SA to pay billions in green taxes

2010-08-26 09:56

Johannesburg - National Treasury’s coffers will receive billions this year and next year, thanks to three so-called green taxes being levied on companies and taxpayers.

The biggest of the three green taxes is the environmental levy of 2c/kWh that Eskom pays over to treasury.

This was a tax on electricity generated from non-renewable sources like coal and nuclear energy, said treasury spokesperson Kershia Singh.

Where Eskom generated electricity from renewable sources, such as wind and solar power, the utility would not be liable for the tax, she said.

Eskom generated almost all its electricity from non-renewable sources like coal, and consequently had to pay R3.7bn to treasury this year – this while it had an almost R45bn deficit in terms of financing its capital construction programme.

The levy on Eskom would go to the fiscus to fund general government priorities, said Singh.

The other green taxes that were upsetting business leaders was the tax on plastic bags, which was introduced six years ago, as well as the new green tax being levied on all new passenger vehicles from September 1.

Business leaders are concerned because the money was not in fact being applied for green purposes.

Imperial group chief executive Hubert Brody said a green tax such as that being levied on motor cars in South Africa was simply another burden hiking the cost of living.

Taxes such as these, he said, should be channelled to green projects such as research programmes for green vehicles.

The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers (Naamsa) expected that this new tax would add about 2.5% to the price of a new vehicle, and would present treasury with about R1.6bn a year.

As far as plastic bag taxes were concerned, treasury had raked in about R360m between 2004 and 2009.

Singh said that this year R140m would be collected and next year R150m.

Of this, she said, R30m would be used this year and about R35m next year for environmentally-friendly projects.


  • A - 2010-08-26 10:09

    How much more is this government going to squeeze out of us??????

  • JT - 2010-08-26 10:14

    I will grin and bear it... ONLY if government takes that money and puts it into a fund for environmental projects, green energy and rehabilitation of our rivers and soil. But it wont... it will all go down the bottomless hole known as the ANC government

  • BT - 2010-08-26 10:14

    Got to love the words:- "to fund general government priorities, said Singh". The only priorities the government has in mind, are the 5 star hotel's, luxury cars, overseas trips and lining their own pockets!!

  • davemc - 2010-08-26 10:16

    Funny how that 2c that Eskom is being "taxed" ends up being take from our pockets. Absolute nonsense.

  • Abigwar - 2010-08-26 10:20

    So they use 30 million out of 150 for green projects, the rest goes into "Administration" expenses such as good parties , great cars and of course favored peoples back pockets. Of course I am wrong and Pravin Moron will tell us it goes to upliftment of lazy striking workers, blah blah blah.......

  • Khalid - 2010-08-26 10:22

    The really sad thing is that these "new" taxes will not go towards conservation or environment. It will simply be swallowed by govt for their other expenses in the same way the way the fuel levy, etc is swallowed

  • Matt - 2010-08-26 10:22

    Does anyone else think it's a complete travesty that these funds are NOT being channeled to green projects? How do they justify levying these taxes, if they are not going to ALL be put towards sustainable power generation and such? If I'm reading this right, a maximum of 20% of the funds are being put towards the right things. So that means the other 80% go towards lining the pockets of the usual schmucks. come on!!! Why doesn't the ombudsman step in here? Where is the transparency and accountability?

  • Graeme - 2010-08-26 10:23

    Is it just me, or has the quality and thickness of the plastic bags at supermarkets deteriorated right back to the days before the tax was implemented? Back then the bags were thick and hardy and could take a hefty load, yet these days they're as flimsy and pathetic as they used to be, yet we still have to pay for them? Is this not just another example of an idea that started off with good intention but has now become a money-making racket with no benefit at all to the consumer? Where exactly does this money go? I would love to be able to reuse my plastic bags, but their quality is so rubbish that I don't want to trust filling them with breakable groceries a second time! It's taken 6 years for the bags to return to their previous state....and government doesn't think we'll notice? Another case, like the car tax, of shut up and pay.

