According to News24 they have received information from a reliable source that Dlamini-Zuma has been supported by Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi when she spoke to the NCCC and told them that she believes cigarettes and alcohol should not be sold at Level 3.
“A high-ranking insider with intimate knowledge of the meeting said Dlamini-Zuma had come prepared with academic papers that argued against the sale of tobacco and alcohol during the Covid-19 pandemic, citing health risks,” said News24
The ‘reliable source’ also reported that President Ramaphosa was present in the meeting and at this stage there has been no finality on the matter.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize who originally supported the ban of cigarettes and alcohol has allegedly said that cigarettes and alcohol should be allowed at Level 3, however, strict regulations must be met to make this happen.
This has not been the first time South African’s have seen a U-turn on regulations as Ramaphosa backtracked on his original proposal to allow alcohol and cigarettes at Level 4.
News24 have reached out to Dlamini-Zuma’s spokesperson Mlungisi Mtshali, they declined to comment on the matter – Neither agreeing or disagreeing at this stage.
Dlamini-Zuma originally said the worry and risks of allowing cigarettes is from people sharing them amongst friends and family and further spreading the virus.
“The way sometimes tobacco is shared, sometimes does not allow for social distancing… When people share cigarettes if one of them have the virus, it will be shared amongst them and then they will go home and spread it at home.” said Dlamini-Zuma