BATSA aborts decision to pursue legal action cigarette sale ban

The ban on the sale of cigarettes has sparked outrage from smokers.
The British American Tobacco South Africa (BATSA) says it has taken a decision not to pursue any legal action against the government over the ban on the sale of cigarettes.

The decision comes after BATSA received a letter from ministers in the National Command Council.

“We are convinced that by working together (with government) we can find a better solution that works for all South Africans and removes the threat of criminal sanction from 11 million tobacco consumers in the country,” says BATSA in a statement.

On Monday through his weekly newsletter, President Cyril Ramaphosa told the nation that the decision to ban the sale of cigarette was a collective decision taken by cabinet.

The President was heavily criticized for his about turn on the ban of cigarette sale.

Last month, Ramaphosa announced during his national address that the ban would be lifted.

Minister Dlamini-Zuma announces a ban on cigarette sale and alcohol
Co-operative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma announced details of the Level 4 coronavirus lockdown regulations, including that the lifting of the ban on the sale of cigarettes has been reversed.

Level 4 of the lockdown started on Friday, May 1.

The minister says the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products remains prohibited because of health considerations.

She says the sale of alcohol is also still not allowed.

FITA files court papers over cigarette ban

The Fair trade Independent Tobacco (FITA) association has filed a court application challenging government’s ban on the sale of cigarettes after President Cyril Ramaphosa came out in defence of the decision in his weekly letter in which he asserts that the decision was taken collectively.