British American Tobacco sets deadline for government to revoke ban

The battle for the sale of tobacco products could head to court if government doesn't revoke its decision. Courtesy #DStv403

PRETORIA - British American Tobacco has given government until 10am on Monday to revoke the banning of cigarette sales.

President Cyril Ramaphosa had initially said tobacco products could be sold during level four of the lockdown but that decision was reversed.

READ: Confirmed COVID-19 cases rise to 6,783

The Presidency is standing firm saying its decision is based on advice from experts.

"The president and all ministers in cabinet act on the basis of collective decisions,” said the president’s spokesperson, Kusela Diko.

“There is absolutely no reason why the president or cabinet cannot change their minds on any particular matter once there is information that comes to light, which seeks to suggest a need for a review.

READ: Tobacco association to fight cigarettes ban in court

"There was a strong feeling amongst many members of society including our scientists that lifting the tobacco ban will not be helpful in the fight against COVID-19. Not only the dangers it poses to the risk of transmission but also the fact that you would not want to create a situation where people are going to shops.

“Those are issues that will be ventilated in the correspondence that the government will send through in response to letters by interested parties."

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