The South African wine industry is relieved and welcomes government’s decision to lift restrictions on the trading hours for the sale of wine, as well as international travel with effect from today.
President Ramaphosa announced in his national address on 11 November 2020 that the State of Disaster would be extended to 15 December 2020. The country is still at alert level 1, with a further easing of certain restrictions.
This means that the trading and distribution of alcohol for off-site consumption are restored to normal trading hours, which includes trading on Saturdays and Sundays. On-consumption premises will continue to be restricted by the curfew between 24h00 and 04h00.
“We welcome the fact that both on-consumption and off-consumption sales are now permitted,” says Vinpro MD, Rico Basson. “Wine sales at cellar door make up a large portion of the 533 cellar’s revenue and the resumption of normal trade is vital. The survival of the wine industry is not only essential for economic recovery, including 290 000 employment opportunities, but also for the cultural heritage it brings to brand South Africa.
With the peak wine tourism season upon us, and so many wineries reliant on revenues generated from local and international visitors, Vinpro is also grateful for government’s decision to ease international travel restrictions.
“These two positive developments were the outcome of ongoing constructive dialogue between industry, government and civil society, as well as the industry’s involvement in a social compact with these partners to address and launch targeted interventions aimed at promoting responsible consumption and curbing the harmful effects of alcohol abuse across our country.”
The lifting of sales and travel restrictions is a crucial next step towards helping rebuild South African wine businesses and tourism destinations, and enabling them to once again make a valuable contribution to the revival of the country’s economy.
“Although we are pleased by the lifting of these restrictions, we urgently appeal to every individual and business in our industry to not let your guard down. We have the responsibility to ensure that we keep our people safe and healthy, and our economy running, by adhering to all safety protocols and promoting and practicing safe and responsible production, trade, promotion and consumption,” Rico says.
Issued by: Vinpro
Tel: 021 276 0458