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SA wine industry still reeling from effects of exports ban

Wine exports were prohibited for five weeks during the strict national lockdown under level 5.

Picture: Pixabay.com

CAPE TOWN - Even though wine exports were allowed for the past few weeks, its brief ban could have long-lasting effects.

Wine exports were prohibited for five weeks during the strict national lockdown under level 5. The industry lost almost R1 billion as a result of that ban.

Diemersdal Wines owner Thys Louw said he had lost a lot of export business due to the brief ban as his company could not make deliveries to overseas clients.

“We’ve lost quite a bit of shelf space and that you don’t get back easily. I mean we’ve worked so hard to get our wine on the shelves in some of the supermarkets abroad,” Louw said.

His business also relied heavily on the local market and the ban on alcohol made his financial situation.

“For the next three years, we just want to survive... it’s not a money-making business but the most important thing for us is just to pay the staff,” he said.

Maryna Calow of Wines of South Africa said several export contracts were continuing as planned.

“Most of the agents and retailers were actually quite sympathetic towards our exporters,” she said.

She added that the lift on the export ban had helped to prevent job losses.

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.