Food and Allied Workers Union members march to Church Square to protest against the illicit trading of cigarettes. Picture: Rudzani Matshili

Scores of people from the Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) and other civil organisations are in high spirits as they march to the National Treasury on Church Square against the illicit trading of tobacco products.

Participants started convening at the Tshwane Events Centre on WF Nkomo Streets from 10am.

Police are closely monitoring the march.

Marchers were advised to maintain high discipline by the organisers.

The march was expected to start at 11am but there was a slight delay.

Food and Allied Workers Union members march to Church Square to protest against the illicit trading of cigarettes. Video: Rudzani Matshili


The union, civil organisations and legal tobacco manufacturers will use the mass action to convince Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene to stop “tobacco criminals”.

It started a campaign under the hashtag #NotJustAJob to highlight the plight of those who could be out of work should the illicit trading of tobacco persist without government intervention.

Fawu General Secretary Katishi Masemola said they wanted the government to take responsibility in clamping down on illicit traders.

Fawu General Secretary Katishi Masemola. Video: Rudzani Matshili


He said: “We are staging this march to the Treasury because we want the minister of finance and the government as a whole to take responsibility in clamping down on illicit traders and illegal manufacturers. 

"The reason for this march is because SARS which we marched to in March this year must be taken to task to do its work and close down these illegal operators and rather ensure that the laws are enforced in a manner that tax must be paid,” he said.