Professor Francois Steyn and Harriet Klopper
3 minute read
4 May 2020
6:12 am

Tobacco ban fuels illegal trade

Professor Francois Steyn and Harriet Klopper

During the lockdown ban, the fiscus is losing about R35 million a day in tax revenue, which amounts to R1.2 billion over the initial five-week ban.


On 15 April, a shopkeeper in Kalbaskraal, Malmesbury, was stabbed to death for refusing to sell cigarettes. Tobacco is addictive and nicotine withdrawal can cause severe cravings, irritability and anxiety. Amid the heavy burden of gender-based violence and with men forming the bulk of smokers, women and children may well bear the brunt of mood swings and withdrawal outbursts. Despite several calls by smokers and the legal tobacco industry, on 29 April, government confirmed its uncompromising stance on the ban. Strangely, this followed only six days after President Cyril Ramaphosa declared that government planned to lift the tobacco ban as...