Gcina Ntsabula
2 minute read
27 Jan 2020
6:15 am

How tax money goes up in smoke

Gcina Ntsabula

Government needs to strengthen border police to crack down on the illicit trade.

Picture iStock

The illicit tobacco trade, especially the selling of cheap cigarettes, has cost SA the fiscus more than R8 billion in lost taxes in the last year alone, and more than R40 billion since 2010. According to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), the largest share of the illicit cigarette market is occupied by those manufactured locally, with other brands smuggled from neighbouring Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. “Klerksdorp is the top cluster in the province, which contributed 35.8% of illicit cases to North West. The top contributing station in Klerksdorp cluster is Wolmaransstad, with 80% contributed cases,” according to the...