- The government has reportedly been given until 5 pm on Friday to respond to legal action over the tobacco ban
- British American Tobacco previously announced that it would be launching a challenge over the ban in court
- This comes as the government continues to face legal prosecution over the Covid-19 lockdown
Yet another legal challenge against South Africa's lockdown has seen the government given a deadline to respond.
Briefly.co.za reported that British American Tobacco had announced it would be tackling the state over the continued tobacco ban in court.
Now, the court has given the government until 5 pm on Friday to respond to the legal application against it.
The largest tobacco manufacturer in the country had initially held off on legal proceedings, indicating that it hoped to find a practical solution to the situation.
However, it seems as if the government remained unflinching in its resolve to withhold cigarette sales, despite a flourishing black market.
On Friday it was announced that Japan Tobacco International would also be joining the legal action against the state alongside BATSA:
“Batsa has made every effort to constructively engage with the government since the ban came into force, including making detailed submissions, along with other interested parties, to various ministers, as well as directly to the presidency. To date, no formal response has been received from the government, and Batsa has also not been included in any of the government’s consultation processes so far,” the company added.
The Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association has also launched an urgent application in this regard.
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has been perceived as the biggest advocate against lifting the ban and has been taken on by the Democratic Alliance, which feels she deliberately inflated the perceived support for the decision.
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