We have lost patience and confidence in our Government. It is baffling why they continue to ban the sale of tobacco products. Initially we bought into the idea presented to us that the lockdown was critical to curb the spread of the Coronavirus and this was the best approach, however subsequent to that, Government has made several highly questionable decisions including the decision to ban tobacco products for sale in supermarkets, petrol stations and spaza shops.

Our very same Government admitted later that we have been confined to a lockdown and stripped of our rights because the health system was not ready.

With continued years of a lack of service delivery and therefore poor health infrastructure, why are we citizens made to pay the price for your inefficiencies.

At the commencement of the lockdown, tobacco sales were prohibited. To date, we have been provided with vague reasons to this effect and no evidence to support this decision.

We have lost access to legitimate products at the right price in the market. Instead, they have handed us over to the illegal market, like sheep to a pack of wolves, where illicit tobacco products are readily available at exorbitant prices,

If this is a caring and listening Government as has been claimed, they have failed in listening to the over 625 000 voices that we have been submitting to government, requesting the ban on tobacco to be lifted.

Government told us about only 2 000 comments that they based their decision on, which you can see does not provide us with confidence that they have listened to us.

The President’s “New Dawn” has turned into dusk very quickly. His leadership and control have waned – How does the same Government overturn an announcement made by him?

Where is the transparency on the deliberation of both his announcement and reversal thereof?

Why were we only told about 2000 anti-tobacco submissions, yet we have noted Government has failed or refuses to disclose the minutes and evidence that led them to the decision.

We are putting forward to the President that there will be no sharing of ‘skyfs’ if Government issued guidelines to people on this aspect of cigarette smoking.

We fully understand the risk associated with this during this period and moving forward.

Government have provided us with ample guidelines on general hygiene which is applicable to all product use.

We hereby ask the President to open the sale of tobacco without delay. There has been no justifiable evidence to support his decision and the unintended consequences of his decisions is harming us already and will harm Government too for a very long time to come.

It seem Government is planning to deny us access to cigarettes indefinitely, as we know the Coronavirus is here to stay for a very long time to come?

#letourvoicesbeheard