The SA arm of cigarette maker British American Tobacco (BAT-SA) says it will add to the tally of job losses as illicit tobacco traders continue to gain market share at its expense. The company said on Friday it had entered into consultations as it needs to cut 300 jobs in the country because of the failure of the authorities to curb illicit cigarette sales. Illegal cigarettes accounted for 42% of sales in the informal market by November 2018, from 33% earlier in the year, the Tobacco Institute of Southern Africa said at the time. This meant the SA Revenue Service (Sars) was expected to lose about R8bn in taxes annually. An Ipsos study published in 2018 found an illicit brand had become the top-selling cigarette product in SA. The brand was sold at about R10 a pack, indicating that it was evading the R17.85 owed to the government for each packet of 20 sold. Companies ranging from miners to banks announced a string of job losses in the last few years as economic growth is constrained ...

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