Illicit cigarette trade costing SA almost R6 billion

By Ziyanda Mbolekwa Time of article published Aug 21, 2017

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JOHANNESBURG - The British American Tobacco South Africa ( BATSA) on Monday launched an awareness campaign around the illicit trade of tobacco and cigarettes in SA.

Bongumusa Makhathini Director of Legal & External Affairs BATSA said the illicit tobacco trade costs the South African economy an almost R6bn per year.

“We cannot afford to lose such an amount, R6bn would go a long way in funding the shortfall government realises in funding public imperative campaigns such as free higher education; strengthening of law enforcement agencies and implementing the much-needed National Health Insurance.”

Makhathini said BATSA believes in the potential that SA has in attracting and retaining global players which will positively impact the South African economy.

Read also: Illegal cigarettes cost SA R20bn

“In Gauteng alone, BATSA has 1 200 employees and has its eighth largest factory in the world in the Lesedi Municipality in Heidelberg ; where it’s the single biggest employer.”

“To this end, we have embarked on an extensive public awareness campaign about the negative economic impact of illicit trade, and how to differentiate illegal cigarettes from legitimate goods.”

“We would like to encourage all South Africans to seriously consider the effect of this scourge on our society, and to commit to rejecting and reporting illicit cigarettes,” he said.


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