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

SPIRITS giant Distell’s share price fell 6% when the JSE opened on Monday (13 July) after President Cyril Ramaphosa extended the country’s strict measures to prevent cases of Covid-19 from surging.

Several large corporations including Heineken, AB Inbev, Distell and VinPro have since issued a statement warning of billions in lost tax revenue and job losses.

Kurt Moore, chief executive of the South African Liquor Brandowners’ Association, said the ban would have a “disastrous economic impact on the industry and continue to exacerbate the loss of excise revenue”, warning that the move would “fuel the growth in the illicit liquor market”.

A statement from VinPro added: “The decision to suspend local liquor sales will deal a devastating blow to the South African wine industry, which has already suffered great financial and job losses due to bans earlier in the lockdown.”

While breweries, distilleries and wineries can’t sell their products in South Africa, they’re still allowed to export. One of the best things you can do to help is order online.

Support from consumers overseas, and subsequent exports, is “the only thing that can save the industry from disaster,” according to Hannes Spangenberg. owner of South African wine and spirits merchant Vaar Merchants.

Industry leaders are calling on people to support the industry as part of a new campaign which will be publicised on social media with the hashtag #drinksouthafrican.

“Please do your best to support the South African Wine Industry by buying your favourite wine brands,” Spangenberg said.

“Even though sales within SA are banned, exports are still open. Now more than ever #drinksouthafrican.”

(Source: The Drink Business)

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