SOUTH AFRICA NEWS: The Western Cape government has lifted the ban on sale of cigarettes in major essential goods stores during lockdown. The conditions around purchasing cigarettes is that it must be purchased with other essential goods.
The National Disaster Act declaration by the South African government had outlawed the sale of tobacco-related products during the 21-day lockdown period.
South African Drug Policy Initiative has raised serious concerns around people who are dependent on cigarettes and alcohol. The organization is calling upon the South African government to consider the health complications that comes with addictive personalities who are now in stages of severe withdrawal. Listen to this Newsbreak Lotus FM podcast.
The Western Cape government is the only province in South Africa that has allowed the sale of tobacco-related products during the 21-day lockdown. The question remains is whether other provinces will follow suit and give South African consumers their civil liberty and relief when it comes to smoking.
But Cogta says no such directive has been made at national structures. The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has iterated the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products remains illegal during South Africa’s lockdown period.
“The sale of tobacco, as the regulations stand right now, is not permissible as it does not fall in the category of essential services,” says the department’s Lungi Mtshali. “There is a process of adding items to that list of essential services during the lockdown and we don’t feel that that process was followed.”
Mtshali adds there are no talks to add the sale of tobacco to the list. “There is a meeting tomorrow (Thursday), maybe that will come up then.”
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