Olwethu “Oscar” Mbulali, from Nompumelelo said he had smoked for more than 20 years and he would rather catch the coronavirus than kick his habit.
He said he had spent time in prison, and even that had not stopped him.
“I wash cars for a living so I usually get free food and smokes from customers at shopping malls,” said Mbulali.
“In prison, I would smoke once in three days maybe, but outside I don't have to worry about that because rich people still buy cigarettes and they only smoke half of it and throw away the rest. I just collect all the stompies I can find, and smoke free of charge,” Mbulali said.
He called the tobacco ban “useless”.
Malibongwe Nobanda, who lives in Ducats township but is a regular in Beacon Bay looking for work, said he started smoking in 1999.
He said quitting cigarettes was an “uphill battle” that he would rather not bother with.
“I've smoked a lot of things in my life, but I managed to stop using drugs. The cigarette is another story because I can't go a day without smoking at least four. But a single 'fake cigarette' can cost you R5 to R7. So I sometimes have to share cigarettes with my friends who could be carrying the coronavirus. It's a risky business but what other choice do I have? We can't afford to buy and we are used to smoking.”