8 August 2018

South Africa: Tobacco Bill Will 'Blow a Hole in the Informal Economy'

opinion

Government didn't bother to consult them, but both the SA Spaza and Tuckshop Association and the African Co-operative for Hawkers and Informal Business have come out strongly against the new Tobacco Bill, which would prohibit the retail display of tobacco products and "stimulate decline in the township economy".

The Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill (Tobacco Bill), which is open for comment until 9 August 2018, imposes tough new restrictions on the sale and use of tobacco products. It will prohibit in-store display of tobacco products, prohibit the sale of single cigarettes, and prohibit payments from manufacturers and wholesalers to retailers to stock their brands.

In an accompanying socio-economic impact assessment, the Department of Health says it approached only two large retailers for comment, namely Pick n Pay and Shoprite Checkers. It claims that these retailers foresee no impact to their revenue or employment levels as a result of measures that would forbid them to display tobacco products or tobacco advertising at point of sale.

The assessment admits that representatives of small retailers or the informal sector were not invited...

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