The South African wine industry has received permission to export its products, following intensive lobbying by an Industry Exporters Task Team with Government on the matter over the past week.
On Tuesday afternoon, 7 April 2020, the Minister of Transport gazetted new Directions under the lockdown Regulations to expressly permit the export of wines and other fresh produce products.
The regulations stipulate that wines are permitted to be exported and agricultural cargo to be moved to sea ports and international airports for export.
The Minister of Transport has permitted the following expressly: “During the lockdown period, the transportation of the wines and any other fresh produce products at the sea ports and international Airports Designated as Port of Entry for export is allowed”
The notice also stated the following: “Agricultural Cargo is allowed to be transported to sea ports and International Airports Designated as Ports of Entry and exported to the relevant destination”
Download the latest Government Gazette: Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002 – Sea ports 7 April 2020
The Exporters Task Team is still taking all aspects in the Gazette into consideration and will meet soon to discuss and communicate all relevant operational activities.
The South African wine industry is truly grateful to Government and all the respective role-players for showing an understanding for the industry’s challenges through this concession, as nearly half of South Africa’s wine production is exported and a restriction on exports would have a severe effect on wine-related businesses, but most importantly the livelihood of close to 300 000 people employed by the wine industry value-chain.
The latest decision by Government follows on an earlier concession for the wine industry to complete harvesting and processing activities to prevent wastage during the 21 day lockdown.
Amidst the excitement from the industry about these concessions, we need to reiterate that with this concession comes a great responsibility to keep our employees safe during this time.