SA’s wine industry expecting another major blow due to alcohol ban

Vinpro's Rico Basson estimates between 80 wineries and 350 grape producers may go out of business in the next 12 to 18 months.

Picture: 123rf.com

CAPE TOWN - After already losing an estimated R7.5 billion in sales revenue, South Africa's wine industry fears the situation will worsen with the re-imposed ban on alcohol sales, which is in place to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Earlier this week, President Cyril Ramaphosa reinstated the ban on the sale and transportation of alcohol in an effort to reduce pressure on hospitals.

It's been a rocky year for the wine industry, and now with another ban in place, the wine sector is concerned about the dire consequences.

Vinpro's Rico Basson on Wednesday said following the recent bans, there had been job losses and a number of wineries and tourism facilities had to shut their doors.

“The previous bans had a devastating impact on the wine sector with a loss of more than R7.5 billion in sales due to lack of trade for 14 weeks on the local market and five weeks on exports.”

Basson estimates between 80 wineries and 350 grape producers may go out of business in the next 12 to 18 months.

He adds many lessons have been learned from lockdown level 5 and 4, including that the restriction of legal trade of alcohol fuels the growth of the illicit market.

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