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Country News

  • Monday, July 13, 2020
  • Everything you need to know about SA's new lockdown laws

  • At about 9pm on Sunday, more than a dozen new pieces of legislation were thrust upon SA.

    They cover everything from alcohol, cigarettes and wearing a mask to when you can leave your home.

    The laws, gazetted by cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, take effect immediately.

    “The sale, dispensing and distribution of liquor is prohibited,” the Act states, giving legal force to the announcement made by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday night.

  • Friday, June 26, 2020
  • South Africa tobacco ban greeted with cigarette smuggling boom

  • South Africa and Zimbabwe have stepped up border patrols in a bid to stop cigarette smuggling, which has boomed since Pretoria banned the sale of tobacco in March.

    The country claimed smokers were more prone to Covid-19 – something that has been challenged by tobacco companies – but the illegal trade has increased, despite South Africa erecting a R37m (£1.7m) 25-mile fence across the border in April as part of its measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.

  • Wednesday, June 24, 2020
  • Tobacco ban: Cigarettes ‘may be off-limits until August’, amid legal hurdles

  • For the millions of smokers in South Africa, it is looking less likely that cigarettes could be in line for a swift return. Several court cases raised against the tobacco ban are struggling to break the legal deadlock, and according to one prominent activist, a final decision on the matter may only be heard in August.

    The British American Tobacco (Batsa) case has already been pushed back after it was scheduled to start on Monday. Bev Maclean, who has been fighting the prohibition of cigarettes alongside several civil society organisations, says she received an email from the company’s lawyers explaining the delay.

  • Friday, June 12, 2020
  • WATCH: Fita argues against government’s ‘obsession’ with cigarettes

  • The Fair-trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) has said government was ‘obsessed’ with alcohol and cigarettes.

    “What we find here is an obsession with alcohol and cigarettes. We know that alcohol has now been permitted and we submit, on the evidence, that it is far more harmful to health services,” advocate Arnold Subel SC – for Fita – told the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday morning.

    This as the association’s highly anticipated challenge to the ban on cigarette and tobacco sales finally got underway.

  • Friday, May 29, 2020
  • How South Africa’s Coronavirus Tobacco Prohibition Backfired

  • On June 1, the South African government plans to ease the lockdown restrictions and will allow limited alcohol sales, keeping bars shuttered yet permitting home consumption. However, the tobacco ban—which includes not only cigarettes but all tobacco harm reduction products, like vapes and snus—remains in effect and has no real end in sight.

    Now, a recently released and robust study out of the University of Cape Town seems to show exactly what government skeptics and much of the public have been insisting all along: that prohibition doesn’t work. [...]

  • Tuesday, May 26, 2020
  • Vaping body wants to be disassociated from tobacco sector and allowed to operate online during Level 3

  • The vaping industry is demanding to be allowed to sell its products online and for delivery during lockdown level3. They also want to be disassociated from the tobacco sector.
    Vapour Products Association of South Africa (VPASA) chief executive Asanda Gcoyi told The Star that the narrative that vapour products, cigarettes and tobacco products were the same was problematic. “Vaping is not smoking, those are two different things. Both vaping and cigarettes contain nicotine, but nicotine is not what kills people in smoking, people die because of the tar,” she said.