I welcome the announcement made by President Cyril Ramaphosa on the easing of restrictions as it offers a much-needed injection of optimism for the recovery of the wine sector and thousands of jobs.
As highlighted in my letter dated 25 January 2021 to the National Agriculture Minister, wine grapes represent 50,3% of the 181 233 ha under fruit production in the Western Cape Province. The replacement value of these wine grapes amounts to R33,94 billion.
Wine is the third biggest export product of the Western Cape economy and contributes 6,5% to the total value of exports from the Province.
The Western Cape Department of Agriculture estimates that 45 610 people work in the primary production side of the Wine Industry, supporting the livelihoods of 228 053 people.
The Wine Industry's iconic nature has resulted in the fact that it has strong linkages with the Tourism Sector.
As per my appeal to the National Minster, the following is now permitted:
- Domestic sales for off-site consumption are now allowed from Monday to Thursday from 10 am to 6 pm
- Wine sales for on-site consumption in restaurants are now permitted throughout the week from 10 am to 10 pm, and
- Similarly, wine sales for off-site consumption from registered wineries and wine farms are now permitted as per their regular licensed operating hours.
The easing of restrictions on the sale of wine allows the Industry to claw back the substantial loss in revenue and jobs it has suffered due to the stop-start prohibiting of wine sales over the past ten months.
I appeal to the Industry to do so in a responsible manner as we cannot afford another lock lockdown. We also need places which sell alcohol to take greater responsibility for their patrons, helping to deal with the negative impacts of over-excessive drinking which results in trauma cases at our hospitals.
It remains compulsory to wear masks in public spaces. We must continue to avoid close contact and crowded and enclosed areas.
The Industry must ensure that we can maintain the downward trajectory in Covid-19 infections while supporting our economy's recovery.
Minister Meyer with Denise Stubbs and Francois Roode of Thokozani Wines. In the background barrels of wine stored as a result of the ban on wine sales.
Spokesperson for Minister Ivan Meyer
Tel: 079 990 4231