Press release FITA 21 June 2019

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Press release – FITA – for immediate release

It has come to our attention that certain multinational cigarette manufacturers have again resorted to desperate, unlawful and anti-competitive measures in order to maintain their market dominance in a market that has undergone significant shifts insofar the dynamics between the traditional large and more known multinationals and the local manufacturers.

The multinationals have resorted to bribing consumers (not the first time bribery has featured in the same sentence as these companies) by inter alia offering free ...

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Press release FITA 7 June 2019

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Press release – FITA – for immediate release

We wish to alert new Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (“SARS”), Edward Kieswetter, to the growing pressure in a number of African countries to hold multinational cigarette manufacturers, and in particular British American Tobacco (“BAT”), to account in relation to their base erosion and profit shifting schemes, which schemes rob the fiscus of a number of developing countries of billions.

A recent study by the Tax Justice Network (“TJN”),which focused on BAT’s ...

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Press release FITA 23 May 2019

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Press release – FITA – for immediate release

We note without an ounce of surprise the statement by the Tobacco Institute of Southern Africa (“TISA”) and its rented cheerleaders, the #TakeBackTheTax brigade, opposing the decision by the South African Revenue Service (“SARS”) of a tender for the provision of a Production Management and a Track and Trace solution for cigarettes. This has been the cut and paste approach of TISA members worldwide.

It is also not surprising given their history that TISA ...

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Press release FITA 30 April 2019

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Press release – FITA – for immediate release

We note and welcome the announcement by the South African Revenue Service (“SARS”) of a tender for the provision of a Production Management and a Track and Trace solution for cigarettes however we wish to caution SARS and government to steer away from the influence of Big Tobacco, the proverbial wolves in sheep clothing, when it comes to the selection of the preferred system.

It is accepted that the Illicit Trade Protocol requires a ...

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Press release FITA 10 April 2019

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Press release – FITA – for immediate release

We note the recent press statement by multinational British American Tobacco which, true to form, arrogantly dismisses a claim by the South African Revenue Service (“SARS”) that they owe the receiver R 143 million for alleged tax fraud after the company received undue rebates from SARS from certain misrepresentations it made to the receiver. This is characteristic of multinationals to strong-arm government and its enforcement arms due to their financial muscle which they use ...

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Press release FITA 11 March 2019

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Press release – FITA – for immediate release

We note the recent court ruling by the Honourable Malopa J in the Gauteng Provincial Division held at Pretoria in the urgent court application brought by one of our members, Gold Leaf Tobacco Corporation (“GLTC”) against the spokesperson of the #TakeBackTheTax campaign Yusuf Abramjee (“Abramjee”).

We must however state that we are somewhat astonished by comments from Abramjee and the Tobacco Institute of Southern Africa (“TISA”), who count among their membership the powerful British American ...

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Press release FITA 07 March 2019

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Press release – FITA – for immediate release

FITA notes with concern a new strategy, in addition to the plethora of other failed strategies that is being driven by an organization which represents foreign interests, and which misleadingly claims to represent the legal tobacco sector in South Africa, and some of its members. This strategy, based on the biased and industry-commissioned Ipsos Report has as an objective to attempt to influence law enforcement agencies through inter alia the intentional misrepresentation of facts. This ...

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Press release FITA 05 March 2019

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Press release – FITA – for immediate release

We wish to bring to the public’s attention a matter of great concern which has seen some of our law enforcement agencies of late returning to practices of a dark period in our past where they were captured by big tobacco in its efforts to influence the state under surreptitious methods such as through the notorious illicit tobacco task team.

Over the last few weeks one of our member factories was visited by law ...

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Press release FITA 20 February 2019

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Press release – FITA – for immediate release

The Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (“FITA”) notes the recently delivered National Budget Speech by Honourable Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni earlier today.

We commend the Honourable Minister’s announcement that the new Illicit Economy Unit which was launched in August 2018 will fight the trade in illicit cigarettes and tobacco however, we maintain our position that if one seeks to understand the fiscal risks to the economy vis a vis the tobacco industry, one should not restrict ...

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12 FEBRUARY 2019 BUDGET SPEECH TIPS MEDIA RELEASE

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To:  THE HONOURABLE MINISTER OF FINANCE

Attention: MINISTER TITO MBOWENI

Per e-mail: Budgettips@treasury.gov.za

Dear Honourable Minister

BUDGET TIPS 2019

The Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (“FITA”) has noted your recent request for tips from the public at large in relation to your upcoming budget speech.
One of the main problems with the South African economy is that it remains largely untransformed and largely controlled by the same companies, institutions and people as in the past. The tobacco industry is no exception to this in its own right and has ...

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