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Black tobacco farmers: We pay tax and create jobs, but SA govt is suppressing us

27 May 2020 11:32 AM
Tags:
cigarette ban
ban on cigarette sales
cigarette sale ban
Black Tobacco Farmers Association
tobacco farm
tobacco farmers
Jabulani Tembe

The Black Tobacco Farmers Association (BTFA) says the government's continued cigarette ban supports criminals.

The association has expressed disappointment at government’s decision to extend the ban of cigarette sales under level 3 lockdown.

BFTA's secretary Jabulani Tembe says its members are being put out of business by the ban which uplifts criminals n the black market.

Tembe claims that bakkie loads of illicit cigarettes are entering South Africa through the Mozambican border.

Meanwhile, black tobacco farmers across five provinces cannot pay their farmworkers or harvest their crops, he says.

The association believes that government is turning a blind eye to the illicit tobacco market, allowing criminals to flourish while livelihoods across the local value chain are on the line.

We pay tax and run a legitimate business. We're creating jobs in SA, but the government is suppressing us.

Jabulani Tembe, Secretary - Black Tobacco Farmers Association

The ban is having a big impact on farmers. We employ a lot of people as farmers.

Jabulani Tembe, Secretary - Black Tobacco Farmers Association

It's obvious that whatever we have planted, we can't harvest or sell.

Jabulani Tembe, Secretary - Black Tobacco Farmers Association

The reality is that people are smoking. Even though there is this tobacco ban in South Africa.

Jabulani Tembe, Secretary - Black Tobacco Farmers Association

I live close to the Mozambique border. Every day, there are bakkies that are taking cigarettes throughout the country. It's happening. People are smoking.

Jabulani Tembe, Secretary - Black Tobacco Farmers Association

They are not smoking the brands that are being produced in South Africa, it's from other countries.

Jabulani Tembe, Secretary - Black Tobacco Farmers Association

Listen to Jabulani Tembe in conversation with Lester Kiewit:


27 May 2020 11:32 AM
Tags:
cigarette ban
ban on cigarette sales
cigarette sale ban
Black Tobacco Farmers Association
tobacco farm
tobacco farmers
Jabulani Tembe

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