The Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, welcomes the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa to resume the sale and distribution of alcohol under Alert Level 2 from midnight, 17 August 2020.
Minister Meyer: “I welcome the resumption of local trade and distribution. The wine industry is of crucial importance to the economy of the Western Cape. The resumption of sales and distribution will save lives and livelihoods.”
Minister Meyer had warned earlier that the banning of domestic sales could lead to the destruction of the wine industry.
Meyer continues: “Domestic sales still represent more than half of total wine sales. Furthermore, the domestic market is of importance to the 76% of producers and 72% of cellars harvesting or crushing less than 500 tons per annum. Lifting the ban on domestic sale of wine, is the only way to halt further job losses, business closures and irreversible damage to the industry.”
Meyer expressed his confidence in the industry’s ability to bounce back.
Meyer: “The wine industry suffered damage during this period. It will recuperate and be even be more robust than before. There should, however, be no more bans on domestic or export sales of wine. The industry must establish itself as a responsible producer and supplier of alcohol in terms of the application of (Alert Level-2) Covid-19 regulations as well as in confronting the strong anti-alcohol sentiment.”
The banning of alcohol sales and distribution has resulted in many job losses in the wine industry.
Minister Meyer: “Workers and the wine value chain must now be allowed to carry on with their business without any further interruptions.
“My main priority is to grow the agricultural economy and create jobs. The wine industry will play a significant role in the economic recovery of the Western Cape. I have set a goal for the Provincial Agricultural Sector to increase its exports by at least 5% over the next five years. While wine is an agricultural product which contributes significantly to the national gross domestic product, it also impacts directly on agritourism in the Western Cape.”
The journey to economic recovery can now begin” concluded Meyer.
Spokesperson for Minister Ivan Meyer
Tel: 079 990 4231