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Africa News of Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Source: bbc.com

SA tobacco company withdraws legal threat against cigarette ban

South Africa's leading tobacco company has said it has dropped the threat of legal action against the government's decision to ban cigarette sales as part of measures to control the spread of coronavirus.

They were introduced on 27 March.

Instead, British American Tobacco South Africa (Batsa) will hold talks with the authorities "to find a better solution that works for all South Africans and removes the threat of criminal sanction from 11 million tobacco consumers in the country", the company is quoted by Fin24 as saying.

Batsa added that it wanted to address the growing illegal trade in cigarettes.

The ban on buying cigarettes was supposed to be lifted last week, but the government had a last minute change of heart.

Some other lockdown restrictions have been lifted as the country has moved to what it calls Level 4. It is thought that further restrictions could be changed next week.

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