South Africa: Wineries Out of Business, Jobs Lost - the Reality of the Booze Ban


With alert Level 3 lockdown regulations extended, including the ban on alcohol sales and on-site consumption at restaurants and tasting rooms, wine businesses are reeling. Not all of them will recover.

The underlying reasons for the government enforcing yet another ban on alcohol sales - on- and off-site - are not up for discussion here; there's a lot of blame and finger-pointing going on already. I was going to say "too much" but perhaps it's "not enough".

Last week we looked at how it's affecting restaurants, along with a 9pm curfew, which drastically curtails their ability to trade with any kind of decent profit. Many have closed, and sadly, many more are likely to follow in the coming weeks as the ban has been extended to 15 February.

It's not a competition, but this ban has perhaps an even bigger impact on the wine industry, still trying to recover from 2020 and heading into the 2021 harvest. Dr Winifred E Bowman, Cape Wine Master, crunched some numbers.

"As far as wine tourism is concerned, the situation is really scary: 77% of wine tourism revenue is from wine tasting (32%), accommodation (25%) and restaurants (20%), and from March to...

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