During the course of yesterday, 7 May 2020, we received confirmation in writing from the Office of the State Attorney acting on behalf of the President and the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs that the manufacturing and export of tobacco products is permitted under the present Regulations promulgated on 29 April 2020 by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs as follows:
1. Regarding the export of tobacco products: Tobacco products constitute manufacturing products permitted for export in terms of item 2 of Annexure C to the regulations;
2. Regarding the manufacture of tobacco products: The manufacture of tobacco products is permitted, up to 30% employment, in terms of part C(9) of Table 1 to the regulations;
3. All manufacturing and transport of tobacco products will need to be performed under strict adherence to health protocols.
We understand that further directions in this regard will be published in the course of the next week.
We had sought a declarator from the courts in this regard at the time as, despite various attempts at engagement, we were never furnished with a reasonable response by government.
Despite the above mentioned concession, which is welcomed by our members, we will continue to pursue the other prayers contained in both parts of our application, including confirmation by a court of law that the sale of tobacco products and cigarettes is lawful under the lockdown regulations.
We accordingly await the filing of the Respondents’ answering affidavit/s in this regard.
We wish to again thank the many South Africans who have wished us well and continue to support our cause.
Issued by Fair-trade Independent Tobacco Association Chairperson: Sinenhlanhla Mnguni
08 May 2020
For queries kindly contact Monique Vogel t: 072 720 7919; e: Monique@fita.co.za