The Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) has scored a crucial victory in its fight against the ongoing cigarette ban.
The association approached the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) after the North Gauteng High Court dismissed its legal challenge against government.
Supreme Court grants Fita leave to appeal high court decision
There was a bit more success in their latest legal, with the SCA granting Fita leave to appeal the high court decision.
The latest development were shared by Fita chairperson Sinenhlanhla Mnguni on social media on Saturday morning.
The Supreme Court of Appeal has granted @fita_sa leave to appeal the decision by the full bench of the Gauteng Provincial Division in relation to our challenging of the cigarette sale ban during the lockdown period. pic.twitter.com/JRYl8jSyY6
— Sinenhlanhla Mnguni (@SinenMnguni) August 15, 2020
Cigarette ban: Government holds firm
The sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products has been prohibitted in South Africa since the country went under lockdown in late March.
A similar ban on the sale of alcohol was put in place during the same period, but was briefly lifted, only to be reinstated as the number of COVID-19 cases surged.
However, in the case of the cigarette ban, smokers and traders have had no such respite, with sales remaining prohibited for almost five months.
With President Cyril Ramaphosa expected to ease lockdown restrictions and reopen cerrtain sectors of the economy in the coming days, many expect the tobacco industry to be among those allowed to trade.
However, there is still some resistance towards lifting the cigarette ban within the ruling party.
Earlier in the week, ANC Women’s League leader Bathabile Dlamini told TimesLive that the league had made a submission to the National Commmand Council on Coronavirus against lifting the ban on alcohol and tobacco.
“We know how this virus operates now, we are in the peak now and another peak could follow. So our position remains that we will not support the lifting of the ban on alcohol and cigarettes,” she told the publication.
Bathabile Dlamini, ANC Women’s League