Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has welcomed the Western Cape High Court’s judgment, dismissing an application brought by wine producers’ body Vinpro to challenge the constitutionality and lawfulness of the nationwide liquor bans imposed by the government during the Covid-19 pandemic.
THE minister, representing the national government, successfully argued that the regulations were not aimed at addressing the impact of alcohol on society generally, but were rather aimed at capacitating the health system during trying times.
This is because South Africa has a much higher burden of alcohol-related trauma cases than experienced in many other countries,” said COGTA.
Vinpro, a non-profit company which represents close to 2 600 South African wine producers, cellars and industry stakeholders, is extremely disappointed in the ruling.
Vinpro managing director Rico Basson said they not only lost more than R10 billion in sales revenue, but jobs were lost and the industry suffered international reputational damage.
“The government’s blunt approach, its unwillingness to consult and the lack of transparency regarding the empirical data used in its decision-making, has caused irreversible damage to the wine and tourism industry,” Basson said.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE