(Debate in Parliament: The desperately needed relief measures, including expanding the zero-VAT-rated food basket, to alleviate the negative impact of the inflation cost of living crisis on South African households)
The ANC is blowing hot and cold about expanding the food basket exempted from VAT, and clearly does not care about the suffering of the country’s people.
Yesterday Deputy Minster David Masondo voiced an objection to the proposal, while the ANC adopted a report in Parliament just last night which recommends it.
The Deputy Minister admitted that South Africans are facing certain “challenges”. That is an extremely euphemistic view of the harsh reality. Calling it a crisis would have been much closer to the truth.
South Africans are suffering severe hardships. The poor are becoming poorer, and the expanded unemployment rate is more than 40%. Nearly half of all South Africans are unemployed.
It is estimated that by 2025 – in less than two years – 50% of South Africans will not know where their next meal will come from.
To address the current crisis, immediate short-term solutions are needed to simultaneously help the indigent and stimulate economic growth.
The Deputy Minister’s argument that middle to high income groups will benefit most from VAT concessions on basic food products is thoughtless.
In fact, it will stimulate spending and economic growth as part of the total value chain, which will be to everyone’s benefit.
It is also mistaken to say that VAT concessions and the consequent lower VAT revenue will negatively affect projects for the poor.
Under the ANC government, tax revenue is mostly misappropriated in any case. Government does not really care about the indigent.
The poverty-stricken masses do not benefit from Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) in any way. Quite the opposite is true.
South Africa needs a government that truly cares about its people, rich and poor, a government that will implement policy to sustainably grow the economy for everyone’s benefit. So, it means that the country should rid itself of the ANC government at the polls in 2024 so as to create a better life for all its people.
ŉ regering nodig wat waarlik vir sy mense omgee, ryk en arm.