[Listen] Fita: No talk of cigarette price hike, yet

[LISTEN] Fita: No talk of cigarette price hike, yet

The Fair-Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) says it believes it would be premature to consider hiking the price of cigarettes. 

cigarettes / istock
cigarettes / istock

The sale of tobacco products was recently reinstated under level 2 of the lockdown. 

Speculation is rife on whether the industry might hike prices to claim back lost profits during the 5-month sales hiatus.  

Fita chairperson Sinenhlanhla Mnguni says price hikes aren’t on the table at the moment. 

“As things currently stand nothing has come to our attention on our members increasing their pricing. I think it’s still too premature at this stage, I think no one really knows how the market is going to behave.

“In as much as people are being affected by months of inactivity, at this point I think a lot of people are still trying to understand is and of course not try to kill the consumers who have voiced their opinion and concerns in that they’ve been paying exorbitant prices for the last 5 months.” 

He adds: “We do not want to be seen as opportunistic and these are factors one needs to consider so at this point, nothing as far as an increase.” 


On Wednesday Fita withdrew its lengthy litigation against government over the rationality and necessity of the ban of tobacco sales during levels 3, 4 and 5. 

The industry group reached a settlement with the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

Mnguni says the decision wasn’t an easy one. 

“A hard decision had to be made in terms of that. You know that the costs of litigation are astronomical particularly when one you take the matter all the way to the apex court of this country.

“Our legal bill at this point is in the millions and of course beyond the financial costs of litigation one also has to look at the effort in as far as the labour intensiveness of such an application and the resources which are required. 

“Our members, having just come out of a 5-month period of largely no activity, have elected at this point to focus on trying to get their businesses off the ground.”

Mnguni says the industry hopes for more fruitful engagements with government in future. 

Listen to Mnguni below:

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