• Subscribe
  • Login
+27 33 342 9393

General Information and News Monitoring

of interest...

Agri SA: Handelsmerklose tabakprodukte bedreig meer as 8 000 landbouers se werk / see English below

8 Augustus 2018

Agri SA is baie bekommerd oor wetgewende voorstelle om regulasies rakende sogenaamde handelsmerklose verpakking (plain packaging) vir sigarette en ander tabakprodukte af te dwing. Agri SA het sy kommentaar oor die Wetsontwerp op die Beheer van Tabakprodukte en Elektroniese Leweringstelsels ingedien. Die indieningstydperk vir kommentaar het vandag gesluit. Indien die wetsontwerp bekragtig word sal sowat 8 000 landbouers se werk in die landelike gemeenskappe van Limpopo, Mpumalanga en Noordwes bedreig word.

Onafhanklike navorsing deur Ipsos het bevind dat meer as 1 miljoen pakkies sigarette daagliks in Suid-Afrika onwettig verkoop word – wat beteken dat aksynsbelasting op die produkte nie betaal word nie. Dit lei tot ‘n verlies van meer as R7 miljard in belastingsinkomste vir die regering in 2018. Die gebruik van handelsmerklose verpakking sal dié oortreders in hul kwaad stook, aangesien die vervalsing en belastingontduiking makliker sal wees. ‘n Verdere implikasie is dat kinders meer blootgestel word aan gewetenlose onwettige tabakhandelaars.

“Die Suid-Afrikaanse tabakbedryf is reeds genoegsaam gereguleer en enige verdere ingryping sal teenproduktief wees in terme van openbare gesondheid en misdaadvoorkoming,” sê Pietman Roos, hoof van Korporatiewe Sake en Kommunikasie by Agri SA. “Die handelsmerklose verpakkingsvoorwaardes sal ook ‘n hele waardeketting afskaf, inbreuk maak op die grondwetlike regte van belastingbetalende maatskappye en lei tot ‘n toename in die onwettige handel.”

Agri SA voer aan dat dié bepalings op artikel 16 (reg tot vryheid van spraak) en artikel 25 (eiendomsregte) van die Grondwet sal inbreuk maak. Verder is sodanige beperkinge buite verhouding met die beleidsdoelwitte omdat daar reeds ‘n reeks gesondheidsregulasies bestaan.

“Die Suid-Afrikaanse tabakbedryf het reeds grootskaals belê in die ondersteuning van meer as 150 opkomende produsente, aangesien dié gewas unieke geleenthede bied om landbouhervorming te versnel. Die beskerming van die vooruitgang wat reeds bewerkstellig is moet hoog op die prys gestel word, bo die van ongetoetste en ontwrigtende regulatoriese ingrypings.”

Agri SA ondersteun die regeringsbeleid om openbare gesondheid te bevorder, deur onder meer opvoeding en bewusmaking van gesondheidskwessies, maar ons glo vas dat die voorgestelde wetgewing in werklikheid teen-produktief sal wees. Daar sal meer beleidsdoelwitte bereik word indien onwettige sigarethandel bekamp word.

Agri SA sal voortgaan om met die regering te werk ten opsigte van die voorstel vir handelsmerklose verpakking in die belang van kommersiële en opkomende tabakboere.

 

Plain packaging for tobacco endangers over 8 000 agriculture jobs

8 August 2018

Agri SA is highly concerned by the legislative proposal to enforce so-called plain packaging regulations for cigarettes and other tobacco products. Agri SA has submitted its comments to the Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Draft Bill, whose deadline for submissions closed today. If the Bill is enacted, the combined 8 000 jobs of commercial and emerging tobacco farmers in the rural communities of Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the North West, will be endangered.

Independent research conducted by Ipsos found that more than 1 million packs of cigarettes are sold illegally daily (i.e. below the excise rate) in South Africa, which translates to a tax revenue loss of more than R7 billion in 2018. Plain packaging will further strengthen this trend, as it makes counterfeiting and excise evasion far easier. The further implication is that child smoking will increase alongside unscrupulous illicit cigarette trade.

“The South African Tobacco Industry is already thoroughly regulated, and any further intervention will be counter-productive in terms of public health and crime prevention, said Pietman Roos, Head of Corporate Affairs and Communication at Agri SA. “The plain packaging provisions will also decimate an entire value chain, infringe the constitutional rights of tax-paying companies, and lead to an increase in illicit trade.” 

Agri SA contends that the provisions would infringe section 16 (right to free speech) and section 25 (property rights) of the Constitution, and that such limitation is disproportional to the policy aims as there is already a raft of public health regulations in place.

“The South African tobacco industry has already invested heavily in supporting over 150 emerging black farmers as the crop presents unique opportunities to drive agrarian reform. Protecting the gains already made and supporting further growth should override untested and destabilising regulatory interventions.”

Agri SA supports government policy to promote public health through, among others, education and raising awareness on health issues, but firmly believes that the proposed legislation will in fact be counterproductive. Clamping down on the illicit cigarette trade would achieve far more policy aims.

Agri SA will continue to engage with government on the plain packaging proposal in the interest of tobacco farmers, both commercial and emerging.