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Government to appeal ruling against tobacco ban

Suggests prohibition may be reimposed: Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association.
Image: Suzanne Plunkett, Bloomberg News

South Africa’s government is appealing a court ruling that last year’s ban on the sale of tobacco products was unconstitutional, an indication that stricter measures to contain the coronavirus may be under consideration.

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has filed papers with the Supreme Court of Appeal on a non-urgent basis, her spokesman said in a phone message on Tuesday. The move follows a toughening of lockdown restrictions last week to help ease a resurgence in Covid-19 infections, which have led to a sharp increase in hospitalisations and deaths.

The decision is “worrisome” in that it suggests a prohibition that lasted almost five months in 2020 may be reimposed, the Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association said in a statement. British American Tobacco, which won the ruling by the Western Cape High Court in December, declined to comment.

The ban emerged as one of the more controversial aspects of South Africa’s lockdown policy, which has been in place at various levels of severity since late March. While Dlamini-Zuma argued that it eased the burden on hospitals and reduced the prospect of contagion from cigarette sharing, critics highlighted an explosion in black-market sales and a slump in tax revenue for the National Treasury.

New application
The appeal doesn’t yet affect the ruling that the ban was unconstitutional, according to Gugulethu Samkange, an advocate in the High Court.

“Government would have to bring a new court application to ban tobacco sales if they decide it is necessary,” she said. “However, that application would have to have facts saying that the situation had changed.”

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is battling to contain the latest surge of the pandemic, and last week imposed a 9 pm curfew and banned the sale of alcohol for a third time. The current measures are scheduled to be reviewed on January 15, though the next meeting of the National Coronavirus Command Council — which agrees the appropriate pandemic response — is set to meet on Wednesday.

Dlamini-Zuma agreed in August to hold a public participation process should she decide to reinstate a ban on tobacco sales, part of a settlement of a separate lawsuit brought by FITA. As health minister under former President Nelson Mandela, she spearheaded legislation that banned smoking in public places and prohibited all forms of tobacco advertising in the 1990s.

© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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This women must have an agenda other than covid 19 one can’t stop people sharing coke bottles, should these be banned as well. It can only be that persons in the ANC have their hands in the black market trade and are making a fortune on it. One day they’ll be judged and documentaries will be made about it, however that is no solace for the lives lost due to corruption etc etc the usual sound bites

Christmas is a costly time of year

The auntie with the turbine is probably in need of a quick cash injection

Here we go again..Job losses and black market

Don’t know how the Pres. allows this woman to exercise her own believes and preferences in such an idiotic way.

This is something you would expect of a child her size.

The money lost in taxes by this woman with her little vendetta could have bought the vaccine for the whole population.

HOW MANY LIVES WOULD THAT HAVE SAVED????

She is childish!! How do the allow it???

I don’t smoke,

This is actually good news.

In ruling against the irrational tobacco ban the High Court did not award costs against government, “because they did not know any better”.

Like with corruption, Eskom, wide scale looting and the failed South African state, after 25 years government “surely cannot be expected to know any better”.

If one could only get into Kopdoeks mind…

Maybe they should focus on getting a vaccine instead of focusing of instruments that destroys the fiscus

Couldn’t agree more, the tax from Booze and smokes could be put to the vaccine, with their logic we’ll have no vaccine, no tax and still have overwhelmed hospitals

Yes.

She is a real natural.

They should rather educate the “peoples” how to use a dustbin,what a stop sign means…………

The gap-toothed slag in the doek, her gangster bosses and her family made millions from smuggling during the first lock-down. It was never about the virus.

And why?????????????

Because she can!

Surely Kopdoek’s clan could not have run through the billions they made from the last ban yet????? They are revving up for the ANC conference. Have to pay for all those branch votes, buses, t shirts, KFC, 20y old brandy, etc

I hope Mrs Mrs Zuma is paying for this application, and not me, the taxpayer.

You gotta be joking. My warped mind says that the lawyers employed by the Kopdoek cabal at taxpayers’ expense are ANC appointees, raking in the fees regardless. Probably kicking back a percentage to the ANC. Follow the money.

What would be the point? If they win the court case the number of smokers not stocked up on cigarettes would be EXACTLY zero

By now, there must be ample evidence to prove the effect smoking has on covid-19 victims. The Department of Health should produce factual data, which shows how many people getting covid are smokers, how many develop symptoms, which are life-threatening or cause hospitalisation. If the answer provides actual evidence of a significant problem, then take action to reduce smoking. If the evidence does not show this, stop messing around, and stop spending money on court cases. If the Department of Health cannot provide this, then I guess it is time to ask the why not. Decide this matter using evidence!

Problem is you can not believe anything coming from any anc infested cadre deployed Department in this country. It will be a lie like everything else coming from that backward lot.

Where is the data from elsewhere in the world? Cant recall seeing anything.

This woman thinks “public comment” can overrule the justice system. With her involvement it probably can.

People will stock up to the rafters anyway.

A person that tries to enforce its own believes on the whole population should not be anywhere near government. Dictators do that.

Absolutely! But no-one anywhere in the world has done any serious research to find a correlation between smoking and Covid-19 because it’s like looking for a link between 5G and Covid-19… only in Kopdoek’s kopdoek.

There was actually an opposite experience in France. The smokers had a lower hospitalization rate than their proportion of population. It was linked to nicotine not tobacco per se.

So vaping with nicotine would potentially be beneficial for people on the smoking habit.

Even better : since our people can’t buy alcohol and dagga is legal, vape with dagga extract and nicotine would be an instant hit 😉

Makes no difference in the real world. The smokers all buy on the black market and the non smokers do not care. This single rule has no bearing or influence on the virus or it’s spread. Senseless.

It’s the vaccine stupid! Stay focused.

It’s about control, like the face-diaper, and surreptitious income.

‘Here is some more people who’s mother’s we wished had medical plans that included abortion’- George Carlin

End of comments.

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