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
Makhathini said BATSA believes in the potential that SA has
in attracting and retaining global players which will positively impact the
South African economy.
“In Gauteng alone, BATSA
has 1 200 employees and has its eighth largest factory in the world in the Lesedi Municipality
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.