The Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association is set to argue that the state does not have the authority to ban the sale of tobacco products during lockdown.

Ten weeks after the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products was banned under the nationwide lockdown, the first court case challenging the ban is set to start at the Pretoria High Court on Wednesday morning. 
The case is being brought by the Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association, whose members include cigarette makers Carnilinx and Gold Leaf Tobacco.
The association is set to argue that that Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, overstepped her powers in banning the sale of cigarettes, arguing she does not have the authority to pick and choose what items can be banned as a precautionary measure. 
The state, meanwhile, has argued that a sales ban was needed in light of what it says it strong emerging evidence that smoking leads to more severe cases of Covid-19, and the prohibition is necessary to reduce strain on SA’s health system.