Tobacco South Africa confirms retrenchment process

Business News

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British American Tobacco South Africa (“BAT South Africa”) announced that it has begun a consultative process with staff in line with Section 189 (1) of the Labour Relations Act around the restructuring of the business.

The company has embarked on this process given further losses in cigarette volumes in South Africa. It is expected that around 200 company jobs may be affected by the proposed restructuring.

Lindiz van Zilla said BAT South Africa’s cigarette volume loss is almost entirely as a result of the continued impact of the growth in illicit cigarette trade in South Africa, and the unconstitutional ban on cigarette sales implemented during the national Covid-19 lockdown in 2020, says a company spokesperson.

“The 2020 tobacco sales ban resulted in an explosion of growth for the illicit market. This has continued even after the ban on tobacco sales was lifted.

“In 2019, BAT South Africa permanently employed around 1,800 highly qualified staff across its South African operations. Since 2020, we have been forced to retrench more than 30% of our workforce.”

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