We need more time for our report, VAT review panel tells Nene

Cape Town – The expert panel set up to investigate the impact of the 1 percentage point increase to value added tax on South Africans has asked Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene to extend the deadline for its report by a week.

The original deadline for the panel’s report was Tuesday afternoon.

The work of the panel came amid increasing financial pressure on South African households, including multiple petrol price increases.

The VAT increase was announced by former minister of finance Malusi Gigaba during his budget speech in February. 

In a statement, National Treasury said the chair of the independent panel of experts, Professor Ingrid Woolard, requested the extension. 

"The Minister has agreed to extend the deadline from 31 July 2018 to 6 August 2018. The report will be made public soon thereafter," the statement said.

In a statement released in July, Cabinet's economic cluster said President Cyril Ramaphosa convened a special meeting of ministers in the economic cluster to discuss the impact of fuel prices and deliberate on potential government interventions.

"The meeting resolved that the mandate of the VAT commission could be expanded to include the fuel price issues. It was also decided that government should communicate more to explain the challenges to society," the statement said.

Cabinet last month also urged SA businesses to be "circumspect" when passing on the costs of the fuel price hikes to consumers. 

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