Press release – FITA – for immediate release
We call upon government to immediately clarify a tweet posted on the official government twitter account (@GovernmentZA) earlier today stating that the ban on the sale of alcohol and cigarette (sic) will remain in place throughout the lockdown period.
This statement contradicts government’s previous position on this issue, with inter alia President Cyril Ramaphosa and Minister Jackson Mthembu both stating on a number of occasions publicly that it was only a matter of time before the ban on the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products was lifted.
Mthembu stated at a press briefing on 29 May 2020 that “The ban on cigarettes, it’s just at this level we are in. We don’t know how many weeks we will be at this level. I can assure you after we’ve been out of level 3, I don’t see the ban on the sale of cigarettes continuing,”.
The statement issued today by government creates the impression that government has no intention of lifting the ban on the sale of cigarettes under any level during the lockdown period.
That position of course will have severe consequences for the fiscus, the industry as a whole, and all those who make a living from the industry.
We therefore call upon government to urgently clarify its position on this issue.
Issued by Fair-trade Independent Tobacco Association Chairperson: Sinenhlanhla Mnguni
22 July 2020
For queries kindly contact Monique Vogel t: 072 720 7919; e: Monique@fita.co.za