As smokers wait with bated breath for the judgment on the court challenge against the ban on tobacco products sales, British American Tobacco’s (BAT) litigation against the same regulations will be heard in August.
The Free Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) took the government to court earlier this month to argue that the regulations should be declared unconstitutional and invalid.
Following earlier confusion about when the Pretoria High Court will hear the BAT challenge, it has now been confirmed that the matter is set down for 5 and 6 August and not the end of this month.
It is likely that by then, the outcome of the Fita application against government would have been announced.
The Pretoria High Court bench headed by Judge President Dunstan Mlambo is still considering the merits of the case that had over 6,000 documents in its records.
Fita has urged its supporters to be patient with the court.
However, Eyewitness News has also been informed by multiple tobacco traders that they have been given the go ahead to place orders for tobacco products despite the outcome being unknown for now.
It is unclear whether the industry plans to boycott the sale ban which has been in force since lockdown level five, or are merely being optimistic.