SACP to launch campaign to change VAT back to 14%

The SACP says it is extremely unhappy with the VAT increase and want the decision to be reversed.

FILE: Transport Minister Blade Nzimande. Picture: CapeTalk

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Communist Party (SACP) has rejected government’s announcement of an increase in value-added tax (VAT), warning it marks the possible beginnings of a regressive creep.

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba announced the one percentage point hike in VAT in his Budget speech last week, a move which has been widely slammed by opposition parties and labour organisations.

The SACP says it is extremely unhappy with the VAT increase.

SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande says: “While some basic foodstuffs are zero-rated, the working class and poor do not live on bread alone. Our children from poor families, they wear shoes and they have to pay VAT when they buy those shoes.”

Nzimande says they want the decision to be reversed.

“The SACP wants to launch a campaign to ensure that by the next Budget [speech], the VAT increase will be rolled back, and other measures are found to address the deficit.”

The ANC's national executive committee has also expressed unhappiness.

It’s calling on government to put measures in place to alleviate negative consequences on the poor as a result of the VAT hike.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)