MIllions of cigarettes destroyed

2013-05-31 17:53

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Eleven million contraband cigarettes have been destroyed in Musina, the Tobacco Institute of Southern Africa (Tisa) said on Friday.

"Over two days, starting yesterday [Thursday] more than 1001 mastercases were destroyed, or 11 million cigarettes," said spokesperson Francis van der Merwe.

"The excise lost to the government was R6m. This [destroying cigarettes] was an ongoing thing."

Last year Tisa destroyed between 80 and 100 million contraband cigarettes, with 340 million destroyed in 2011.

Van der Merwe said eight and three million contraband cigarettes were destroyed last week in KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape respectively.

Tisa destroyed the cigarettes at their own cost as part of a partnership with government. Its aim was the destruction of one billion contraband cigarettes a year.

"Last year, South Africans smoked between eight to nine billion cigarettes.

"We have to destroy them by the millions. This is what we do in our partnership with government," he said.

"After government seizes them, we destroy them under their provision. We are sending a message out there that we will not tolerate this."

The impact of contraband cigarettes was large, with government losing billions in tax and the industry losing the same in revenue, said Van der Merwe.

Last year, government lost more than R12bn due to contraband cigarettes.

Around 7.7 million people in South Africa used tobacco products.

He said Tisa, beyond destroying the cigarettes, worked with police, customs, and security agencies in sharing information cigarette manufacturers gathered on the market.

They also assisted government in training officials, who worked at border posts, for example.

"About 30% of the cigarettes in the market are illegal. When you are a smoker, make sure you buy a legal product," he said.

About 55% of all contraband cigarettes in 2012 were made in Zimbabwe, with countries such as Mozambique and Swaziland used as means of entry into South Africa.

"More than 30% [of contraband cigarettes] are manufactured locally," said Van der Merwe.

He said the only people benefiting from contraband cigarettes were criminals.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
15 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.