- A concerning social media post by an official government account has claimed that the tobacco and alcohol ban will remain firmly in place for the rest of lockdown
- This comes despite President Cyril Ramaphosa himself promising that the prohibition would not remain in place indefinitely
- FITA has condemned this sudden shift in the government's stance on the matter
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A recent post from an official government account on social media is causing a stir after claiming that the ban on liquor and tobacco is here to stay as long as SA remains under lockdown.
Without so much as a peep from President Cyril Ramaphosa or his ministers, the government claimed that the prohibition would be extended indefinitely:
“The ban on the sale of alcohol and cigarette will remain in place throughout the lockdown period. The purpose is to save lives and protect the health and well-being of our people. #AlcoholBan”
Both bans have been hotly contested in court and citizens were shocked to learn of this sudden and somewhat discreet shift in policy.
READ ALSO: Ramaphosa promises tobacco ban will end: Doesn't commit to date
With South Africa is still bracing for peak Covid-19 infections and the lockdown expected to last well into 2021, this could mean a death blow to both industries.
Chair for the Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association, Sinenhlanhla Mnguni, has been left dumbstruck by the announcement:
“Just the other week Cyril Ramaphosa said it was only a matter of time before the cigarette ban was lifted. So what led to this sudden change in position, if this communication below is accurate that the ban will remain in effect throughout the lockdown period?”
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that Ramaphosa had assured citizens that the controversial ban would not be permanent and had been put into place to safeguard the nation's health.
Speaking during his second Presidential Imbizo, Ramaphosa had denied any plans to extend the prohibition further than the Covid-19 crisis itself.
This had been in response to numerous pleas to lift the ban many feels is serving no purpose but to feed the ever-present black market.
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