The Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA) says it is concerned that government is misleading the public with regards to the extension of the ban on the sale of tobacco products.
This after a tweet on government’s official Twitter page earlier this week stated that the ban on the sale of alcohol and tobacco products would continue until the end of the entire lockdown period.
Government then recanted the statement and deleted the tweet.
FITA chairperson Sinenhlanhla Mnguni says after the tweet was deleted a government fact sheet was leaked, revealing government’s true intentions.
FITA’s bid to have tobacco sales ban lifted suffers another blow
The High Court in Pretoria has dismissed the FITA application to appeal a ruling dismissing its bid to have the ban on the sale of tobacco products lifted.
The sale of cigarettes was banned in March as part of government’s strategy to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
FITA believes that the court erred in its interpretation of the Disaster Management Act. It also argued that the ban of cigarette sales had increased illicit trade of the products.
Government has cited health risks as the primary motivation for the ban. British American Tobacco is also challenging the ban, in a case that will be heard in the High Court in Cape Town next month.
FITA will now petition the Supreme Court of Appeal.
The organisation says the tobacco sales ban threatens jobs and has helped underground businesses to thrive.
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