President Cyril Ramaphosa has revealed that the National Coronavrius Command Council has not been established in terms of an Act of Parliament.
“The decision to promulgate the Disaster Management Regulations, including regulation 27 (of the Regulations), which prohibits the sale of tobacco products, e-cigarettes and related products was taken after careful consideration, not only of the submissions received, but also the relevant medical literature focusing inter alia on the effects of smoking on public and individual health, especially in the face of a respiratory illness such as Covid-19,” he said.
“After my initial announcement on 23 April 2020, following representations that were made by various organisations and individuals and further consideration of relevant medical studies and advice, a different position was ultimately adopted by the NCCC and thereafter by Cabinet before the regulations were promulgated,” said Ramaphosa.
“At this stage, it is difficult to determine when the ban on the sale of tobacco and related products will be lifted. This will depend on such factors as the progression of the disease in South Africa, the readiness of our health systems and evolving knowledge on the nature and impact of the virus itself,” said Ramaphosa.
The government is facing legal challenge in the High Court by the Fair Trade Independent Association on the ban of cigarette.