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Agri WC laments re-banning of alcohol, says nearly 18k workers to be affected

Agri Western Cape's chief executive officer Jannie Strydom said that they were extremely concerned about jobs that had already been lost in the wine value chain due to COVID-19 regulations.

Picture: Pixabay.com

CAPE TOWN – Agri Western Cape said that there was no doubt that government's second ban on alcohol sales would cause an enormous amount of damage to the entire wine value chain.

On Sunday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced government's decision to ban the sale of liquor for a second time since the nationwide lockdown started in March.

_WATCH: Alcohol ban and curfew returns _

While some have welcomed his announcement, others, especially in the wine and tourism industries, have expressed outrage.

Agri Western Cape said that levels four and five of the national lockdown already had a devastating impact on the industry when the ban on domestic sales resulted in a revenue loss of more than R3 billion.

Chief executive officer Jannie Strydom said that they were extremely concerned about jobs that had already been lost in the wine value chain due to COVID-19 regulations.

He said that it was estimated that a further 18,000 thousand workers would now be affected.

“The decision to suspend alcohol sales again will put further pressure on producers and sellers that are already at an enormous financial loss due to COVID-19 regulations. There are practical implications as well, such as what will become of the 2021 harvest if the 2020 harvest is still in the cellars.”

Strydom said that the agriculture sector wasn't consulted in this decision and unfortunately its impact did not stop at the farm gate or at a retailer.

South African Liquor Brand Owners' Association's Kurt Moore earlier this week agreed that further restrictions on sales would have a disastrous economic impact, while other alcohol associations believed that further restricting the legal trade of alcohol would fuel the growth in the illicit liquor market.

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