Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma Picture: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS
Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma Picture: Jairus Mmutle/GCIS

Cigarette sale ban: BATSA launches another attack

By Loyiso Sidimba Time of article published Jun 4, 2020

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Johannesburg - British American Tobacco SA (BATSA) has launched another attack on the constitutionality of the ban on cigarettes by Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

The company described the regulations as an unconstitutional infringement to a number of rights enshrined in the Constitution. Dlamini Zuma, President Cyril Ramaphosa and the National Coronavirus Command Council are listed as respondents.

In papers filed at the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday, BATSA and nine other applicants state the ban on “tobacco, tobacco products, e-cigarettes and related products” infringes on the right of tobacco farmers, processors and tobacconists (tobacco shops) to freedom of trade and occupation or profession.

In terms of Section 22 of the Constitution, every citizen has the right to choose their trade, occupation or profession freely and that this may be regulated by law.

“In this application, the court is asked to decide whether regulation 45 is an unconstitutional infringement of the following rights in the Constitution – the rights of consumers of tobacco and vaping products to dignity, privacy and bodily and psychological integrity under sections 10 (human dignity), 12 (freedom and security of the person) and 14 (privacy) of the Constitution,” read BATSA’s application.

The company and other applicants said the regulations also amount to an arbitrary deprivation of the right to property of participants in the supply chain for tobacco and vaping products under Section 25 of the Constitution, which states that no one may be deprived of property except in terms of law of general application and no law may permit arbitrary deprivation of property. BATSA and other applicants want the regulation declared unconstitutional and invalid. 

Joining BATSA in the application are JT International SA, writer Melinda Ferguson, Keoagile Molobi, Limpopo Tobacco Processors, SA Tobacco Transformation Alliance, Black Tobacco Farmers Association, Suider Afrika Agri Inisiatief, SA Informal Traders Alliance and JJ Cale Tobacconists.

The matter has been set down for June 22.

Political Bureau

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