Cape Town - The Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) will provide crucial relief to employees in the local wine tourism sector in the form of a R12 million support fund.
The Wine Tourism Worker Support Stipend (WTWSS) was officially launched at Elsenburg on Monday to safeguard the continuous employment of wine tourism workers by subsidising their salaries for a key quarter of the tourism calendar.
Agriculture MEC, Ivan Meyer, said: “During Covid-19 the wine industry and its workers were negatively impacted by the regulations. Our contribution goes towards alleviating the impact the loss of income has had on the wine tourism industry and its workers. We are confident that this contribution will bring relief and dignity to workers within the wine agritourism industry. We have prioritised agritourism as part of the economic recovery in the Western Cape.”
The department reprioritised R12m from its own budget as support to the wine tourism sector.
A stipend of R3 000 will be allocated per person per month for three consecutive months – the peak tourism months of December 2020, and January and February 2021 – to mitigate projected job losses. Each winery may claim for a maximum of 10 employees to give as many wineries access to the fund as possible, and all wineries, including but not limited to Vinpro members, may apply. Wineries are to apply on behalf of their existing permanent employees and all payments will be made directly to the wineries at the end of the three-month period.
Vinpro’s wine tourism manager, Marisah Nieuwoudt, said: “The South African wine industry, and specifically wine tourism, is without a doubt the agricultural sector hardest hit by Covid-19 restrictions. We are truly grateful to Meyer and his team for their support of the South African wine industry, and the wine tourism sector in particular, by securing this funding for our employees,”
Applications close on December 15, after which a screening process will take place in January and successful wineries will receive confirmation in February.
The relevant employer application form and employee claim form can be downloaded from www.vinpro.co.za/wine-tourism, and submitted to [email protected].