The Multi-Agency Command Centre at Garden Route District Municipality held over the past two days [March 27 – March 29, 2020] discussed three pressing topics: trading hours, meals-to-go and cigarette sales. A conclusion to put cigarettes back into stores within their municipality was reached and has been enforced.

Before the national lockdown was implemented, it was announced in an inter-ministrial briefing that the sale of alcohol and tobacco will be deemed “non-essential” during the 21-day lockdown period.

In a statement made on Sunday [29 March] Senior Communications Officer of the Garden Route District Municipality, Herman Pieters, confirmed to Cape Town Etc that this decision has been reversed for this area.

“A decision was made a short while ago by the South African Police Service to ban the sale of cigarettes, this decision, has however been reversed. Grocers who form part of the selling of essential items, are allowed to sell cigarettes again, but not Tobacco-only traders,” said Pieters in a press statement.

The decision was made to prevent illegal cigarette sales from occurring.

Further to this, selling of ready-made hot meals are not allowed.

“No business, food outlet, including supermarkets (like Spar, Woolworths, Checkers Pick ‘ Pay, etc.), restaurants or cafés will be allowed to provide any hot prepared meals, meals-to-go or take aways to any member of the public,” said Pieters.

The Garden Route Municipality comprises of seven local municipalities, all which fall within the boundaries of Garden Route District municipality. Local Government institutions within the boundaries of Garden Route District Municipality, include Bitou, Knysna, George, Mossel Bay, Hessequa, Kannaland and Oudtshoorn.

Research by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has proven that tobacco is addictive and reduces lung capacity. This may be an important detail in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic. The same citation also stipulates that the increasing excise taxes on tobacco works in reducing the product’s consumption.

Image: Unsplash

Article written by

Imogen Searra