SA lockdown: Sour grapes over liquor ban

The local wine industry says it lost R3-billion in revenue during nine weeks of lockdown. And with the reinstatement of the booze ban, it estimates at least 300,000 jobs will be lost. Courtesy #DStv403

CAPE TOWN - The local wine industry says it lost R3-billion in revenue during nine weeks of lockdown.

With the reinstatement of the booze ban, it estimates at least 300,000 jobs will be lost.

Wine cellars are struggling with exports due to a backlog.

WATCH: Alcohol sales suspended with immediate effect

The South African wine industry says it's lost close to R450-million a week during the lockdown.

It says 18,000 jobs were cut when 80 wineries had to shut down during this time.

Management of the Zevenwacht and Steenberg Wine Estates fear even more job cuts.

EXPLAINER: Why alcohol sales were suspended

"If we look at the first three months of the ban on alcohol sales that was very significant to our business as we lost an average of 18 percent of our annual budget income," said Steenberg general manager, Elunda Basson.

"With the lack of sales, we are building up surplus stock in the cellars in particular with wine vintages people expect to drink a fresher vintage it will result in a lot of surplus wine in the industry which will drive down prices," said Zevenwacht marketing director, Denise Johnson.

Government, however, is allowing wines to be exported.

READ: SA wine industry on its knees as lockdown set to ease

But many businesses will have to wait weeks, if not months, to ship their goods to other countries.

"There are additional issues pertaining to exports at the moment specifically pertaining to the Cape Town port.

There have been COVID-related issues and there’s a massive backlog," said Communications Manager at Wines of South Africa, Maryna Calow.

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Source
eNCA