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SAAI heading to court over govt's lockdown alcohol sales ban

The Southern African Agri Initiative (SAAI) said that it would approach the Northern Gauteng High Court on 18 August in a bid to have the ban on the sale and consumption of wine in restaurants set aside.

Image: 123rf

CAPE TOWN - The Southern African Agri Initiative (SAAI) is heading to court over the ban on alcohol sales.

Just over a week ago, the president reimposed the ban to free up ICU hospital beds for COVDID-19 patients.

Agri Western Cape said that the initial ban on sales resulted in losses of more than R3 billion in the wine industry alone.

The SAAI said that it would approach the Northern Gauteng High Court on 18 August in a bid to have the ban on the sale and consumption of wine in restaurants set aside.

The organisation's Francois Rossouw believes the strict regulations are arbitrary and irrational.

Rossouw said that while taxis could spread the virus, they were still allowed on the roads at 100% capacity.

Restaurants may be open but are banned from serving wine and other liquor in a regulated, hygienic environment where physical distancing is applied.

The organisation believes that government's regulations are threatening the existence of some of the oldest wine farms in the country.

The SAAI will request the court to repeal a section of the new regulations to allow wine to be served on wine farms and in restaurants.

The application is supported by 13 other applicants from the wine industry.

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