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WATCH: 10 000 Tobacco farming jobs on the line due to illicit cigarettes

02 February, 08:59 AM

Besieged commercial and emerging farmers in the Waterberg Region of Limpopo held a Tobacco Farmers Day in the town of Vaalwater on Thursday. 

They met to share knowledge and information, but mostly to hear how industry players are planning to tackle the looming threat posed by the loss of market share to illicit cigarettes.  

With over 10 000 permanent jobs under threat, The Tobacco Institute of South Africa's Francois van der Merwe placed the blame squarely at the South African Revenue Service's inability or unwillingness to effectively do their job.

"If the State Capture people at SARS and the police are taken out and you have new heads in place, we will see criminal manufacturers closed down."

By the end of the day, 200 commercial farmers and 150 emerging black farmers were pinning their hopes on new ANC President, Cyril Ramaphosa - their wish being that he is given the space he needs to effectively tackle the scourge of State Capture in South Africa.

Their immediate preoccupation though is one that is quintessential to all farmers; the age-old preoccupation with rain, just to have a fighting chance to survive just one more season.

Watch for more. 

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