British American Tobacco South Africa (BATSA) says it is worried about a court decision not to consider their urgent application challenging the ban on tobacco sales.
The case in the Cape Town High Court was due to be heard this coming Tuesday, but in the meantime has been postponed for more than a month to the first week in August.
On Friday, the Pretoria High Court dismissed, with costs, an application by the Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association to have the ban overturned.
In a statement, BATSA says the Cape Town High Court’s decision relates to a loss in tax revenue of more than R1.4 billion also endangering thousands of jobs in the industry. The matter will now be heard on the 5th and 6th of August.
President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, are the respondents in the matter.
Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs reacts to the tobacco ban and the Disaster Management Act court rulings:
Government made a mistake in the way it communicated the cigarette ban: Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa conceded that government made a mistake in the way it communicated the collective decision over the cigarette ban. The President was responding to questions from the South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) via video link.
A few days after the President lifted the ban on cigarettes, Dlamini-Zuma, announced the reinstatement of the ban.
Ramaphosa conceded that he should have been the one to communicate the new decision. He says thousands raised concerns over the lifting of the ban, prompting a change of tack.
“And what we should have done is the President should have been the one to announce it again and give reasons why this was being changed. Now that was not done and we will concede as well, it should have been done because then it created a very unpleasant type of situation where people started saying that the minister was undermining the president. It was a collective decision.”
Yusuf Abramjee reacts to the Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association’s application to unban sale of cigarettes: