GroundUp writes that Cape wine producers are warning of a “job massacre” because of the renewed ban on alcohol sales. In an urgent application launched in the North Gauteng High Court on Monday, the producers want wine sales to be distinguished from the sale of other alcohol, such as beer and spirits. They say the initial hard lockdown almost drove them out of business. The “revised” lockdown, when only “off consumption” alcohol sales were allowed between Monday and Thursday, did little to restore the industry which is facing job losses among those who work the land and run the wineries and their restaurants.
Francois Rossouw, CEO of Southern Africa Agri Initiative (SAAI), a non-profit network for farmers, said court papers to challenge the banning of on-site consumption had already been prepared and were to be filed with the court on Monday 13 July, but then the complete ban was announced on the Sunday night and the application had to be redrafted. The application is supported by 13 wine farms and co-operatives. The wine producers argue that “less restrictive” means ought to have been considered rather than an outright ban. These include limiting the quantities of wine which can be bought and sold and the strict enforcement of a curfew. The application, which cites the ministers of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Tourism, Trade and Industry, the Cabinet and President as respondents, has been set down for 18 August.
by Tania Broughton