Co-operative governance & traditional affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma believes the state’s contentious cigarette ban will result in a “sizeable number” of South Africans quitting the habit — and has sought to dispute the contention that it is, in fact, resulting in a boom in the illicit trade of cigarettes.

Dlamini-Zuma’s submissions on the ban were contained in a “record of decision” that was filed at the high court in Pretoria on Wednesday. The submission was part of 3,674 pages filed by the government to explain why it resolved to outlaw cigarette sales during its Covid-19 shutdown. The Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita), a lobby group, contends that the decision was irrational and must be overturned.

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