No backing down: Fita to move ahead with tobacco ban court challenge
Fita chairperson Sinenhlanhla Mnguni says the association will proceed with its appeal against the High Court decision to dismiss its court bid to have the cigarette ban overturned.
On Saturday, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) granted Fita leave to appeal its failed court challenge.
Last night, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that South Africa would move to level 2 lockdown on Tuesday.
The ban on tobacco products will be lifted under level 2.
However, Mnguni says Fita still needs some legal clarity on several matters outlined in their court application.
He says the damage to the tobacco sector has been devastating, right across the value chain.
"The Disaster Management Act hasn't really been tested by the higher courts", he tells CapeTalk's Zain Johnson.
Mguni adds that South Africa could return to tougher lockdown regulations if the management of Covid-19 changes.
The court challenge gave us hope and we were quite confident that we would succeed in the long term.Sinenhlanhla Mnguni, Chairperson - Fair-trade Independent Tobacco Association
On Saturday, we received an order from the Supreme Court of Appeal granting us leave to appeal the decision which was made by the full bench of the Pretoria High Court which initially dismissed our application for the lifting of the ban.Sinenhlanhla Mnguni, Chairperson - Fair-trade Independent Tobacco Association
As things stand, [we will definitely be continuing with the court case]... There's a number of things which we raised in our application which we feel still have to be ventilated before the SCA.Sinenhlanhla Mnguni, Chairperson - Fair-trade Independent Tobacco Association
Mnguni says Fita welcome's the level 2 announcement, however, the industry is waiting for the official government notice.
He says the tobacco sector won't get its hopes up again until the regulations are gazetted.
We welcome the President's announcement of the lifting of the ban... but we are not getting too excited just yet.Sinenhlanhla Mnguni, Chairperson - Fair-trade Independent Tobacco Association
We've been here before on the 23rd of April when the President made a similar announcement... we are yet to see the regulations. Until then, we're very cautious in terms of our approach going forward.Sinenhlanhla Mnguni, Chairperson - Fair-trade Independent Tobacco Association
There's been no efforts from the government to even give us an ear... We've been in the dark... Government had not told us anything and there haven't been measures put in place to assist the industry.Sinenhlanhla Mnguni, Chairperson - Fair-trade Independent Tobacco Association
Listen to the discussion on Weekend Breakfast:
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