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South African wine exports banned during lockdown

Having made an exception for wine exports just nine days ago, the South African government has now banned the export of wine during the Covid-19 lockdown.

As reported by Business Insider South Africa, cooperative governance and traditional affairs minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, spoke of the change in the lockdown rules yesterday, which ban the export of South African wine and spirits.

“The only alcohol that is allowed to be transported is the one that is used for commercial purposes, for our sanitiser and related issues, but liquor that we drink is not allowed to be exported in the same way it is not allowed to be sold,” Dlamini-Zuma said.

Just nine days ago the rules were relaxed by transport minister Fikile Mbuala to allow wine to be exported around the world during the coronavirus crisis.

“During the lockdown period, the transportation of the wines and any other fresh produce products at the sea ports and international airports designated as port of entry for export is allowed,” the rule update read.

It is thought that fears of looting and alcohol theft may be part of the reason for the change in the law.

Having lobbied hard to keep South African wine moving throughout the world, the SA wine industry expressed its “deep disappointment” at the news.

“As an industry task team, we are deeply disappointed and shocked at this sudden change of direction, following extensive lobbying with various government agencies to relax the lockdown measures pertaining to the export and sale of alcohol,” a statement from Wines of South Africa read.

“The livelihood and long-term future of our industry is in grave danger and therefore we will explore all avenues in this regard. We endeavour to keep all our members informed as further information becomes available and implore each and every one of you to adhere to the newly imposed measures,” it added.

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