CAPE TOWN – South Africa is losing an extra R1 billion, now at least R8 billion in total, to illegal cigarette companies who aggressively grew their distribution and sales in the last three months.
The #TakeBackTheTax (TBTT) Campaign called this development, revealed by new research from Ipsos, “a terrible indictment on the SA Revenue Service (Sars)”.
The new Ipsos report, released on Tuesday, showed that illegal cigarettes had now captured more than 42 percent of the South African informal trade and were available in three out of every four shops in the country.
#TakeBackTheTax spokesperson, Yusuf Abramjee, said he was shocked by rapid growth in the illegal cigarette crisis, especially after a promised crackdown by Sars.
“We now have a situation where the biggest selling brand in South Africa, RG, is an illegal brand. That has, apparently, never happened before in any country in the world,” said Abramjee.