The result is that an important component of farming, of retail, is in dire trouble.
South Africans themselves are pretty powerless to do much about it, but this does not mean that the many, many friends of South Africa in Britain, the rest of Europe, the US, Hong Kong – you name it – can lend a helping hic.
For the one ray of sunshine peeping through the dark clouds which have descended like a shroud over the Cape Winelands is a re-opening of export channels for SA booze.
This means, bizarrely, that while the shelves of SA supermarkets are bereft of wine, you can still buy it in most other parts of the world.
And why should you not choose a Cape creation?
There is no shortage of brilliant whites, reds, rosés, bubbles, ports, sherries (though the latter two have to be called something else), whiskies, brandies, liquors, beers………. All proudly South African.
So come on, you Brits, you Yanks, you Frogs, and others. If is no great sacrifice for you to pick up a case or ten of the Cape’s finest. All qualities, all prices are available.
In doing so, you may help to save businesses and jobs – white, black and coloured – in a country which is suffering a dreadful economic recession, compounded by the Wuhan virus.
I promise that once this ban, the least admirable aspect of the lockdown regulations, is lifted, those of us with a parttriotic palate will do our best to help our local producers. Buying Cap Classic instead of Champagne, Bordeaux Blends instead of Claret, and so on….. Not that this was ever a problem in the past.
I cannot think of a more pleasant way to show your support for South Africa than to uncork or unscrew a bottle bursting with Cape sunshine.
So the next time you stock your cellar, buy South African booze for the evening meal or (as soon as this becomes possible again) do the same when you pop out for a decent meal. Read the label. Select South African. Do your bit.
A few decades ago, the world helped South Africa to gain its freedom by boycotting our exports.
Now we need your help again.
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