It’s just easier for people to look for a scapegoat, says Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, on the criticism she received over the ban on the sale of cigarettes.
Cigarettes and other tobacco products may be sold again from Tuesday.
She still asked smokers not to share cigarettes with each other.
She was asked at a media conference about the new level 2 regulations how she feels about all the criticism she is getting and the court cases against the government.
She says people give her too much credit, which she does not deserve. “I do not run the government. I’m part of a collective. The way people put it is as if I am telling the whole cabinet to restrict cigarette sales now. It is also unfair to the government and the president. He leads a team and the team decides.”
According to her, she is “picked on” as if she is the one who alone decided on the ban.
“It’s backwards to pretend it’s just my decisions.”
She announced that as with alcohol, there are no specific restrictions on smoking at level 2.
She was again asked about the reason for the tobacco ban and said it was because Covid-19 is a respiratory disease and evidence from other countries has shown that smokers become more seriously ill. Also because the lungs of those who have stopped smoking recover fairly quickly.
She said with alcohol it is different because during the restraint it was seen how car accidents and injuries related to alcohol abuse dried up and how it increased again when sales were allowed.
On why sales are still limited, she said it is too risky to open it completely because the health services could be overwhelmed if there is again a sharp increase in infections with the virus.
“Therefore, it was agreed to start slowly and allow sales from Mondays to Thursdays, and that the curfew rule still applies.”