Western Cape government launches relief fund for wine sector employees

Workers will receive R3,000 a month from December 2020 to February 2021.

The Western Cape Department of Agriculture has created a R12 million relief fund to support employees in the local wine tourism sector. The Wine Tourism Worker Support Stipend was officially launched at Elsenburg on Monday and will allow workers to receive R3,000 per month during the peak tourism months from December 2020 to February 2021 in order to mitigate projected job losses.

This initiative seeks to safeguard the continuous employment of wine tourism workers by subsidising their salaries for a key quarter of the tourism calendar. Each winery may claim for a maximum of 10 employees to give as many wineries access to the fund as possible, and all wineries, including but not limited to Vinpro members, may apply. Wineries are to apply on behalf of their existing permanent employees and all payments will be made directly to the wineries at the end of the three-month period.

Agriculture MEC Ivan Meyer says: “During Covid-19 the wine industry and its workers were negatively impacted by the regulations. Our contribution goes towards alleviating the impact the loss of income has had on the wine tourism industry and its workers. We are confident that this contribution will bring relief and dignity to workers within the wine agritourism industry. We have prioritised agritourism as part of the economic recovery in the Western Cape.”

Applications close on December 15, after which a screening process will take place in January and successful wineries will receive confirmation in February.

The relevant employer application form and employee claim form can be downloaded from www.vinpro.co.za/wine-tourism, and submitted to [email protected]