Unban tobacco: Facebook group to hold protest march

A Facebook group advocating for the unbanning of cigarettes and tobacco announced that — come hell or high water — it will march on Tuesday 26 May. 


The group called "Protest March Against Tobacco," on Friday 22 May, said the government has been warned and they have until Monday to do away with the tobacco ban. If not, the group will march to the gates of Parliament on Tuesday at 12:00, lockdown restrictions or not. 


The group also said that whatever comes of the march, it will not be held liable for. It said that the government will be held responsible. 


This comes after reports that Cogta Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma allegedly advocated for the ban on alcohol and tobacco to be in place until Level 1. 

TOBACCO BAN: PROTEST MARCH POSTPONED TO ALLOW GOVERNMENT TIME 


According to a post on the Facebook group page on Friday, the "unban tobacco" protest March has been postponed until Tuesday 26 May, to provide the government an opportunity to lift the ban. 


"Government be warned, this is your first and final warning! Unban tobacco! There is a silent but extremely dangerous undercurrent and overwhelming emotion of passive aggression! Inconvenience and frustration have grown into anger! This has now developed into an uncontrollable silent rage!" the Facebook post read. 


Signed Duncan Napier at the end of the post, the followers were thanked for the support and were encouraged to persist in their determination to lift the tobacco ban. 


"Government has today Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday! Tuesday, if nothing has changed we are going March! Whatever happens on that day, [the] government is responsible. Government will be held accountable," it said. 


At the time of publishing, 61 people said they would attend the protest and 439 people were interested in attending.

CIGARETTE BAN COULD ONLY BE LIFTED UNDER LEVEL 1


There are now indications that the cigarette ban could last well until lockdown Level 1. If these indications are correct, it means that smokers will have to continue paying exorbitant prices for illegal cigarettes, possibly until 2021.


According to Free Market Foundation (FMF) CEO Leon Louw, smokers should be prepared to pay R20 for a single cigarette or R200 a box for many months to come. 


"The pandemic will be with us in some form until next year, so don't expect tobacco sales to be unbanned before 2021," said Louw.