Level 4 Lockdown restrictions - industry comment needed urgently

Sunday, 26 April, 2020
Judy Brower | wine.co.za
The DTI has asked for comments on the Level 4 restrictions and we urge wineries and related business to submit their comments by midday Monday 27th April. wine.co.za will make an application for online sales to be permitted.

South Africa has been under severe stress alongside the rest of the world while limiting infections of the Corona virus, but we are unique in that we cannot sell alcohol.

On Thursday 23rd April, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that South Africa's COVID-19 Lockdown would go down from Level 5 to Level 4 from 1 May 2020 (there being 5 levels, based on the spread of Corona, deaths, readiness of the health sector and other critical factors).  The level may change as and when conditions change.

According to the draft framework for sectors from the DTI dated Sat 25th April, alcohol sales are still prohibited under Level 4, Point E, No 20, and will only be lifted (with further restrictions) for Level 3. They are, however, calling for comment from industres so now is our time to make ourselves heard.

See Point E: Wholesale and retail trade, covering stores, spaza shops, eCommerce and informal traders:
20. No sale of liquor permitted

We have no idea when Level 3 is going to happen and the wine industry is feeling severe economic pressure what with exports also halted for 2 weeks. The draft framework document released by the DTI seems to allow exports which is a huge relief.
See Point A: Agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing:
1. All agriculture, hunting, forestry, fishing and related services, including the export of agricultural products permitted

However, not every winery does exports and under the current circumstances, it makes sense to allow ONLINE sales at least.

wine.co.za will be making comment to the DTI for online sales to be re-opened as it puts the least amount of stress on workers and the public, while keeping some revenue coming in for producers and the affected supply chain. Risks can be managed as they were before lockdown Level 5 began. Couriers, distributors and wineries were very strict in their sanitising procedures and we will ensure that our staff and the couriers we work with maintain the highest standards of hygiene to minimise any risk of infection by COVID-19.

 

We thank Vinpro and WOSA for their consistent lobbying and hope that we can shift the Level 4 restrictions to aid the local industry and save thousands of jobs as well as contribute to the dwindling fiscus.

GUIDELINES from the DTI for comments: (for Level 4 only at this stage)

  1. The intention of this document is to provide a template for submission of comments related to the Risk Based Model for Economic Activity. South Africa will be moving to level 4 economic activity hence your comments should be confined to the proposals as contained in Level 4 only.
  2. The reference should be clear: alphabetic and numeric, eg A5 _______
  3. The risk-based model will be monitored and where necessary amendments will be made to the model in the future.
  4. Given the timeframes for response, we request representative associations of sectors, federations of businesses and trade unions to make submissions.
  5. Comments should be submitted via email in Microsoft Word format for ease of consolidation as follows: Closing Date: Monday, 27 April 2020. 
    Email address: nervecentre@cogta.gov.za

Given point 4 in the guidelines - please send your comments to Vinpro and WOSA and encourage your associations to do the same: eg Pinotage Association, Chenin Association and others

 

 

 

Judy Brower

Judy has been running wine.co.za alongside her hubby Kevin Kidson since 1996. She takes photos, attends functions, writes occasionally, sells wine.co.za services, is Mrs HR at the company, cooks yummy lunches from time to time and generally is the glue at wine.co.za