The sale of tobacco was banned during the country’s hard lockdown from March to August 2020. Tobacco traders such as British American Tobacco SA (BATSA) challenged the ban and brought a case against the government, however the ban was lifted in mid-August before the case had been heard in court. In order to prevent the ban from being put in place again, BATSA continued with court proceedings. According to Times Live, the court found that Regulation 45, which the government used to effect the ban, was unnecessary and would not serve objectives set out in Section 27 of the Disaster Management Act. It also found the regulation limited the smokers’ and vapers’ rights to human dignity.
Now the government is set to appeal against the findings of the court with minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and President Cyril Ramaphosa petitioning the Supreme Court of Appeal to overturn the judgment. Dlamini-Zuma and Ramaphosa list 13 grounds for the appeal including one that states the court “was not consistent in its approach to expert evidence”.