As the country battles to curtain the spread of coronavirus, the South African government led by the President Cyril Ramaphosa has defended his decision on the ban of tobacco in the country.
While addressing the public on Monday, president Ramaphosa painstaked his government decision on the ban of cigrettes in South Africa which he said was concluded after an obvious consideration with the NCC.
On Monday morning, the president set out to dispel rumors of a split political agenda, saying:
“After careful consideration and discussion, the NCCC reconsidered its position on tobacco. As a result, the regulations ratified by Cabinet and announced by Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on 29 April extended the prohibition.
This was a collective decision and the public statements by both myself and the minister were done on behalf of, and mandated by, the collective I lead.”
He said that the decision on prohibiting the sell of alcohol and tobacco is in line with the best covid-19 lockdown rules as many country’s observing the same restrictions has already implemented it. he made mention of South American country, Mexico and Hong Kong with Greenland as the lists of countries that have implemented the same ethics in making sure that the spread of covid-19 is controlled to zero level.
Meanwhile last month. Tax Justice South Africa condemned the announcement of the extension to the cigarette ban saying that “The ill- thought prohibition of cigarettes is impoverishing the nation, enriching criminals and destroying the public faith in the lockdown.”
The African No Tobacco (ATC) group have already flagged off their support to the president on the ban of Cigarettes amid covid-19 pandemic in South Africa, Saying that public health must always remain a top priority.