Ramaphosa on cigarette ban: 'This was a collective decision'

Ramaphosa on cigarette ban: 'This was a collective decision'

President Cyril Ramaphosa says it was government's 'collective' decision to extend the ban on the sale of cigarettes into level four of the lockdown.

Cyril Ramaphosa Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

In his weekly newsletter, Ramaphosa writes, "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."

On 23 April, while announcing that South Africa will move into level 4 - with regulations being slightly relaxed, Ramaphosa said the ban of cigarette sales would be lifted.

However last week, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma announced that the ban would remain in place.

READ: Sale of cigarettes, other tobacco products now banned under Level 4

Ramaphosa writes that Dlamini-Zuma did not act on her own and that she followed orders from the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC).

"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."

"Every regulation we have put in place has been carefully considered. Along the way, there has been consultation with medical experts, various constituencies and different industries. We have been guided by international bodies and the experience of other countries."

"A decision like this is bound to be controversial, but it is wrong to suggest that there are Ministers or a President doing and saying whatever they want on this matter."

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