The SA unit of cigarette group Philip Morris International has welcomed finance minister Tito Mboweni’s March 2020 deadline for a completed study by the SA Revenue Services (Sars) into the size of the country’s illicit economy.

Mboweni announced that the study will be finalised within the next few months. Conservative estimates suggest that SA loses R1-trillion a year or 20% of GDP to the illicit economy. This ranges from the underground economy, which operates outside the rules and regulations of the country, to organised crime.

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