Cape Town - British American Tobacco South Africa (BATSA) on Sunday announced it will commit all of a R30 million South African Revenue Service (SARS) rebate to the #TakeBackTheTax initiative fighting the illegal trade in cigarettes.
BATSA, which collected and paid more than R9.1 billion in taxes in South Africa last year, expected to receive the rebate for overpaid taxes shortly, the company said in a statement.
"It will be committed directly to tackling the massive illegal trade in cigarettes being run by criminal billionaires, which currently costs South African taxpayers R8 billion every single year. The money would be allocated to the successful #TakeBackTheTax initiative," BATSA head of external affairs Johnny Moloto said in the statement.
“#TakeBackTheTax has shone a light on the illegal activities of these criminal billionaires who are robbing South Africans and we are proud to continue supporting it. We are also highly encouraged by the actions that have been taken by the new SARS leadership in cracking down on this illegal trade after years of deliberate neglect,” Moloto said.
The Nugent Commission if Inquiry into Tax Administration and Governance by SARS heard, directly, that SARS was deliberately neutered to allow illegal cigarette manufacturers to break the law with impunity and leech billions of rand every year out of the pockets of South Africans, he said.