Dlamini-Zuma welcomes court ruling on Vinpro’s liquor ban challenge

Johannesburg – Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazane Dlamini-Zuma has welcomed the Western Cape High Court’s judgment dismissing an application brought by wine body, Vinpro, to challenge the constitutionality and lawfulness of the nationwide liquor bans imposed by government. The matter was heard in August.

The body represents close to 2,600 South African wine producers, cellars and industry stakeholders.

One of the three points argued is that provinces, not the national government, should decide whether or not to impose liquor restrictions.

The body says that the industry lost more than R10-billion in sales revenue in the various bans.

“Vinpro is extremely disappointed by the Western Cape High Court’s ruling. The court refused Vinpro’s application to introduce new evidence, found the application has moved as the applications have changed, dismissed the structure of our government argument and determined that each party should be liable for their own legal costs,” said Vinpro’s Rico Basson.

But the minister argued that the regulations were not aimed at addressing the impact of alcohol on society in general but were rather aimed at capacitating the health system during trying times.

She said this was because South Africa has a much higher burden of alcohol-related trauma cases than experienced in many other countries.

Vinpro said it was currently considering whether to apply for leave to appeal the judgment.

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