'We're done smoking horrible brands': SA on cigarette, booze sales

18 August 2020 - 14:29 By Unathi Nkanjeni
The five-month ban on the sale of tobacco products was lifted at midnight on Monday.
The five-month ban on the sale of tobacco products was lifted at midnight on Monday.
Image: 123rf.com/marcbruxelle

“This is my favourite brand. This is what we have been waiting for,” said a Cape Town resident who was the first customer to buy two boxes of cigarettes.

From Tuesday, the tobacco and liquor industries breathed sighs of relief as South Africans were allowed to buy their favourite alcoholic beverages and cigarettes.

It was a good day for the tobacco industry as the lifting of a five-month ban on sales put an end to the surge in the black market trade in cigarettes.

Cigarette sales were banned under levels 5, 4 and 3 of the lockdown to help slow the spread of Covid-19.

Alcohol sales were banned under levels 5 and 4, permitted in level 3 and then banned again after President Cyril Ramaphosa cited an increase in alcohol-related trauma admissions at the country's hospitals.

At a media briefing on Tuesday, co-operative governance & traditional affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma pleaded with smokers not to share cigarettes.

“We must smoke cigarettes as they are now allowed, but don’t share them because you can pass the virus to the next person,” she said.

On social media, many said they braved the cold to queue in long lines for their fixes.

Here is a snapshot.

Cigarettes:

'It's been a roller-coaster ride': bottle stores get back to business

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Alcohol:


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