Smokers livid as ciggies banned under level 4 lockdown: 'NDZ has overruled the president'

30 April 2020 - 07:34 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Cogta minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has raised the ire of South African smokers after announcing that the sale of tobacco products will remain banned under level 4 lockdown conditions.
Cogta minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has raised the ire of South African smokers after announcing that the sale of tobacco products will remain banned under level 4 lockdown conditions.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

Smokers are fuming over Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's announcement on Wednesday night that the sale of cigarette and tobacco products will not be allowed under level 4 of lockdown, which will start on Friday.

The co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) minister said the sale of cigarettes was opposed by about 2,000 people who engaged the government on the lockdown regulations.

“We took into consideration and debated the matter and decided that we must continue as we are when it comes to cigarettes and tobacco products and we shouldn't open up the sale,” said the minister, adding that the reason for the continued ban is “health-related.”

She expressed concern that the way cigarettes are often shared among smokers undermines social distancing and promotes the spread of Covid-19 rather than combatting it.

Her announcement comes less than a week after President Cyril Ramaphosa said the sale of cigarettes would be allowed under the eased lockdown.

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