The Democratic Alliance (DA) is concerned that president Cyril Ramaphosa has not made concrete promises to South Africans that the Level 3 regulations will be open to public comments and submissions.
DA shadow minister of trade and industry Dean Macpherson said in a statement they have written to the president’s parliamentary councillor to request a list of consolations to be provided to them, as well as opening up an opportunity for submissions by members of the public.
“It was as a result of this process that the government told us that cigarette sales would not be allowed because 2,000 people opposed it.
“Surely it would be correct for the president, who extols his willingness to consult, to hear from South Africans if they indeed agree with many of the regulations, including the continued ban on cigarette sales, or does he not want to hear from those that will oppose this ban now, given the opportunity?” Macpherson said.
The DA is aware that the president has consulted “widely” on the decision to move to Level 3, but they want a list of the people he has consulted with.
“Did he consult with tobacco companies? Did he consult with hairdressers on their continued exclusion from operating and did he consult with the liquor industry on the reduced trading hours which will lead to long queues outside bottle stores?”
Macpherson said Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel cannot be left to draw up regulations without public comment, which can lead to more confusion and anger from the public.
(Compiled by Sandisiwe Mbhele)