President Cyril Ramaphosa in his address to the nation last night announced a gradual and phased approach to allow economic activity from 1 May. As stated by the president, relevant ministers will over the next few days consult and then publish regulations and specific directives. We are aware that a number of draft documents are currently in circulation, but can only act on published regulations in the Government Gazette.

While it is our understanding that the export of wine and related processes, as well as certain local licenced outlets (GWL – grocers with licence), are listed under level 4 (permitted from 1 May), we would caution business owners against basing any decisions on this until formal publication of any/all regulations.

Clarification needed

There are also a number of questions that still need clarification (intent and interpretation), such as:

  • Will the export of wine via road be allowed (African countries)?
  • Will wine be classified as an essential product or exempted product?
  • Will all imports be allowed?
  • When will online sales be allowed?
  • Provincial and metro restrictions that might be implemented?
  • Specific procedural and safety protocols required?

Next steps

We will continue to engage and deliberate with relevant government departments to ensure clarity/certainty to the wine industry and will communicate any official outcome as we go along. It is of the utmost importance to reiterate that as per the president’s address, it will not be business as usual and all necessary precautionary steps (protocol) with regard to safety of personnel and workplaces should be implemented. For enquiries, contact Vinpro at info@vinpro.co.za or Wines of South Africa (WOSA) at maryna@wosa.co.za. – WineLand Media