Tobacco association heads to court to fight ban

JOHANNESBURG – The Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association heads to court on Tuesday.

It wants the ban on the sale of tobacco products declared invalid.

The association says it does not deny the health risks of tobacco but says the ban has not stopped people from smoking.

READ: Smokers ready for a puff

It says the ban has increased the black market cigarette trade.

This was echoed by South African Revenue Service Commissioner Edward Kieswetter, who says the illicit trade is thriving.

Kieswetter says government lost R300-million in taxes through the ban in April alone.

READ: Ramaphosa part of decision to ban sale of tobacco products

In her affidavit, filed in Pretoria on Friday, Corporative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said that there was nothing sinister about the decision to continue the ban.

Dlamini-Zuma made the announcement after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced tobacco sales would be allowed under lockdown Level 4.

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