Sunday 7 October 2018
THOUSANDS MORE ADD THEIR NAME TO THE #TakeBackTheTax CAMPAIGN
Almost 14 000 citizens have now added their names to a campaign calling on Government to act immediately and stop the illegal cigarette trade.
#TakeBackTheTax was launched by the Tobacco Institute of Southern Africa (TISA) a few weeks ago.
The campaign calls on authorities to act as a matter of urgency and stop the illegal cigarette trade, as it is costing the country millions of rands.
“Our economy is losing billions of rands because of the illegal cigarette trade. This money could be used to get much needed resources and basic services to citizens,” said spokesman for #TakeBackTheTax, Yusuf Abramjee.
He said the last two weeks has seen a significant increase in the number of names that have been added.
At least 4000 citizens made their submission in the past 14 days.
The submission reads as follows:
“I Implore the South African Revenue Service, the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa and law enforcement agencies to act with urgency and take decisive steps in combating the trade of illegal cigarettes. By doing so we will stop the South African economy from losing R7 billion in potential tax revenue every year. I ask that the aforementioned parties conduct thorough investigations into claims of tax evasion by all cigarette manufacturers, to implement and enforce new laws to mitigate the negative impact that illegal cigarettes have on low-income communities.”
Abramjee, who is also an anti-crime activist, said that “it is clear from revelations before the SARS Inquiry that the dramatic growth in illicit trade in the tobacco sector is the result of deliberate and corrupt decisions by the former SARS administration. The new administration which has been in place for more than 7 months, has promised a lot but nothing has been done. Illegal cigarette companies have had a tax enforcement holiday for 4 years now. This national disgrace must end”
“It’s daylight robbery to see cigarettes openly being sold for between R5 and R10. Tax is being evaded. This nonsense must stop,” he said.
Abramjee said this is “tax evasion in its crudest form and the distributors responsible are using ‘multiple invoicing’ techniques as a way to mislead and trick SARS and avoid paying tax and excise duties.”
He appealed to the public to continue to add their names to the submission by visiting www.takebackthetax.org
Follow the campaign on Twitter: @takebackthetax
Abramjee said: “It’s extremely encouraging to see more and more South Africans standing up and taking a stand against this specific type of lawlessness. We urge everyone to do the right thing and join our movement.
“Let’s all become active citizens and let’s tell authorities loud and clear: #TakeBackTheTax
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