Press release – FITA – for immediate release
We welcome the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that amongst other things the sale of cigarettes will be permitted during the next phase of the lockdown period in government’s attempts at containing the spread of the coronavirus.
We are of the view that this, together with the tax relief extended to cigarette manufacturers and other industries announced by Minister Tito Mboweni yesterday, are steps in the right direction by government in mitigating the damaging effects of the lockdown period.
These steps are in line with what FITA had proposed to government throughout the current lockdown period in our attempts at engagement with them.
These steps signal that government is now realizing what FITA has been saying and asking for since the beginning of the lockdown period, and was reiterated in our most recent correspondence to the State Attorney acting on behalf of the Presidency.
Despite taking legal steps to have the ban on cigarette sales uplifted, we and our legal team had always extended an invitation to government to engage FITA.
We will continue to engage with government in order to obtain clarity on what the implications of the next phase in government’s efforts at combatting the virus mean for our industry along the entire value chain.
Government’s actions vis-a-vis the tobacco industry over the last few days have also been to the satisfaction our members and we as an organization are now of the view that there is no longer a need to proceed with the legal steps we had initiated against government.
Issued by Fair-trade Independent Tobacco Association Chairperson: Sinenhlanhla Mnguni
24 April 2020
For queries kindly contact Monique Vogel t: 072 720 7919; e: Monique@fita.co.za