The South African wine industry is planning to oppose the government’s decision to yet again close the tap on exports by halting the movement of liquor.
The sector’s top representatives, Wines of South Africa, (WoSA), Vinpro and WineLand said while they acknowledged the government’s effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus, the decision to slam the brakes on exports would have far reaching consequences for the industry.
Vinpro said the pandemic and lockdown had deeply deeply affected the industry – from primary production to processing as well as related services and products such as wine tourism.
“The financial impact on our industry will undoubtedly also pass on to the approximately 300 000 people employed by the wine industry value-chain, as well as their communities,”VInpro said in a note.
The concerns come after the government banned the transportation of liquor on concerns that this could increase hijackings and an illicit, underground alcohol trading.
In a gazette published on last Thursday, the South African government reversed a decision it had taken a week earlier that allowed wine exports to flow.
It said that the only exception was for industrial use of alcohol in the production of hand sanitisers, disinfectants, soap and household cleaning products.
WoSA said the industry was deeply disappointed with changes in the gazette.