NewsliteSA earlier reported that the sale of cigarettes will be allowed. On Sunday Netwerk24 reported that, Vish Naidoo, spokesperson for Police Minister Bheki Cele, confirmed that people are now allowed to buy cigarettes at stores during the 21-day lockdown.
The police department walked back the statement on Sunday night. TimesLive reported, Brig Vish Naidoo said: “In response to posts on various social media platforms, please be advised that cigarettes and tobacco are NOT essential items.”
Speaking to TimesLIVE he added that he had checked against the list of essential items published under the lockdown regulations.
“I went to check the annexure, and cigarettes don’t feature there,” he said.TimesLIVE
Business Insider South Africa reported that ‘High level’ talks are now underway to allow cigarette sales.
According to a source of Business Insider, the South African government is reconsidering the regulations to allow for cigarette sales, predominantly to prevent underground sales of cigarettes.
The Garden Route Government website still suggests that the sale of cigarettes is allowed with purchasing essential goods.
The statement was since explained. The ban on cigarettes sales were only lifted in Bitou, Knysna, George, Mossel Bay, Hessequa, Kannaland and Oudtshoorn.
The cigarette ban was not lifted nationally.
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