Ina Opperman
Business Journalist
5 minute read
3 Feb 2021
4:42 pm

Lockdown bans opened the door to illicit trade and nobody is closing it fast enough

Ina Opperman

'We are tired of talking. We want to see action: criminals in orange suits, the law being implemented and things must happen faster,' says founder of Tax Justice SA, Yusuf Abramjee.

Members of the Hawks seize illegal cigarettes. Image: SAPS.

The banning of alcohol and tobacco during lockdown has opened the door for the illicit trade of goods, but when people could buy booze and cigarettes again, not all of them returned to the legal market, but kept buying on the black market, costing the country billions in lost revenue. The main obstacle to addressing the illicit trade in South Africa was the fact that the state was not capable of stopping it because state capture had weakened the justice system to such an extent that illicit trade could grow faster, said Busi Mavuso, chief executive officer (CEO) of Business...