Government to provide reasons for cigarette ban: FITA


The Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association filed an urgent court bid for government to lift the ban of cigarettes and tobacco sales during the lockdown and to have the products considered as essential goods. The Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association filed an urgent court bid for government to lift the ban of cigarettes and tobacco sales during the lockdown and to have the products considered as essential goods.
Image: GINA SANDERS / 123RF

Government is expected to provide reasons for the ban on cigarette and tobacco product sales under level 4 of the lockdown.

This after the Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association filed an urgent court bid for government to lift the ban, including on exports.

However, the association, whose members include cigarette makers Carnilinx and Gold Leaf Tobacco, in part A of its application, requested minutes of the meeting in which government made decisions pertaining to the sale of cigarettes. The application was expected to be heard in the high court in Pretoria on Tuesday.

In a statement released on Monday, the association said part A of its application no longer has a reason to be argued, saying that it had been provided with “a substantial portion of the relief” sought.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on April 23 that the ban on cigarette and tobacco product sales instituted at the start of the lockdown, would be lifted as the country moved to level 4. However, days later co-operative governance and traditional affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma publicly announced the reversal of the decision in the interests of health.

Ramaphosa later explained that the decision to extend the ban of cigarette sales under the level 4 lockdown regulations was a collective decision of the national coronavirus command council (NCCC) after public consultation.

FITA said government had agreed to provide them with “the record of decision and the reasons for the promulgation of regulation 27 of the level 4 regulations as soon as reasonably possible”.

No date has been determined for part B of their application on the relief sought to declare the sale of tobacco products and cigarettes lawful under the lockdown regulations.  






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