What the ‘green tax’ really means

2010-09-02 00:00

SOUTH Africans will have to get used to the new “green tax” law, which was introduced yesterday, says the director of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa), Nico Vermuelen.

The “green tax” law will require consumers to pay more than they have been used to when buying new cars.

The carbon tax aims to encourage motorists to drive environmentally friendly vehicles by charging buyers R85,50 for each extra gram over the limit of carbon dioxide (CO2) that the car emits per kilometre. This will come into play for vehicles that emit more than 120 grams of CO2/km.

The law will apply only to passenger cars, but there are plans to extend the law to commercial vehicles. Purchasers of double-cabs are also exempt while the fuel consumption of these vehicles is still being tested.

It is expected that by March next year purchasers of double-cabs will need to pay their “green tax”, which the national Treasury says is based on the “polluter pays” principle.

While Vermuelen is not particularly happy with the new measure, he believes that “carbon taxation is something that consumers will have to get used to”.

“We at Naamsa accept the principle of environmental taxes to improve air quality and to encourage people to use more fuel economical cars,” Vermeulen said.

It is still not certain whether consumers will have to pay the full amount of the carbon tax or whether car manufacturers and dealers will pay for a part of it.

But Automobile Association spokesperson Gary Ronald was unequivocal: “Tax will be transferred to the consumer,” he said.

CO2 emissions

CO2 tax

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