Vinpro wants ban on sale of alcohol lifted in the Western Cape

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Vinpro, a wine industry organisation, has launched an urgent interdict application against the ban on the sale of wine in the Western Cape.

This follows President Cyril Ramaphosa announcement prohibiting the sale of liquor for on and off-site consumption for two weeks.

The ban on the sale of alcohol comes as South Africa was placed under Alert Level 4 lockdown.

Vinpro represents close to 2600 South African wine grape producers, cellars and other wine-related businesses.

Vinpro Managing Director Rico Basson says the latest two-week ban follows 19 weeks of revenue loss since the start of the lockdown in 2020.

Basson says even though wine exports can continue, the industry exports less than 50% of annual production.

The organisation says submissions were made to the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) with detailed interventions to ensure a balanced approach to curb the spread of the virus has not been taken into account.

The preliminary date for the hearing is scheduled for Friday, July 2, 2021, in the High Court in Cape Town.

Liquor Traders Council warns that members are considering defying the ban on alcohol sales

The National Liquor Traders Council (NLTC) has warned that some industry members are considering defying the recent ban on the sale of alcohol, saying employees need to earn an income to support their families.

Ramaphosa says the new restrictions will help slow the further spread of the coronavirus.

NTLC convenor Lucky Ntimane says, “The President can make an announcement that subjects our liquor traders to almost perpetual poverty without providing other means that are going to cushion against the blow that this ban is going to bring to our traders. We feel that it is unfair that the industry continues to be targeted this way.”

“We are not going to let this decision by the President stand. We are going to take him on, we are going to consult with our members today. If needs be, it means we will defy this ban. Who is going to support us for the next two weeks? What is better? Breaking the law for supporting our families? For us, we feel that we need to be taken seriously and we will do that, and whatever is necessary,”says Ntimane.

Earlier, the Beer Association of South Africa (BASA) expressed disappointment over Cabinet’s banning of the sale of alcohol for the next 14 days.

Below is the full interview with BASA CEO Patricia Pillay: