For the last 10 days, the sales of cigarettes have been uncertain, they were not allowed, then they were and then they were not, Police Minister Bheki Cele has now officially reinstated the ban.
According to SABC News “Police Minister Bheki Cele says the Western Cape has reinstated a ban on the sale of cigarettes during the lockdown period. This after Western Cape Premier Alan Winde allowed cigarettes to be sold as essential goods. “
Cigarettes and Alcohol sales during the lockdown have been a major concern for many citizens, while the country is preparing for the possibility of the virus sweeping the nation many are more concerned about purchasing these goods.
Western Cape clarifying on 1st April 2020 before reinstatement
Police Minister Bheki Cele has decided to respond to the Western Capes Government in allowing the sale of cigarettes and in the process reinstating the ban.
The South African arm of British American Tobacco has spoken out and requested that the government lifted the bans as they believe it will “jeopardize the fight to contain the virus”. The BATSA has said that by banning the sales of cigarettes forces a large number of citizens going out to find outlets that will defy the ban, increasing the risk of contact with other citizens.