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​The Cradle of Humankind is using the Soweto Wine Festival to promote tourism, a fitting partnership in Tourism and Heritage Month.

Heritage​ Month presents an opportunity for people to go out and learn about their history and origins.

Spring is just the right season for these outings, and the Soweto Wine Festival is just the right way to start off. After wine and food, the Cradle of Humankind is one of the best places to visit.

The Soweto Wine Festival starts the month off with a celebration of South African wine, and in conjunction with the Cradle of the Humankind, a festival sponsor, it is encouraging tourism.

It runs from 4 September to 5 September at the University of Johannesburg's Soweto Campus in the Main Hall, from 6pm to 10pm on Friday and from 5pm to 10pm on Saturday.

"You almost cannot separate wine from leisure, travel or hospitality; in fact, whenever people are on a romantic getaway or away to celebrate some event, they do it over a glass of wine," says Fana Jiyane, the chief executive of the Cradle, a world heritage site.

The Cradle will use the wine festival to promote tourism. It will encourage people to explore South Africa and its heritage, specifically the Cradle, before considering going overseas.

It is important for locals to be exposed to this significant heritage and tourism destination, to know and understand the origins of all humankind, says Jiyane.

"The Cradle of the Humankind is a scientific trove which has produced valuable information about the emergence of the human family, as well as early human and cultural development, which are of universal importance," explains Reshma Lakha-Singh, the site's marketing director. It is host to 435 tourist attractions.

This heritage site is also celebrating its 10th birthday.  "What better way to celebrate 10 years and expose South Africa and the world to a global treasure than over a glass of wine at our stand."

"The [Cradle] and the Soweto Wine Festival both represent critical stages in our struggle for fulfilment as human beings - one of earliest and one of the most recent," Jiyane points out.

The Soweto Wine Festival takes place every year and has undergone significant growth over the years. With 1 500 people attending and 82 wineries exhibiting in 2005, the festival's first year, it grew to 4 635 wine enthusiasts and 103 wineries packing the hall to capacity in 2008, according to Viv Quann, the public relations officer from Hot Salsa Media.

Other festival sponsors include Standard Bank, Vodacom, City Press, DStv, Pick n Pay, Nederburg, JC le Roux and Joburg Tourism.

Tickets cost R55 per person per evening and are available at Pick n Pay Hypers in Boksburg, Norwood, Woodmead, Steeledale, Northgate, Princess Crossing, Soweto and Greenstone, and from Morara Wine, Cape Wine Academy or at the door.

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