The South African government has maintained it’s ban on sale of tobacco during the level 4 lockdown. The government had earlier announced that the sale of cigarettes would be permitted during the lockdown but never maintained it’s statement.

Speaking during a briefing by the National Coomand Council (NCC) on Wednesday 29 April, The minister of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma stated the reasons why the ban of Cigarettes during the level 4 lockdown remained unreversed was because of the health risks associated with smoking and the sharing of cigarettes.

In her words she said ”Government took that into consideration and debated the merits and looked at it and decided that we must continue as we are when it comes to cigarettes and tobacco products and related, that we should not open up the sale”

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She further explained that allowing the sale of Tobacco during the lockdown will not help at all while observing the social distancing and not only it’s bad effect on a person’s lung but Coronavirus (Covid-19) related reasons.

Recall that the Fair-trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) had threatened to take the matter to court before Ramaphosa allowed the sale of cigarettes in his adress on Thursday 23 April, but subsequently dropped the case.

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South Africa as of today recorded new 354 cases of the coronavirus which is said to be the the biggest daily rise so far. According to the the health department in a series of tweet the new cases recorded brings the total in the country to 5,350.

“This is the highest number of cases in a 24 hour cycle recorded to date and represents a 73% increase on the day before,” it said, adding in a separate tweet that the number of deaths had risen by 10 to 103.