“We question the rationality of newly promulgated regulations that ban wine consumption on wine farms and in restaurants. We also question the regulations which ban the physical or online purchase of wine for consumption at home. Further, we seek clarity on the assumption that the above actions will lead to the overburdening of South Africa’s health system, especially when the volume can effectively be regulated and limited,” said Mike Ratcliffe, Chair of Stellenbosch Wine Routes and Visit Stellenbosch
Uniting behind this legal application, brought by Southern African Agri Initiative, are: Stellenbosch Wine Routes, Visit Stellenbosch, the Paarl Wine Route Association, Hemel en Aarde Wine Growers Association, Franschhoek Wine Valley Tourism Association, the Wellington Wine Route Association, as well as Fairview Investments, Rust and Vrede Wynlandgoed, Welbedacht Wines and the South African Sommelier Academy. In addition, the legal motion is receiving support from a number of wine regions and stakeholders.
The new regulations are taking a major toll on employment, according to Ratcliffe.
“For most restaurants, business under the new regulations is now simply unsustainable. We need an inclusive solution whereby the industry is consulted, so that we can move forward in a measured, responsible manner – one which supports the Government’s objective of balancing lives with livelihoods,” he added.