Tumelo Waga Dibakwane
THE newly formed Black Tobacco Farmers Association (BFTA) says more than 10, 000 jobs will be lost if the government fail to deal with the illegal sale of cigarettes that is rife in the country.
This was revealed during BFTA meeting that was recently held in Pretoria.
“These cheap cigarettes cost just R10 (three times cheaper than legal cigarettes). The country is losing R25-Million per day due to this problem,” BFTA Chairman Shadrack Sibisi
Shai said one of the illegal cigarette brands known as RG, was the biggest seller in the entire country.
“Illegal cigarettes do not only cost the people of South Africa billions, but they also jeopardise the existence of tobacco farming in South Africa because not one of them uses South African leaf,” said Shai.
“The government is not only failing taxpayers by not enforcing its laws, but it is also failing farmers too. Legal cigarette sales are plummeting which will have an instant and devastating effect on farming.”
Shai said the government kept on promising them that they would deal with the matter but they never did.
“We can’t wait any longer for action. If the government is not going to stop this daily robbery, we will take action.”