) to identify virus-free clones and make it available to the industry.

The initial Vine Improvement Association (VIA) was founded in 1986. Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture decided in 1988 that they could no longer take responsibility for plant improvement management alone. Following this, the Plant Certification Scheme for Wine Grapes was promulgated under the Plant Improvement Act, 1976 (Act No. 53 of 1976) in 1990. The nurseries and producers became full-fledged members of the VIA in 1993.

Table - and drying grapes initially handled resorted with deciduous fruit within the Deciduous Fruit Plant Certification Scheme. However, in November 2017, the two Boards jointly decided to move the table- and drying grape varieties from the DPA to the VIA in order to manage all vines within the VIA framework.

The Scheme is not compulsory and participation by any organization importing, breeding or selecting new varieties, any nursery or any organization representing producers, is wholly voluntary. However, over 90% of all wine grapes are managed within the scheme, while approximately half of the table - and drying grape vines produced annually are certified.

To promote the interests of members through plant improvement and plant certification of vine propagation material in the interest of the South African Wine-, Table- and Drying Grape Industry.
To exercise the authority, the performance of functions and execution of duties as assigned under the Plant Certification Scheme for Vitis in terms of the Plant Improvement Act, 1976 (Act No. 53 of 1976) to the Executive Council as the authority conferred.
Mr Theo Heydenrych SA Viticultural Nursery Association (Chairman)
Mr Willie Laubscher SA Viticultural Nursery Association
Mr Jannie Bosman Bosman Adama
Mr Francois De La Querra Duikerfontein Vine Nursery
Mr Marko Roux Hexberg
Ms Elsa Muller SAPO Trust
Ms Estelle Goosen Stargrow
Mr Stuart Amos Topfruit
Mr André Van Wyk Vititec
Mr Casper Brink Voor-Groenberg
Mr Sakkie Du Toit Vinpro
Mr Francois Viljoen Vinpro
Mr Dawie Moelich SATGI
Mr Stefan Jordaan Raisins SA
Mr Jan Booysen Consultant (Co-opted)
Ms Ashika Kistnasamy DALRRD (Co-opted)
Mr Nolan Africander DALRRD (Co-opted)
Ms Rachel Kriel Secretary
Mr Jan Booysen Consultant (Chairman)
Mr Stefan Jordaan Raisins SA
Mr Dawie Moelich SATGI
Mr Conrad Schutte Vinpro
Mr Gieliam Botma Bosman Adama
Mr Francois De La Querra Duikerfontein Vine Nursery
Mr Divan Venter Hexberg Nursery
Ms Elsa Muller SAPO Trust
Ms Louise Van Der Merwe Stargrow
Mr AJ Jansen van Vuuren TopFruit
Mr Henri Slabber Vititec
Mr Johan Laubscher Voor-Groenberg
Mr Theo Heydenrych Jr SA Viticultural Nursery Association
Mr Jan-Hendrik Malan SA Viticultural Nursery Association
Mr Phillip du Toit DALRRD - Inspection Services
Ms Lolita Frazenburg DALRRD - Diagnostic Services
Ms Phyllis Burger Agricultural Research Council
Dr Gerhard Pietersen Patho Solutions (Co-opted)
Me Rachel Kriel Secretary


"Growing together"

Francois Viljoen
021 276 0429


“South African Table Grape Industry”

Dawie Moelich
021 863 0366

Raisins SA

"Raisins South Africa"

Stefan Jordaan
054 495 0283


“Invested in potential”

Gieliam Botma
021 864 1705

Duikerfontein Vine Nursery

“Cultivating for Future Generations”

Francois De La Querra
022 125 0604


“Quality vines since 1924”

Divan Venter
021 873 3059


“Cultivating future growth”

Elsa Muller
021 887 6823


"Developer of new varieties"

Estelle Goosen
021 880 1882


"International leaders in cultivar management"

Stuart Amos
021 874 1033


"Setting new standards for vine plant improvement"

André Van Wyk
021 276 0475


"Growing quality vines successfully"

Casper Brink
021 864 1018

South African Vine Growers Association

Members are registered nurseries under the SA Plant Certification Scheme for Grape Vines as promulgated in terms of the Plant Improvement Act (Act No. 53 of 1976). SAVGA represents members and make inputs to working groups, committees, boards of VIA and Plant SA as well as the Department of Agriculture on statutory control of certification of plant material and nursery vines.

Theo Heydenrych
083 231 7490