PUBLIK is a niche wine business that began in 2013. Our objective is to introduce oenophiles to the exciting world of smaller independent South African producers whose wines don’t make it onto supermarket shelves. What started as a tiny bar in a shared basement space in Cape Town evolved into an online wine store and then distribution operation.
We opened another wine bar in Rosebank, Gauteng last year, to make these wines more readily available in Jo’burg, and were very pleased by the reception. Like so many countries, South Africa has a very diverse relationship when it comes to alcohol. We are mostly a beer-drinking nation that also loves spirits. Wine is popular as an inexpensive drink, but far less so as a premium option in comparison to whisky or cognac, so a small bar that offers wines made by obscure producers in tiny volumes is hardly a mainstream venture.
It’s been said the alcohol business is a good one to be in regardless of economic or socio-political climate: when times are good, people celebrate with a drink (“Let’s party!”); when times are bad, people drink to commiserate (“Let’s drink to better days!”). But this outlook certainly changes during a pandemic, specifically when a government puts a nationwide ban on the legal sale of alcohol (“Let’s drink anything we can find!”).
A few days into the first lockdown, we found bars going into survival mode. With no wine sales allowed and a team of employees to take care of, we quickly repurposed them into alternative offerings. We roped in a chef from one of the many closed restaurants and our Cape Town bar became a fried chicken takeaway.
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The year of the ark
Bonang Mohale, a leading businessman and Chancellor of the University of the Free State, recently delivered a speech at a masters’ and doctoral graduation ceremony, from which many South Africans can draw inspiration. This is an edited version of his speech.
An inside job
Yusuf Ganief, Executive Chairperson of Cape Town Festival and lead singer and manager of the music duo Desert Rose, invites us to join his journey in search of freedom.
Mind Your Language
Shadrack Ncele, an undergraduate law student, articulates his inner conflict and double consciousness as a young man born into isiXhosa culture who is now immersed in the English language.
Two Lies And A Half Truth
Marketing Campaign Strategist Jordan Pieters delves into the disparities between the constitutional freedoms that young South Africans have been born into, and their lived realities.
A Question Of Liberty
While there is still much to be done to achieve true freedom for all South Africans, media veteran Ryland Fisher shares why we have reason to celebrate.
Careful What You Wish For
Former newspaper editor Gasant Abarder refl ects on past fantasies about freedom and the imperfections that come with living in a democracy.
Being Homeless Isn't A Crime
According to Statistics South Africa, ours is the most unequal country in the world. And this inequality is visible in all of our cities. Unless you are living under a rock, you’ll be aware that South Africa has a large homeless population.
Living Without Chaos
South African social philosopher and poet Athol Williams weighs up the cost of unfettered chaos.
Nicola Rabkin shares what a typical, environmentally conscious day looks like for her family, who is striving for eco-mindfulness.
BUBBLES SANS BOOZE
Zari Sparkling, an alcohol-free bubbly, has been creating a new niche in the beverage sector since 2010.
It's time to plan for winter
Before we know it, winter will be upon us. Make sure you are properly prepared to help your crops withstand the first frost, says Bill Kerr.
2 Moms, 1 Dad And A Bitter Legal Battle
A little girl is at the centre of a row between two women and their sperm donor over his continued involvement in his daughter’s life
How To Manage Your Greater Tax Risk In 2021
"If you think compliance is expensive, try non-compliance." - Paul McNulty, former US Deputy Attorney General
Bites & Stings
Life support medic ALET MAARTENS is a Gauteng-based trail runner with a few tips to keep you safe against summer bugs with big appetites or short tempers.
Animal Welfare – Donation Drive Success!
“As our national donation drive came to an end on 18 July, Mandela Day, we felt extremely proud of the result that we were able to achieve, with the help and support of our customers and members of the surrounding communities,” says Genevieve Baptie, Marketing Manager of Absolute Pets.
If there’s one thing that you have do yourself, regularly, it is to lubricate your chain. The advent of the ‘O-ring’ chain has made this less essential than previously, or maybe it would be more accurate to say that intervals between lubrications has been extended, even if the need to has not.
Farmers' water rights and the law
Water is an economic enabler, and ensuring that it is used where it will have the most benefit is key to the agriculture sector and maintaining food security. However, a recent decision by the South African High Court, which confirmed that the sale and transfer of water is unlawful, has created much uncertainty about farmers’ rights in this regard, writes James Brand, senior associate of ENSafrica’s Natural Resources and Environment department.
BMW R1250RT Sport Free At Last
All my plans for the 2020 Buffalo Rally were finalised. Accommodation booked and paid, routes plotted, a good crew to ride with and, the crimson cherry on top, my ride to Mossel Bay was a gorgeous Mars Red BMW R1250RT Sport. In October 2019 I was invited to the launch of the of the R1250R, RS and RT in the Lowveld and had the absolute pleasure of riding the RT Sport on some of the best biking roads in the country.
Small-Scale Success With Olives In Gauteng
Olive farming in South Africa tends to be concentrated in a few regions in the Western Cape and Northern Cape where conditions are ideal for this fruit. But in the early 2000s, Gauteng-based Hettie du Toit and her late husband, Frans, frustrated with the ongoing theft of their vegetables, decided to give olives a go on their plot. Pieter Dempsey reports
‘I WILL MISS HER JOKES'
The lawyer uncle of slain Tshegofatso Pule tells YOU of his family’s pain and why he’ll never defend an abuser of women again