Revenue billions go up in smoke
The tobacco industry may well be overstating matters when it claims 70% of the local cigarette market is illicit. But the more tempered figure of 54% from recent independent research is still way above the global average
Here’s something to consider next time you see someone furtively sucking on a cigarette in one of the few public spots smoking is still allowed: every cigarette smoked in this country contributes just over R1 to the fiscus.
Or, at least, it would if every cigarette were purchased legitimately. This, it turns out, is unlikely. South Africa boasts a world-beating level of illicit tobacco trading: depending on who you trust, it is either 54% or 70%, and it costs the fiscus between R12bn and R19bn a year...
Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.