Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)


Constitutional context

National government and provincial governments share competence in enforcement of the tobacco control legislation. However, overall enforcement framework is laid down at the national level.

Tobacco control laws

The main legislation is the Tobacco Products Control Amendment Act 1999 (No 12), that amends the 1993 Tobacco Products Control Act. It provides for: prohibition of smoking in enclosed public places, strong package warnings and health messages, prohibition of free distribution and gifts of tobacco products, prohibition of sale of tobacco to a person under the age of 16, regulation of vending machines and regulation of the contents of tobacco products. The Act empowers the Minister to promulgate as is necessary on matters relating to the Act. Regulations 974,975,976 and 977 and promulgated by the Minister of Health, elaborate on the specific requirements as provided for under the Tobacco Products Amendment Act, 1999.

Enforcement structure and operations

The Department of Health enforces a ban on smoking in public places, can grant or deny extensions of time for compliance, and can make orders for compliance. In South Africa , the provincial or city health departments have also been involved in enforcement activities. For example, in May 2005, Cape Town inspected 862 premises to ensure compliance; 88% of those surveyed had complied with the legal requirements and those that did not were fined. The Government legal office and the national and provincial police also contribute to the enforcement regime of the legislation.

Compliance promotion

The Department of Health raises awareness among the public, mobilizes owners of restaurants and other public places regarding enforcement, provides training to enforcement personnel and related government departments and produces materials and other information tools.

Enforcement tools

Enforcement tools used in the South African legislation include the use of inspections, fines, compliance reporting by the regulated community. The work of NGOs has also supported enforcement. An example is the maintenance of a hotline for public reporting of violations