The South African government has agreed to let wine exports resume. The decision follows a tense time for the local industry, as the ban on wine exports had left it questioning its survival.
“We are grateful to President Ramaphosa and all the relevant government departments for the confirmation and providing certainty,” said Siobhan Thompson, CEO of Wines of South Africa, adding that the industry will do everything in its power to keep employees, customers and consumers safe.
The South African government has flip-flopped back and forth on the issue of wine exports. At the beginning of lockdown on 27 March, the government announced that wine could not be transported between two points, which meant that wine could not get to the ports. Then it allowed transport – and then, on 16 April, it banned it again.
After the second ban, producers such as Andrea Mullineux of Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines told Meininger’s that the situation was “completely devastating”. At stake was exports worth in excess of $9.3m a week.
Wine is the Western Cape’s most important export and employs around 290,000 people.
Click here to read more about what’s behind the South African government’s stance on wine.