Cape Town, 8 April 2021 – Various government departments fighting against illegal imports and exports will destroy 12 million illegal cigarettes with a market value of R18 million in Cape Town on Friday 9 April 2021.
The destruction will begin at 8am at the State Warehouse, located at no.9 FW de Klerk Boulevard, Cape Town Foreshore.
The cigarettes will be shredded on-site, with due regard to health and safety protocols. The waste will then be transferred via a conveyor belt to special trucks and removed under supervision to a secured landfill site.
The illegal cigarettes were seized in various operations, including the seizure of a 40-foot container smuggled into the country and falsely declared as another commodity.
The clampdown on illicit imports and exports is a major focus of government under the auspices of the Inter-Agency Working Group (IAWG) on Illicit Trade, which consists of several government departments and agencies.
The IAWG focuses on illegal clothing, textiles, footwear, leather, infrastructure sold as scrap metal, as well as second hand motor vehicles.
The destruction of the illegal goods must send a strong message that government has adopted a zero-tolerance approach towards illegal trade and to sensitise the public about the harm that these goods do to our economy and the health of our people.
Such illegal activities destroy the country’s manufacturing capacity, which in turn leads to unemployment, inequality and poverty. Illegal imports and exports are also a source of funding for criminal syndicates.
The fight against the scourge of illegal imports and exports is also of major importance because it reduces the amount of revenue that SARS collects.
The revenue generated plays an important role in enabling government to build a capable state that provides basic services to poor and vulnerable individuals and households, as well as relief to employers and employees during the Covid-19 pandemic.
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