South Africans frustrated with the cigarette ban started asking questions on social media.
This comes after Minister Dlamini-Zuma said: “To be honest, I forgot about that people smoke together. I forgot how people spit in the attic and smoke it. This kind of stuff was highlighted by the public, who pointed out the dangers of smoking, especially about how the poor smoke. So we collectively made a decision.
“That’s the story about tobacco. It’s not assumptions, it’s science. If it wasn’t a problem we would smoke here, but public smoking is not allowed. Once Covid-19 is gone, things can return to normal. The measures are not draconian, it’s the virus, ”says Dlamini-Zuma.
Dlamini-Zuma says many people say the measures are draconian, but it’s not as if the government has risen from the blue and made decisions.
DA Federal Leader, John Steenhuisen pointed out on Twitter that Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma met self-confessed tobacco smuggler Adriano Mazzotti.
I know somebody who is going to be smiling all the way to the bank after his favourite minister shut down the legal tobacco sales tonight ? pic.twitter.com/S03eoauQbd— John Steenhuisen MP (@jsteenhuisen) April 29, 2020
A Change.org petition addressed to President Ramaphosa ask for the ban to be lifted. The petition gained more than 250,000 signatures thus far.
See the petition HERE
What others are saying
First National Chairperson of the EFF said on Twitter: “Mzansi for sure!”We are led”?”
Some suggested that it might be because of the investments the Rupert family have in tabacco.
This Twitter user pointed out that the black market will flourish and people might smoke harmful cigarettes.