Illicit Economy in South Africa

All economic activity whether or not it is legal is subject to taxation. The impact of activities within the illicit economy is a real threat to the country and its impact is enormous. 

The illicit economy ranges from the underground economy, which operates outside of the rules and regulations of the country, to organised crime.  Sometimes, well respected companies partake in illicit activities too.

The United Nations estimates that money flowing to organised crime outstripped all the money that the developing countries could devote to long-term development.

South Africa is losing a large portion of its GDP every year, to the illicit economy. This has mainly been in the form of smuggling of tobacco products, counterfeit textiles, drug manufacturing and smuggling, illicit mining of gold and diamonds, ivory smuggling and the poaching of endangered species like abalone and rhino.

Every South African may help stem growth of the illicit economy if you:

  • Refuse to buy counterfeit goods or contraband cigarettes;
  • Report poaching incidents to SARS, the Police and the Department of Environmental Affairs; and
  • Report informal trade in precious stones such as diamonds to SARS and the Police.
Last Updated: 21/07/2020 11:21 PM     print this page
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