The Western Cape Government revoked the cigarette ban on Wednesday.
In a statement on the Western Cape Government website, the spokesperson for the Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities says that Cigarettes may be sold during the lockdown, but only together with essential goods.
In the statement, the Western Cape Government says that they realize that there has been some confusion about what stores are able to remain open to provide essential goods. We can confirm the following (in alignment with SAPS Western Cape):
- Grocery stores include large retail chains as well as smaller corner grocery stores, fruit and veg shops, butchers and convenience stores at filling stations.
- Pet and veterinary stores are permitted to be open. They may ONLY sell animal food and animal medicines.
- Health food shops that sell food, hygiene products and / or cleaning products are permitted to be open. If open, these stores may ONLY sell essential goods.
- Cellphone shops are not allowed to be open. They would only be allowed to sell airtime, and this can be bought at any grocery store, spaza shop or online.
- Money lending businesses are not permitted to be open.
- Cigarettes may be sold during the lockdown, but only together with essential goods.
- Businesses can deliver essential goods to people’s homes, but they can’t deliver hot meals or any non-essential goods to people’s homes.
This comes after mixed signals from different officials.
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 statement from Vish Naidoo was later revoked and 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.”