Fita halts legal action over ban on sale of cigarettes

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The Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) will no longer be approaching the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday to challenge the cigarette ban, following government’s decision to allow them to manufacture and export cigarettes and tobacco products.

Earlier, the association was due to challenge the state’s decision to retain the ban on the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products.


Fita chairperson Sinenhlanhla Mnguni says, “FITA is going to court, however, there is no need for us to go to court today … part (a) of our court application was set down for hearing. This is due to the fact that government has given us concessions as far as the relief sort in regard to our application, which inter alia constituted the clarity we sought from court which [that] we will be permitted to manufacture cigarettes, export cigarettes and the transportation of cigarettes be permitted under the necessary supervision.  The government gives us a record of decisions of the decision promulgating Section 27 of the current regulations.”


In the video below, government announces that the ban on sale of cigarette remains…

Fita members include the cigarette manufacturers, Carnilinx and Gold Leaf Tobacco, and represents 80% of legitimate and licensed cigarette manufacturers in Southern Africa.

The association says the government’s decision will have a devastating impact on South Africa’s economy.

BATSA drops legal action against government

Meanwhile last week, British American Tobacco South Africa, said it was dropping its planned legal action against the government for its ban on the sale of cigarettes.

In a statement, BATSA said: “We have taken the decision not to pursue legal action at this stage but, instead, to pursue further discussions with government on the formulation and application of the regulations under the COVID-19 lockdown.”

BATSA said that it had received a response to a letter sent to the National Command Council.

It also said that after receiving the response from the National Command Council, it is convinced that by working together with government a better solution that works for all South Africans and removes the threat of criminal sanction from 11 million tobacco consumers in the country will be found.

Ban on sale of cigarette cost the economy millions

The illicit trade in tobacco, especially cigarettes, costs South Africa’s economy billions of rands annually through the loss of tax revenue.

According to the South African Revenue Service (SARS), the estimated loss through the illegal cigarette trade for the 2015/16 financial year was R6 billion.

And it seems, the illegal cigarette trade will thrive due to the ban on legal sales in the country.

The continued ban forms part of the state’s regulations governing the COVID-19 lockdown and has been in place since March 27.

The video below is reporting on the economic impact of the ban of cigarette sale…