- President Cyril Ramaphosa has touched on the cigarette ban amid the Covid-19 lockdown
- Speaking during the Presidential Imbizo, Ramaphosa was taken on over the controversial ban
- Responding to the question, Ramaphosa said simply that the ban would be lifted, not committing to a date
President Cyril Ramaphosa was confronted by a query over the cigarette ban right at the beginning of the Presidential Imbizo.
Briefly.co.za reported that Ramaphosa had held a short address before accepting questions from the public on the Covid-19 pandemic in SA.
The very first caller had demanded answers over the tobacco ban, saying that he was struggling to get his hands on cigarettes.
Ramaphosa assured the South African that the ban on cigarette sales would eventually be lifted:
"We will not be in lockdown forever, so the ban on cigarettes will be lifted."
The president did point out that the ban was still in full effect and should be treated as such, repeating that the prohibition would end:
"Cigarettes are not banned forever in our country. The ban will be lifted."
The prohibition has been subjected to numerous legal tests with none emerging successful thus far.
The Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association had launched a case against the government, adamant that there was not sufficient evidence to justify the ban.
The court eventually dismissed the case after over a week of mulling over both arguments.
The British American Tobacco Association has also launched its own legal battle against the state with an uproar over the trial date which was initially set for August despite the urgency of the situation.
So, despite thousands of smokers signing countless petitions, it seems as if this ban is firmly in place and will remain so for the foreseeable future.
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