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Related article: Alcohol industry 'optimistic' that sales prohibition will soon be lifted

The Southern African Agri Initiative and some of South Africa’s rapidly waning wine farms are taking the government to court over the alcohol sales ban.

The case will appear before the North Gauteng High Court on 18 August.

The plaintiffs want the Court to declare the regulations banning the sale of alcohol unconstitutional.

They say that the government failed in balancing the survival of the once-thriving wine industry with the goal of ensuring the healthcare system has enough capacity to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

They argue that a blanket ban on alcohol sales was unnecessary for the government to reduce alcohol abuse.

Former Shoprite CEO Whitey Basson will be the most high-profile witness in this battle with Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Pippa Hudson interviewed Francois Rossouw, CEO at the Southern African Agri Initiative.

We have a lot of issues with the data she [Minister Dlamini Zuma] used. Also, there are a bunch of procedural issues that are inherently unfair – the fact that she consulted with the industry throughout, except for this total ban.

Francois Rossouw, CEO - Southern African Agri Initiative

She damaged the market domestically and internationally… farmers lost market access for a few weeks, prompting retailers in other countries to stop selling South African wines because it’s so volatile.

Francois Rossouw, CEO - Southern African Agri Initiative

Wine, especially, is the most traceable product that I know of! … Why can’t we stop someone from buying too much wine? We need to relieve this economic effect by putting in better regulations!

Francois Rossouw, CEO - Southern African Agri Initiative

How is it rational to allow taxis loaded at 100% capacity, but you cannot give a diner a glass of wine in a controlled, hygienic, socially distanced environment?

Francois Rossouw, CEO - Southern African Agri Initiative

Listen to the interview in the audio below.

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Despairing wine farmers to battle Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma in court on 18 August

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