Contraband cigarettes cost jobs

2012-03-13 18:03

Polokwane - At least 15 000 jobs have been lost over the last 10 years due to the smuggling of contraband cigarettes, the Tobacco Industry of Southern Africa (Tisa) has said.

The illegal trade of cigarettes was crippling the industry as they were sold at lower prices than the legal product, according to Tisa chairperson Francois van der Merwe.

He said despite an increase in the number of people smoking, the industry was seeing a decrease in profits as more people opted for contraband cigarettes.

In South Africa, the tobacco industry generated more than R10bn annually, and more than R4bn was lost due to sales of the smuggled product.

Van der Merwe said the activities were affecting the economy, with tobacco farmers retrenching workers and being forced to close down.

In the last 10 years, 1 000 tons of cigarettes had been confiscated in Limpopo, Gauteng, and at Durban harbour.

According to the SA Revenue Service (Sars), 70% of cigarettes smuggled into the country came from Zimbabwe, and about 10% from Dubai.

Recently 18 million contraband cigarettes were seized from containers in Durban harbour.

Sars said about 347 alleged smugglers were arrested and 1.2 billion cigarettes confiscated between January and December last year.

Sars spokesperson Adrian Lackay said figures indicated that syndicates were diverting their focus from drugs to cigarettes.

"Information obtained suggests that a number of well-known organised crime figures have been moving away from investing in traditional illegal drug smuggling, and are now getting involved in the tobacco industry."

Popular contraband brands included Dullahs, Remington Gold, Kingsgate, Shasha, Sharp, Director, and Absolute.

  • marnusmnorval - 2012-03-13 18:12

    I call fib..

      Jacobus - 2012-03-13 19:23

      More than 15000 have DIED because of the legal tobacco industry the last 10 years. Get real. Eat sht.

  • Johan - 2012-03-13 18:17

    Somehow I just don't feel sorry for the cigarette makers...

      seanpresherhughes_1 - 2012-03-13 21:32

      I don't feel a thing for any cigarette smoker - PERIOD - I became chronically diseased due to being a passive smoker through my own parent's compulsive smoking! They both died of emphysema and now I'm suffering too because the world was/is more worried about revenue and job losses in this field than people's health. Growing up driving in a car with all the windows shut my parents/ being forced to inhale everyone smoking anywhere and everywhere in and out of public's eyes has made me an innocent victim - you can all give me the thumbs down for my comments here but I stand by what I am about to say... " I wish that every tobacco plant in the entire world dies of a disease from which it cannot ever recover!" The governments all around the world should start being innovative in creating new jobs that don't incriminate on those people who have the right to live their full lives. I know that laws have been introduced in and around public places, but what about the right for kids that can't/are nit allowed to speak for themselves in their own homes out of public view! Kids still don't have a say and there are some parents out there who care a sh1t about the health of their children and its long-term effects as passive smokers! The word tobacco makes me cringe and I don't care about any smokers out there! Do you realise what you are doing to yourselves, your children and all other public members who are affected by your smoking!? Come on giv me as many thumbs down as you wish!

  • brendonml - 2012-03-13 18:20

    ''He said despite an increase in the number of people smoking'' What you repress, persists! It actually gets worse! Anti this , anti that, you are creating a bigger problem...... Now youve classified some cigarettes as illegal and some as legal, henceforth now you get illegal manufactures and more criminals. People fiddle too much, stop controlling this wonderful thing called life and let it be!

      maseratifittipaldi - 2012-03-13 19:51

      I'll drink to that!

  • Thandi - 2012-03-13 18:32

    No sympathy here - its a filthy business all round, whichever way you look at it, and wherever the muck comes from. I couldn't care a hoot if the industry collapses completely, then the pirates can take over, increasing prices tenfold, then hopefully more people wil kick the filthy habit.

  • James - 2012-03-13 18:41

    Smoking is far more common in SA Than the US. Time to wake up SA. And pse don't turn the environment into your personal Ashtray.

