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South Africa makes U-turn and bans wine exports

Published:  17 April, 2020

The South African government has banned exports of wine and spirits during lockdown.

The decision comes just over a week after South Africa’s wine industry breathed a collective sigh of relief as permission was granted for wine to be included in allowable fresh produce products for export.

SA’s cooperative governance and traditional affairs minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, announced the change in the lockdown rules yesterday, as reported by Business Insider South Africa.

“The only alcohol that is allowed to be transported is the one that is used for commercial purposes, for our sanitiser and related issues, but liquor that we drink is not allowed to be exported in the same way it is not allowed to be sold,” said Dlamini-Zuma.

Voicing its “deep disappointment”, Wines of South Africa (WoSA) said: “As an industry task team, we are deeply disappointed and shocked at this sudden change of direction, following extensive lobbying with various government agencies to relax the lockdown measures pertaining to the export and sale of alcohol.

“The livelihood and long-term future of our industry is in grave danger and therefore we will explore all avenues in this regard. We endeavour to keep all our members informed as further information becomes available and implore each and every one of you to adhere to the newly imposed measures.”

WoSA recently announced that the 2020 vintage would deliver 'exceptional wines', after a last minute concession from government allowed harvesting to take place.