The Western Cape wine and tourism industry has suffered a massive blow as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to SABC News, the wine and tourism industry has suffered an estimated loss of more than R8 billion and 30 000 jobs in the last 12 months. These numbers are even more astonishing when you take into consideration that about 70% of small and medium enterprises around the Western Cape rely heavily on tourism.
“In all likelihood, a number of our primary growers will have to sell their businesses, so the impact has been felt through the board, not just in our direct industry but also those manufacturers that supply, from glass to packaging and even the restaurant sector that has been so heavily affected by the various bans,” said Maryna Calow of Wines South Africa, as reported by SABC News.
There does, however, seem to light at the end of the tunnel for the wine and tourism industry. David Maynier, Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities in the Western Cape recently said that the Western Cape is slowly starting to show positive signs of economic recovery.
Maynier notes SA’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey, which shows an increase in employment in the Western Cape of over 120 000 in the last quarter of 2020. Maynier has attributed this to the resilience of the private sector during the pandemic.