COSATU presented its submission on the Draft Rates and Revenue Amendment Bills to Parliament on Tuesday,15 November 2022

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) presented its submissions on the Draft Rates and Monetary Amounts and Revenue Laws Amendment Bill to Parliament’s Select Committee: Finance’s hearings on Tuesday, 15 November 2022. 

Key issues provided for in the Rates Bill include the postponement of the increase in the Health Promotion Levy (the sugar sweetened beverages tax) as well as the fuel price relief given to commuters and the economy between April and August 2022. 

COSATU welcomed the 1 year delay in increasing the Health Promotion Levy (Sugar Sweetened Beverages Tax).  This was in line with the timeframes set out and agreed to by government, business and labour in the sugar master plan.  It will provide badly needed breathing space for the sugar industry and its 72 000 plus workers who have battled a flood of cheap subsidised imports, an economic recession and a need to shift consumers to healthier diets.

COSATU welcomed the R1.50 temporary relief per litre of fuel given by Treasury to help cushion workers, commuters and the economy from the record levels of fuel.  However more needs to be done as the fuel price is simply unaffordable and a millstone around the neck of the economy and a drain on workers’ meagre wages.  Government made commitments in September 2018 and April 2022 to submit proposals on how the 32% of the fuel price that goes to taxes and the levy can be reduced.  It needs to honour these commitments.  This needs to include retabling the RAF and RABS Bills at Parliament by February 2023 to set the Road Accident Fund on a sustainable path and lessen its need for endless bailouts from the fuel levy.  It currently has liabilities of R400 billion.

Additional interventions need to include reopening all Metro Rail and Transnet Rail lines as these help transport 10 million commuters, as well as agricultural, manufacturing and mining products to their destinations safely, on time and to shield them from the effects of fuel hikes.  More needs to be done to expand public transport, including taxis and busses, and reduce the number of cars on the roads.  The SANDF and SAPS must be deployed to secure the railway network and the private sector enlisted to help in this national calamity.

Issued by COSATU

For further information please contact:
Matthew Parks-COSATU Parliamentary Coordinator
082 7850 687