Judgement reserved on Vinpro’s application for urgent interim interdict
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AFTER having been argued for a full day on Wednesday, the Western Cape High Court had reserved judgment on Vinpro’s urgent interim interdict application that would afford the premier of the Western Cape the power to adopt deviations to the national ban to enable off- and on-consumption sale of liquor in the province.
The legal teams acting on behalf of Vinpro and the South African government have stated their arguments to the presiding judge, acting Judge Noluthando Nziweni, in the Western Cape High Court, after which she reserved judgment on the matter.
Vinpro managing director Rico Basson said yesterday that they were hopeful for a positive outcome and eagerly awaited feedback on this important principle that would govern decision-making regarding future wine sales bans.
“The South African wine industry is at the edge of a cliff after its revenue stream has been cut off intermittently over the past 16 months. For every week that goes by even more wine-related businesses face potential closures, leaving thousands of employees struggling to feed their families,” said Basson.
Vinpro said following their tireless efforts from the wine industry to actively engage with the government over the past 16 months were met by a continued lack of proper and real consultation and assistance from it, they were left with no other option than to pursue legal action as a last resort to urgently reopen trade and prevent further business closures and job losses.
Basson said the industry had been out of business for 23 weeks since the first alcohol ban.
“While we await feedback on the outcome of the interdict application, we remain committed to seeing through our main court application that is set down for hearing in the Western Cape High Court before a full bench of judges from August 23 to 26 August,” said Vinpro.