The bans on the sale of tobacco and alcohol, which have cost the economy billions of rand, will stand out in what is expected to be a further easing of the lockdown when President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation as soon as Thursday evening.

The ban on tobacco sales has been in place for over four months and has cost the country more than R4bn in uncollected excise taxes, while the prohibition on the trade of alcohol, which was reinstated last month, has devastated a R140bn industry, leading to job losses and the world’s largest brewers, AB InBev and Heineken, cancelling or reconsidering investment plans.

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