The price of cigarettes will rise further as smokers are expected to foot the bill for new technology the South African Revenue Service (Sars) plans to implement to track and trace the journey of cigarettes from the manufacturer to the consumer. In a bid to curb the loss of billions of rands in potential tax through the production and sale of illicit cigarettes, Sars issued a tender this week inviting bidders to produce a solution that will allow independent verification of the volumes of cigarettes produced, without depending on declarations from manufacturers. The technology must also complement security features embedded in legal cigarettes in the future to allow them to be distinguished from fakes. Viwe Mlezana, acting chief officer for enforcement at Sars, said an additional R12bn could be collected once the technology was in place. Sars collects that amount from the sales of cigarettes annually. The bidder will be expected to pay upfront for technology expenses and recover the...

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