Contrary to developments in other parts of the world, South Africa has not developed a bio-ethanol industry. The objective was to quantify the risks and economic viability of a wheat based bio-ethanol plant in the winter rainfall region of South Africa. Monte Carlo simulation of a bio-ethanol plant was used to quantify the risk that investors will likely face. Under the Base scenario a 103 million liter bio-ethanol plant would not offer a reasonable chance of being economically viable. Alternative price enhancing policies were analyzed to determine policy changes needed to make a bio-ethanol plant economically viable in the region.