Mashaba launches campaign opposing tax hike to fund Covid-19 vaccines

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article

  • ActionSA has launched a campaign to pressure government not to raise taxes.
  • This comes after National Treasury revealed a tax hike was among the options it was considering to raise funds to procure Covid-19 vaccines.
  • ActionSA's Herman Mashaba said South Africans must draw a line in the sand. 

ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba has launched a public campaign to oppose a possible tax hike.

This comes after National Treasury Director-General Dondo Mogajane announced to the media that a tax hike was among its options to fund the Covid-19 vaccine. 

In an interview on Radio 702, Mogajane said Treasury was looking at various options, including reprioritising expenditure, loans and taxes."One way or the other, we have to bite the bullet. We will have to do it for the sake of South Africans and for the sake of saving lives."He added that, while the tax burden of the country was high, Treasury would ensure the tax hike was not detrimental to the economy."We have to do anything possible as per the president's instruction to make sure that we get these vaccines," he said.

Herman Mashaba.
ActionSA founder and president, Herman Mashaba.

In a statement on Thursday, Mashaba said the #CutTheFat campaign called on all South Africans to draw a line in the sand and say "this far and no further" to a government "that continues to spend and live expensively while South Africans are suffering".

Mashaba added that a government which raised taxes on any South African under the current economic conditions would have to prove that it had done everything in its power to reduce its own expenditure first. 

"Instead, our government will proceed to deliver its budget in February, which will continue with its Cabinet of 62 ministers and deputy ministers along with their ministerial residences, staff compliments, VIP bodyguards and private security. This is just one example of so many that ActionSA will be exposing in the coming days and weeks," he added.

READ | Wage freeze, tax hikes or borrowing - how will Treasury 'make sure' there is money for vaccines?

Speaking to Fin24, an economist said he did not foresee Treasury being too aggressive with tax hikes when Finance Minister Tito Mboweni delivers the budget speech in February. 

Chief economist at the Bureau for Economic Research Hugo Pienaar told Fin24 that Treasury should reprioritise expenditure as a preferred option, rather than tax hikes. 

"Countries around the world are reducing taxes to respond to the economic recessions brought about by this global pandemic. They do this to increase household budgets and increase economic activity which employs more people," Mashaba said. 

He encouraged the public to support the campaign on the party website to pressure the government to cut its own expenditure so as to fund the vaccine rollout, before considering raising an additional cent in taxes.

"Our message to President [Cyril] Ramaphosa is to show leadership by example. While there are many budget cuts that have to be made, the President should start by showing us a new Cabinet that can fit into an average boardroom," he said.

Do you want to know more about this topic? Sign up for one of News24's 33 newsletters to receive the information you want in your inbox. Special newsletters are available to subscribers.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Would you choose to continue working from home after the coronavirus lockdown if given the option?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, it's much better for me
40% - 7012 votes
No ways! I can't wait to get back to the office
12% - 2047 votes
A mixture of both would suit me best
48% - 8429 votes
Vote
USD/ZAR
14.59
(-0.1)
GBP/ZAR
20.05
(+0.2)
EUR/ZAR
17.38
(+0.1)
AUD/ZAR
11.12
(-0.1)
JPY/ZAR
0.13
(+0.2)
Gold
1,732.77
(-0.6)
Silver
24.82
(-1.7)
Platinum
1,175.09
(-2.4)
Brent Crude
62.95
(-0.4)
Palladium
2,678.50
(+1.4)
All Share
66,390
(-1.2)
Top 40
60,673
(-1.3)
Financial 15
12,144
(+0.2)
Industrial 25
86,617
(-1.1)
Resource 10
67,175
(-2.1)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo