- Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has dismissed the notion that tobacco should be declared an essential item
- This view was put forward by the Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association in an attempt to convince the judicial system to reconsider the ban
- However, the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs minister disagrees that cigarettes are items which are 'life-sustaining'
COGTA Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has dismissed the Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association's view that tobacco is an essential item. The entity is attempting to convince the judicial system that lifting the ban is the way forward amid the lockdown restrictions.
However, the minister is adamant that cigarettes aren't an 'essential' in her answering affidavit in the legal battle:
“Cigarettes and tobacco do not, by their nature, fall into the same category as goods which are life-sustaining or necessary for basic functionality."
With the Gauteng High Court dismissing the case, the matter is now before the Supreme Court of Appeal, reports SowetanLIVE.
Dlamini-Zuma says that tobacco products are the opposite of a vital commodity, arguing that:
“On the contrary, tobacco products kill 115 South Africans daily. It therefore cannot be considered a ‘basic good’ akin to electricity and airtime. Simply because a good is addictive [it] does not necessarily follow that it is therefore necessary for human survival or required for basic human functionality.”
Bolstered by her winning streak in court the minister says the ban helps to reduce strain on hospitals during the Covid-19 pandemic, reports News24.
In other news, Briefly.co.za reported that the Democratic Alliance had called upon President Cyril Ramaphosa to lift the ban.
The opposition party is adamant that the continued prohibition remains in place due to the personal beliefs of the ANC and not scientific advice.
The DA has urged Ramaphosa to choose citizens and not his comrades when the final call on this controversial matter is finally made.
"It remains to be seen, will President Ramaphosa choose SA over the wishes of the ANC and his ministers playing ideological roulette? Only time will tell."
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