The raise on the general fuel levy as announced by the South Africa Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan during the presentation of the 2016 budget speech may be detrimental to the society especially the poor.
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) said it is “strange” that government “has no problem increasing the general fuel levy by 60 cents over the past two years”.
This hike in fuel levy makes it ironic that government hesitated at the idea of an additional 9 cents on the fuel levy to cover e-tolls as it “would affect the poor”.
Wayne Duvenage speaking for OUTA said the 30 cents-a-litre levy increase “was predictable during this time of low fuel prices”.
“We are concerned these high fuel levies (now at 36% of the fuel price)‚ will give rise to over R110-billion in the general fuel levies (general fuel levy and Road Accident Fund)‚ which is over 200% up on this revenue stream of a decade ago.
The taxes applied to motorists and the transport industry will unfortunately be passed on to all citizens and will push up the cost of living,” he added.
In his statement, Duvenage expressed hope that Gordhan will call on the South African National Roads Agency Ltd and the Department of Transport to put into consideration and possibly stop the failed decision on e-toll.
He implore government bodies to be more transparent in their dealings and added that the Finance Minister should instruct them “to fully grant access to people who are rightfully inquiring about information pertaining to expenditure and tender allocation and if that information is not all there‚ the CEO’s job should be on the line”.
Duvenage expressed his view of the 2016 budget speech and said that it did not send the message that corruption was “being handled with conviction”.
“We need the removal of those officials who have been responsible for the waste‚ and criminal charges laid where necessary‚ so that a clear message is sent to those who waste and steal our taxes.
“They must fear the potential consequences and thereby change behaviour. In addition‚ we would like to see government claw back on the known lost revenues from people and organisations who have been fraudulently enriched with taxpayers’ money,” he suggested.