Small businesses bear the brunt

2012-02-23 00:00

BUSINESSES, irrespective of size and location, are a country’s economic bedrock.

But when it comes to fuel tax and levy increases, it is the small businesses that bear the brunt.

For Joy Randall, owner of Zippy Business Services, a courier company, the increased costs, coupled with monthly fuel fluctuations, could leave her no choice but to up her rates for her customers.

“When the fuel levies rise the way they do, it means I must raise my customers’ fees.

I usually raise them once a year, but with the impending increases there might be more fee increments.

“I think one or two,” Randall went on,“but that will depend on how retailers are affected by the rise of the levies.

“At this time last year I spent R5 500 per month on fuel. As the year went on, the prices rose and within a 12-month period I saw myself forking out around R7 000 per month, meaning it had gone up by R1 500 over the period,” she said.

Randall (66) said she expected the levies to go up; they had also affected her business last year.

Even though her firm’s main commidity is petrol, which always tends to go up in price rather than down, each sphere of society is affected by the levy hikes, she said.

“It’s hard to tell, because business is my income, but I think everybody suffers. Petrol affects us more than anything because it is what our business runs upon,” she said.

Randall said she hoped the proposed tax cuts would ease the burden on middle-income earners, whom she saw as the ones who are bearing the biggest tax burden.

She said she was not affected by Gordhan’s announcement that businesses with turnovers of less than R1 million would have to submit only two tax returns a year.

“The country’s tax laws are quite good, but the super-rich are able to pay the taxes, while the poor aren’t, which leaves the middle-income earners to carry the can,” Randall added.

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