Western Cape Agriculture Minister Ivan Meyer has welcomed the extension of Sunday trade of wine at registered wineries and farms in the province.

He says a blanket limitation would have been detrimental to wine tourism and the agro-processing economy, which employs thousands of people.

Meyer says they have made available R12-million for the establishment of the Wine Industry Tourism Worker Support Stipend.

He says the stipend will support 1 300 workers for three months.

“I have written a letter to the national government requesting them to remove the restrictions on the wine industry.  And I am now pleased to announce that the latest regulations were amended to allow for wine tastings and Sunday wine sales for offsite consumption.”

“We will continue to protest both lives and livelihoods. The wine industry and agriculture are critical for the success of the economic recovery in South Africa.”

In November, President Cyril Ramaphosa said as long as people observe all the necessary health protocols and remaining restrictions, there is no need to go back to higher lockdown levels.

He said the international community has commended the country for how it handled the pandemic.

The video below is the President’s address:

However, he said in order to prevent a resurgence in cases, attention must be given to certain areas, including the Eastern Cape.

“And the total number of new cases in the last 14 days was around 145% higher than the previous 14 days. These increases are being driven by massive spikes in the Nelson Mandela Metro and the Sarah Baartman District in particular,” says the President.

Ramaphosa said poor adherence to social distancing, wearing masks and poor hygiene will allow for rising infections.