VinproBL Premium reports that Vinpro, a 2,500-strong wine industry body, said on Monday it would be sticking to its legal action against the government despite President Cyril Ramaphosa's decision to partially lift a ban on alcohol sales.  

As part of its strategy to combat the spread of Covid-19, the government has banned the sale of alcohol three times since March 2020, which has put it at loggerheads with the industry.  SA Breweries also took the government to court over the ban.  Vinpro, which represents farmers and large-scale producers, said while it welcomed Ramaphosa's easing of restrictions, it wanted to avoid a situation where the industry was vulnerable to the government switching them “on and off”.  The association also said in its court action last week that provincial authorities should have the power under the national state of disaster to make alcohol regulations.  As part of the easing of restrictions, Ramaphosa said licensed premises for off-site consumption would again be allowed to trade from Monday to Thursday.  Restaurants, bars and taverns would be allowed to sell alcohol for consumption within their premises throughout the week, from 10am to 10pm.  In addition to a direct loss of R8bn in sales since March, Vinpro said the after-effects of the prohibitions still threatened the survival of cellars, wine grape producers and the livelihoods of 27,000 workers.


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