Our COVID-19 Response

We dare to care

Our response to COVID-19

The fight against COVID-19 is a collective responsibility. As Distell, we remain committed to the safety and wellbeing of our employees, customers, suppliers, consumers and the communities where we operate.
Let’s continue to walk this journey together #StaySafe #InItTogether

Distell Employment

Protecting jobs

  • Employees were enabled to work from home. We provided them with all the necessary tools to work remotely. For example, we moved desktop computers to their homes and secured additional 3G cards.
  • Measures have been put in place to manage the gradual return of employees. These measures include a mandatory health and safety induction on employees’ return to work.
  • To help protect jobs, we must ensure our business remains sustainable.
  • We are prudent in the management of our cash.
  • We are committed to be agile and innovate to adapt to the new normal.

The unprecedented arrival of COVID-19 underlined the importance of continued investment in our employees.

Worker Workspace

Employee health, safety and wellbeing

  • Our HR policies and employee support programmes have been improved to include the necessary protocols required to manage COVID-19.
  • Leaders taking the lead: Management and supervisors continue to facilitate regular engagement with their respective teams to share experiences, care and concern for each other.
  • Incident management: We have extensive and robust protocols and governance measures in place to manage Covid-19 cases in our workplace. Our emergency response readiness has been successful on several occasions.
  • Employees are encouraged to maintain work-life balance.
  • E-learning modules were developed to encourage employees to continue to learn, grow and develop during lockdown.
  • External service providers offer counselling and general well-being support, related to COVID-19, to all employees.
  • The majority of our operational our facilities have on-site clinics.

We have implemented robust and strict workplace safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


Empowering communities

  • The Distell board, Group CEO and the executive committee donated up to 30% of their salaries, for three months, to the Solidarity Fund.
  • Nederburg Wines donated R100 000 to the Eat Out Restaurant Relief Fund to help restaurants survive trading restrictions and to support community feeding schemes.
  • Durbanville Hills Wine partnered with SA Harvest and Mould Empower Serve and adapted their facilities to be a distribution centre for food drives in Durbanville, Dunoon, Mamre, Bothasig and Tableview, Cape Town.
  • In partnership with The Sunflower Fund and Home Grown Africa, a local SMME in the manufacturing sector, Distell distributed 400 face masks to Valcare, one of our implementing partners, for frontline volunteers.
  • We have availed our facilities for community Covid-19 testing.

Our brands are partnering with communities on initiatives that help lighten the load of dealing with the pandemic. #DistellCares


Be wise, sanitise

  • We produced hand sanitisers and supplied ethanol for use in hygienic products:
    • In South Africa, 105 000 litres of sanitiser were allocated to government and various NGOs.
    • In Scotland, 1 200 litres of hand sanitiser were distributed to care centres, vulnerable homes and community groups.
    • In Kenya, 131 000 litres of sanitiser were produced for distribution to government.
  • This initiative has also generated revenue from the sales of alcohol and sanitiser to a range of businesses to support their own hygiene practices.
  • We are investigating this as a sustainable business opportunity going forward.

We distributed sanitisers to some of the most vulnerable communities in South Africa, Scotland and Kenya


Supporting our trade customers and suppliers

  • As part of our commitment to government and the SA Liquor Traders Association, we distributed care packs that include PPE, sanitiser, masks and edu-packs to more than 34 000 taverns. #SafeTaverns
  • Throughout the lockdown, we have supported our small and more vulnerable customers by granting them extended payment terms.
  • We have also honoured a payment plan with our long-term suppliers in the wine-farming industry as the largest procurer of grapes for wine.

The alcohol industry supports the livelihoods of over a million people across the value chain.

The People

Consumers and the public

  • Distell is committed to trading responsibly.
  • We uphold marketing and promotion restrictions.
  • Our brands are involved in promoting and building awareness around COVID-19.

We appeal to all consumers to enjoy our award-winning products responsibly. Let’s work together South Africa, and be #ResponsibleTogether #LetsNotOverDoIt #DrinkResponsibly


We partnered with AWARE.org

  • Distell supports and assists aware.org in campaigns which are aimed at curbing:
    • drinking and driving;
    • binge drinking;
    • underage drinking;
    • foetal alcohol spectrum disorder; and
    • gender-based violence.

Aware.org is the alcohol industry’s response to concerns regarding alcohol misuse and abuse.