Vinpro had launched an urgent application for an interim interdict against the ban on the sale of wine in the Western Cape. Picture: Nic Bothma / EPA
Vinpro had launched an urgent application for an interim interdict against the ban on the sale of wine in the Western Cape. Picture: Nic Bothma / EPA

Vinpro urgent interdict application is postponed

By Given Majola Time of article published Jul 5, 2021

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AN ORDER was granted on Friday confirming that Vinpro’s urgent interdict application was postponed for hearing in the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday.

Vinpro had launched an urgent application for an interim interdict against the ban on the sale of wine in the Western Cape.

The industry body, which represents almost 2 600 wine grape producers, cellars and other wine-related businesses, said the court action was an effort to obtain interim relief for wine businesses.

The application was filed on June 29, and was initially set to be heard last Friday. Vinpro managing director Rico Basson said that, however, following a request by legal counsel for the National Government respondents, the hearing of the application was postponed to the new date.

The preliminary date for the hearing was scheduled for Friday.

Last week, Basson said the latest two-week ban followed 19 weeks of revenue loss over the past 15 months, which has had a devastating effect on the wine and tourism sector that employs more than 269 000 people.

“A large number of our wine producers and wineries are small. More than 80 percent of the 529 wineries are small and medium enterprises and are reliant on direct sales to customers. Although wine exports may continue, the industry exports less than 50 percent of annual production, with the other half sold on home soil. With no financial support from government for these businesses, their prospects, and that of employees, are extremely bleak,” Basson had said.

Cayla Murray, spokesperson for Western Cape Premier Alan Winde, had said in a response to the Business Report on Thursday that they understood from correspondence from Vinpro that Winde would be cited as an interested party in this matter, given that he was already a party to the main application that was still to be determined in August.

“In that main application, Vinpro is seeking an order to declare that the Western Cape provincial government should determine the regulations that apply to the sale and distribution of wine in this province,” said Murray.

She said the premier had agreed to abide in that application and filed an explanatory affidavit stating that such a finding by the court would be acceptable and that the Western Cape government stood ready to fulfil such a role.

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