Illicit tobacco trade booming


When the COVID-19 pandemic struck the country, so did the tobacco ban and now, small-scale tobacco farmers say illicit tobacco trade has aggressively boomed.

Small-scale tobacco farmers said illicit trade had always haunted their business.

Ntando Shadrack Sibisi, a tobacco farmer said:

The market share was already 42% on these criminals but now they have been given a fully 100% market share, for whose benefit?”

The ban on tobacco products has forced companies to look out for new marker=ts outside South Africa.

They said exports to neighbouring countries since the start of the ban are higher than what they’ve exported in the last five years.

Johnny Moloto, Batsa’s head of external affairs said in a statement:

The ban has failed to achieve its objective. Instead of deterring people, the study finds that 93% of the 11 million smokers continue to access their tobacco products.”

The fiscus is losing an estimated R35 million a day due to the ban.



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