A video doing the rounds on social media has shown community members venting their anger against a street vendor for inflating prices of illicit cigarettes.
The video which was shared on twitter and has now been viewed over 57k times is believed to be from a Cape Town community.
The video shows a crowd gathered in the streets with one woman questioning the vendor over the inflated cigarette prices.
The woman accuses the vendor of increasing prices from R22 to R100 for a box of cigarettes.
The disgruntled woman questions why the vendor insists on making a profit off the poor residents despite the community supporting his shop.
At one point in the video the woman shouts: ” its illegal YES we smoke it YES, why do you ask a hundred rand?”
The illegal cigarette trade is reported to have exploded under the lockdown which prohibits the sale of tobacco products.
Cape Town community not happy with this street cigarette vendor for inflating illegal cigarette price from R22 per box to R100. pic.twitter.com/rkLkTYK0In
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It has been reported that the illegal trade in the South Africa already results in the fiscus losing over R8 billion a year in tax revenue.
The losses are expected to be even higher with current restricts.
The government has agreed to provide reasons for maintaining the ban on tobacco product sales under level 4 of the lockdown.
This after the Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA) launched an urgent court bid for government to lift the ban and declare these products essential goods.
FITA said government has permitted the tobacco industry to manufacture and export tobacco products and cigarettes.
The association said it will head back to court in three weeks for the second leg of its application to urge government to lift the ban completely.