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Our South African economic impact

British American Tobacco South Africa makes a critical contribution to our national economy.

A 2015 economic impact study by independent analysts Quantec Research found that BAT South Africa’s total contribution to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) is an estimated R18.4 billion, equivalent to 0.52% of the country's entire GDP.

BAT South Africa paid in excess of R14.5 billion in tax revenue in 2015 alone. We also employed more than 2,100 people, bought goods and services worth R6 billion from local suppliers, and generated R14.5 billion in tax revenues for the South African fiscus in the 2015 financial year.

However, this initial contribution is only a fraction of our economy-wide impact: BAT South Africa is responsible for supporting over 72,000 jobs across the country in various sectors, including retail, agriculture, businesses services, manufacturing, and transportation. The majority of these jobs are within small businesses and over 86% of people supported are black South Africans.

Support for South African agriculture is also one of the bedrocks of our business. BAT South Africa buys over 90% of all locally-grown tobacco leaf, worth some R550 million. This in turn supports around 5,800 farming jobs. With over 179,000 spazas, house-shops, taverns, and convenience stores deriving an income from the sale of our products, we are also proud to help sustain over 25,000 jobs in the retail sector.

Furthermore, the study found that, for every one job offered by BAT South Africa, 32 additional jobs are created across the wider economy. Of our total tax contribution, excise duties account for R10.2 billion, which represents 27% of all excise tax collected in South Africa.

South Africa is also home to the eighth largest British American Tobacco factory globally.

Our factory in Heidelberg, Gauteng, opened in 1976 and is the eighth largest British American Tobacco factory in the world. As the largest employer in the Heidelberg area, our factory produces more than 27 billion cigarettes a year for local and export markets, as well as processed leaf tobacco (known as cut rag tobacco) for export.