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Alex tavern owners furious over new smoking law

new legislation also states that smoking will only be allowed more than 10 meters away from a door.

FILE: Retailers say this will force them to shut down. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Tavern owners in Alexandra have lashed out at Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi for what they say is government's attempt to destroy township businesses.

The Health Department has drafted a law which will prohibit any indoor smoking even in purpose-built closed-off smoking areas.

The new legislation also states that smoking will only be allowed more than 10 meters away from a door, walkway or window in shebeens and taverns.

Residents in Alex say their doors are less than two meters away from each other, meaning it's impossible to comply with the regulations.

At the same time these rules will force tobacconists to condense their products into a four square metre display area.

Retailers say this will force them to shut down.

Gauteng Liquor Forum's Cedric Chauke says this is a fictional law.

"The minister of health is trying to kill people's opportunities in terms of that small economy that people are fighting for. He's also taking away people's jobs by implementing this unjust law."

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