Today's Labour News

newsThis news aggregator site highlights South African labour news from a wide range of internet and print sources. Each posting has a synopsis of the source article, together with a link or reference to the original. Postings cover the range of labour related matters from industrial relations to generalist human resources.

BATSABL Premium reports that British American Tobacco SA (BATSA) has cut cigarette deliveries to some stores as the illicit cigarette trade overwhelms the legal market, putting at risk about 500 jobs at third-party logistics companies.

The company, which now sells 40% fewer cigarettes than it did in 2020, is in retrenchment talks with 20 office staff members who manage its external deliveries. It has cut 584 jobs since 2019 out of a total 1,800 as profits plummeted in the face of a surge of illicit trade triggered by the Covid-era tobacco ban. The area head of corporate and regulatory affairs for BAT Sub-Saharan Africa, Johnny Moloto, explained that BATSA’s “decision to stop direct deliveries to lower-volume retailers is an unfortunate consequence of the increasing illicit trade in tobacco products, which has continued since the Covid-19 tobacco ban”. He added: “In the past, it has been direct jobs impacted. And now it’s starting to spill over into our suppliers as well.” The cut in truck deliveries will reduce employment among the security guards who accompany each delivery truck to prevent hijackings. The illegal cigarette market accounted for about 58% of the SA market in 2022, up from just under 5% in 2009, researchers found in a recent report. BATSA said up to 70% of cigarettes consumed in SA were illicit, based on external research that measured self-reported smoking rates.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Katharine Child at BusinessLive (subscriber access only)

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page