The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein has given government until Friday to file its response to the Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association‘s (FITA) application for leave to appeal the judgment by the Pretoria High Court.

The High Court upheld government’s decision to ban the sale of tobacco products.

FITA petitioned the Supreme Court of Appeal after the High Court dismissed its application for leave to appeal.

The court gave the government until Friday in the afternoon to file its response.

Meanwhile, FITA has until August 11 to respond to government’s submissions.

The court will, thereafter, decide on their petition for leave to appeal their case.

The ban, FITA says, affects the health and welfare of more than 11 million smokers in the country, and that it continues to have far-reaching traumatic effects on smokers.

It argues that the ban has already had an enormous commercial impact on tobacco manufacturers and retailers. Accordingly, this has resulted in the illicit trade of cigarettes, which led to significant losses of tax revenue.

In the video below, FITA tells the High Court that the ban fuelling an illicit trade in tobacco: