South Africans are hopeful the tobacco and alcohol bans will be lifted. Enough is enough twitchers say. Spring is sprung. And, warm weather came back. Plus, COVID-19 infections are easing off overall. So, why not some hope to top it off? In fact, many people hope the issues get addressed this week. Word on the street is that Level 2 lockdown may be introduced.
South Africans hope for the lifting of bans
South Africa is the only country in the world with alcohol and cigarette sales bans. Additionally, Tobacco companies await a court ruling on the tobacco ban. Also, media houses, SARS, Tax Justice for SA and taxpayers all call for the bans to be lifted. Importantly, the bans affect the economy and cause job losses.
The #LockdownSA prohibition is a charter for criminals.
They are making billions selling illegal alcohol and tobacco while @GovernmentZA sacrifices vital sin taxes.#TheBanMustFall #LiftTheBanSA @PresidencyZA @dlaminizuma https://t.co/LtjfpKOipG
— Tax Justice South Africa (@TaxJustice_SA) August 11, 2020
According to an article in BizNews, the continuation of the bans seem “so wrong and doing so much harm. He [the President] should do the right thing and lift this failed prohibition immediately.” Additionally, the lawyers defending the bans admit in open court that Minister Dlamini Zuma is “realistic” and knows the bans lead to unlawful trade. Notably, South Africa’s crime rate is high enough without adding to it. Apparently, one of SA’s Ministers is indifferent to the crime levels and knowingly enforces a ridiculous ban which only adds to criminality.
— Tax Justice South Africa (@TaxJustice_SA) August 6, 2020
UCT Research suggests shared cigarette practise has increased
Furthermore, the purpose of banning cigarette sales was to reduce the sharing of cigarettes in poor areas. Undoubtedly, this failed to correct the problem. UCT researchers proved the sharing of cigarettes by South Africans increased by 243 percent owing to the cost of illegal cigarettes.
— Diego_Chuene (@Diegochuene) August 12, 2020
Interestingly, the illegal trade continued to supply alcohol and cigarettes. Yet, infections drop off on average, anyway. Importantly, the lower median infection rate makes a mockery of the bans, Twitterati think. Unless, it relates to lower testing, which is a possibility. Meanwhile, people are losing jobs.
Additionally, SARS commissioner, Mr Kietwetter publically stated the amount of revenue loss exceeds the loans taken by South Africa during COVID-19.
Isn't it funny that everyone is still drinking and smoking but according to ministers hospital are coping better since the Ban of alcohol, black people making billions #lifttheban #BanTheBan #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/YDXZeYoHpZ
— Ckha Phiri 👑 (@Ckhaphiri25) August 11, 2020
South Africans concerned about job losses seem united in calling for the bans to be lifted. Have your say? Do you think the time has come?
Remember to check back with SANs Newsfeed often for more news about African bans.