The Southern African Agri Initiative (SAAI) says they will be approaching the Northern Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to lift the ban on the sale and on-site consumption of wine in restaurants.
CEO of SAAI, Francois Rossouw, called the current ban arbitrary and irrational. Rossouw says that the government is weakening a sector that plays an important role in the domestic economy and is a strong contender on the international market. He says that since no drought relief or financial assistance to farmers has been provided, some of the oldest farms may need to end operations.
According to GroundUp, Rust and Vrede Wynlandgoed reported that 43 workers were employed across its vineyards, wineries and tasting room and 131 at their restaurant. The company says that they are unable to provide approximately 62% of their employees with work, and are thus without income. Fairview Investments reported that only 120 of their 254 employees were able to stay on with all of them on reduced salaries.
SAAI, along with 13 supporters from the wine industry, will request that wine be allowed for sale and consumption on wine farms and in restaurants.