  • Diaan - 2012-03-13 19:05

    I am suppose to pay R14 more for a packet due to "sin" tax to keep Zuma and his 9 cows in their luxury lifestyle ??? Contraband or no contraband , the farmer get the same price for his product . If the goverment stop milking me it would have been another story . The contraband cigarettes is just the free market telling them they are killing the goose that lay the golden eggs. Havent bought a packet of cigarettes that cost more than R10 in the last 3 years. Only one that loose out is Zuma , and I think taking corruption and the way they life into consideration , i have a moral obligation not to feed and help sustain the goverments corrupt and fat lifestyle

  • Zaakir Joosub - 2012-03-13 19:08

    Don't give a crap, cigs is cigs. Only reason its illegal coz the government not making a cut from it.

  • Gregory Jurgens - 2012-03-13 19:09

    Industry is collapsing because of ludicrous tax on cigarettes witch opened the avenue for illegal trade, let it collapse. Good riddance to a disease causing industry.

  • Gerhard Lourens - 2012-03-13 19:32

    For interest sake... so if the tabaco farmers are not selling this tabaco to the manufacturers of illigal sigarettes... where do they find the tabaco.... in such a scale as to manufature billions of fake / illigal sigarettes... makes you think... and the huge difference in price..(profit).. how much is spend by government on cancer etc...

  • samgaf - 2012-03-13 19:43

    Karma strikes again, they were probably lazy,overpaid and underworked,contrabrand goods exist because local stuff is totally overpriced anyway

      bernpm - 2012-03-13 21:12

      ...along the same lines of Music CD's, film DVD's, banned drugs and home made booze. The Maffia was born under the US ban on alcohol...they still exist.

  • ahmed.areff - 2012-03-13 19:44

    Look at it the gov is the biggest legal criminal in exhorting extreme duties in reasons they dont care and who benefits the rich and poor gap is increasing and thats why the sale of expensive legal cig is decreasing.Let the masses smoke the cheapies they cant smoke cigs that are R14 more and on average thats R14 per day

  • Teboho Mphaloane - 2012-03-13 21:27

    Wonder what brands they are? All I know is that some fake Stuyvies and Coutleighs (spelling) once went into heavy circulation in areas like Lesotho and such with some of the leaves rolled in there having absolutely no nicotine content. It's kind of worrying because illegal (and hence unregulated) cigs can have all kinds bad stuff in them as guys who make them only care about money. Lastly all I can say is: If you arent addicted to smoking, don't start. The addiction can be quite demanding. And for those who already are, do give quitting a try every now and then. Just for sport. Who know's, you might get better at it and actually kick the habit before some of the warnings on the boxes come true. Peace!

  • Koos - 2012-03-13 21:38

    Lies! Heading should read: Contraband cigarettes causes government profits to go up in smoke! Jacob might have to cut back..... on his wives.

  • Se-a Spencer Ikeremm - 2012-03-14 09:36

    Why should this even make the news? I think we seriously need to examine where exactly we stand on the nicotine issue. They can't be all "we need to stop people from smoking, it kills, let's regulate where people can and can't smoke, etc" and then the next minute be reporting on how people are losing jobs due to contraband smokes.

  • Tony Lapson - 2012-03-14 10:19

    What bullshlt. 15 000 jobs lost but still posting massive profits. Shame on you for using the "job loss" stance. Bring the prices down and there won't be contraband cigarettes.

  • Diaan - 2012-03-14 23:51

    Cant wait to see contraband petrol

  • seanpresherhughes_1 - 2012-04-06 14:40

    Cigarettes don't cost jobs it costs lives!!! PERIOD....!

  • Vassan Soobramoney - 2013-06-06 09:29

    Glad I gave up smoking 23 yrs ago. But the bottom line is this... this government is taxing the daylight of every citizen in ways that you can't even imagine. If its not cigarettes then in is liquor, plastics bags, e-tolling and the list goes on and on. Even cars are way over priced in this country, let alone the price of fuel. And then you get this cray government cronies making comparisons to other countries. One pound in England will buy much more than just a litre of fuel. BUT in SA what can One Rand buy? Absolutely f*%K all, not even a loose cigarette.

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