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South Africa Wine calls for urgent action

South Africa Wine has urged the government to address issues that “require immediate attention for the betterment of the industry”.

In the leadup to the country’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), South Africa Wines has highlighted several matters that threaten the wine industry as part of a number of submissions made to government departments.

The organisation called for investment in law enforcement to combat the increasing threat of illicit trade, as well as increased investment in ports and railways to support economic growth. It also highlighted the importance of establishing a transition to alternative power sources and safeguarding water resources.

“We strongly urge Government to ensure excise taxes remain aligned with inflation rates and linked to the incidence alcohol policy framework set by National Treasury, thus avoiding undue burden on our industry and producers,” said South Africa Wine CEO Rico Basson. “The wine and brandy sector needs a balanced approach to taxation to ensure economic stability and foster fairness in the system.”

The wine and brandy industry contributes R56 billion to the GDP and creates 270,000 jobs (1.8 percent of national employment). However, South Africa Wine raised concern at the lack of profitability at production and winery levels, saying it needs to be “urgently addressed” through targeted interventions and policy.

“The agricultural sector has been the shining star in contributing to the South African economy over the past few quarters. Implementing the Agricultural and Agro Processing Masterplan (AAMP) and providing funding for priority actions remain important to ensure coordination and investment for the agricultural sector. Priority themes include improved export market access by addressing tariff and non-tariff measures, research and development and financial support for development programmes to enable inclusive growth.

“South Africa Wine would like to urge Government to prioritise these important issues in the upcoming SONA. We firmly believe decisive action in these areas will pave the way for a more resilient, sustainable, and prosperous future for the South African Wine industry and those who work and live here,” Basson concluded.

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