JOHANNESBURG - Government is saying don't puff and pass during the COVID-19 lockdown, banning the sale of tobacco products but the thriving black market is heating up with illegal cigarette sellers making a killing.
A recent survey by the University of Cape Town revealed that more than 90-percent of smokers continue to light up.
It’s an open secret where one can get cigarettes during the lockdown in downtown Johannesburg.
The Checkpoint team was led to a man selling South African manufactured smokes for nearly double the price.
Outside the lockdown, a loose RG cigarette is normally sold at 50 cents, and Courtleigh loose costs R3 but during the lockdown, the latter costs R7.
In Africa’s richest square mile, Sandton, packs are preferred over loose cigarettes.
The normal price for a box of RG is R20, however now it's R80.
For more on this burning story, tune into Checkpoint on Tuesday at 10pm on eNCA.
The show also features an interview with headline-grabbing cigarette manufacturer Adriano Mazzotti who denies ever being friends with cooperative governance minister of Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.