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Government must explain why selling cooked food is illegal

| Legislation

Woolworths legal advice suggests government could face a substantial legal claim.

The Democratic Alliance believes the ban on cooked food is not supported by the current disaster regulations.

Dean Macpherson, the party’s shadow minister for trade and industry has written to trade and industry minister Ebrahim Patel demanding the ban be lifted immediately.

“There is no justifiable reason, legally or logically to ban prepared food and I would request you to reconsider this position within the shortest time possible.”He has given Patel until 5pm on Sunday to respond.


Macpherson referred to legal opinion sought by Woolworths via their lawyers Webber Wentzel who stated there was no provision in the lockdown regulations that prohibit the sale of any category of food.

He submitted a legal document from them which stated that “the enforcement authorities are acting unlawfully in seeking to stop the sale of cooked food and confiscating food from counters. They potentially face a significant legal claim.”

On Thursday, Patel asserted that supermarkets’ hot-food sections, like fast-food restaurants, should be closed for the remainder of the lockdown.

Patel said hot food items sold by Woolworths, Pick n Pay and Checkers are not regarded as essential goods.

Dean Macpherson MP 🇿🇦@DeanMacpherson

Following the publication of a legal opinion on the legality of banning cooked and or prepared food, I have written to @the_dti Minister Ebrahim Patel requesting him to provide me with the legal advice he relied on to make this decision and to urgently recind this pronouncement.

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