Tobacco Law: another example of the ANC's inability to produce effective laws statement by UDM President (05 August 1998)

The intervention by President Nelson Mandela in an attempt to save the South African Formula One Grand Prix and an estimated R400 million in foreign investment is a clear indication of the ANC producing ineffective and unworkable laws. How can the ANC government consider the effective implementation of this law if only days after cabinet passed it, then the President needs to intervene?

The UDM supports the enforcement of smoke free public areas and no one can argue that everything possible must not be done to enforce the ban of sales to minors. That smoking is a health risk one does not argue with either. Nevertheless, just how ill considered Zuma's Tobacco Law is, is illustrated by the forced intervention of President Mandela. Not only must the freedom of choice and the effect that this law will have on the employment provided by this industry be considered, but one also needs to question the process of arriving at the law and the research that went into this law. Did government for one moment consider the effect that this law will have on the sponsorship of numerous sporting events and the development of sport in general? Is the President going to intervene every time that such an event comes under threat as a result of this law, if not, why then this preferential action by President Mandela? Actions where the President and senior officials of the ANC enter secret discussions also make this law very vulnerable to corruption and manipulation by those in power. This type of action reminds one of the days when a minister instead of parliament ran government.

The UDM calls for the suspension of this law until proper consultation with labour, the industry and those benefiting from sponsorships have been conducted. It is ironic that in a country where abortion is legalized, the death penalty scrapped that government in the case of smoking sees itself as the moral guardian of society.

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