Illicit cigarette trade costing SA almost R6 billion

Published Aug 21, 2017


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.

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“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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