  • sakkie de kock - 2010-08-26 10:28

    doubt if any money will really go for "green purposes"... (read here ANC cadre coffers) and also, IF government was so green concious why build coal plants? Just another way to steal from the hard working south african......

  • Zumanomics101 - 2010-08-26 10:28

    This is just another ploy to milk the taxpayer. These politicians don't give 2 hoots about the environment. Just another way to try and salvage the economic shortfall.(I don't see a Zuma National Park, though I know of a Kruger National Park.The pot shes dry.

  • Lillian - 2010-08-26 10:31

  • RustyW - 2010-08-26 10:34

    Green taxes make me very happy. Its up to you the consumer, if you want to churn out pollution and wasting electrical power at the cost of the enviroment and my childrens future you must pay dearly or go green.

  • TheUsual - 2010-08-26 10:35

    This is simply a rip-off. Some green taxes will probably finance the not-so-green life-style of MP's!!

  • Ryan - 2010-08-26 10:35

    Pay pay pay pay pay, get nothing in return!!!! Welcome to SA

  • Hester - 2010-08-26 10:35

    OK, so they are going to use R35M of the R150M for envirOnmetally friendly projects....WHAT'S HAPPING TO THE REST OF THE MONEY???? And what are they going to tax next to fill their greed for money???

  • Andre - 2010-08-26 10:36

    Bulls%&t, Its just another way of collecting / stealing from the overstressed consumer to enrich themselves while the poor & general consumers are battling to make end meet! As far as the levy on plastic bags go please have a look around an notice that it has made zero difference to the environment, bags are still everywhere and worse around the informal settlements.

  • ANC - 2010-08-26 10:38

    EISH, new BMW's for us all!!!!

  • Salim - 2010-08-26 10:39

    since when this government care about anything

  • Ferdi - 2010-08-26 10:40

    With all this money, why don't the government give every household a solar geyser or something like that. Where is this money going???

  • DUNCAN GOHL - 2010-08-26 10:42


  • EnoughTax - 2010-08-26 10:43

    Well, since they have been scooping up the money like never before, they still tell the public servants there is no money for proper increases? No wonder the country is on strike !!!!!! useless morons running this government ! Rather Vote DA next time, if you have even half a brain !

  • Nesomaniac - 2010-08-26 10:44

    Extortion, extortion, extortion. More scam money being squeezed out of the taxpayer in order to meet the demands of the Church of Gore. Doesn't anybody read the science behind the myth of climate change and "going green"?

  • 10111 - 2010-08-26 10:46

    Tax will be used for "general government priorities" = new cars, bigger houses and better hotels.

  • Arrie - 2010-08-26 10:50

    Jip, here we go, just another evil way for governments to become more powerful. Is it only me or do I smell communisn in the air with all the different taxes?

  • Zarb.GP - 2010-08-26 10:51

    Here's my wallet, help yourself... So much for life getting easier...

  • gpwengineer - 2010-08-26 10:51

    So they use our tax money to build the coal power stations, then they penalize us for them not spending it on green technologies. It would make more sense to tax Eskom a portion of their turnover for using non-green energy sources.

  • TAXMAN - 2010-08-26 10:51

    the anc government has stolen all the money and now they are broke, the have to invent new ways to make money so that the future of the anc can remain rich

  • henk - 2010-08-26 10:55

    just MORE for the pockets to the comrades!!!

  • Abe Ramsay - 2010-08-26 10:56

    If we could slow the gravy train down a little and rein in corruption a little, we wouldn't need toll roads or green taxes. We would also eradicate the deficit on the budget. If these green taxes were spent on saving the planet we could still tolerate them. However, when the government taxes Eskom, for its own benefit, it becomes a farce. Now, every single South African will pay more so that the government officials, from ministers down to clerks, can channel off funds to their businesses, spouses and friends. Without trying to be a prophet of doom, if we don't stop this accelerating slide into the abyss, in 14 years we are going to be like Zimbabwe is on their 30th year of democracy. We are capable of becoming a great nation if we could build on the legacy that Madiba left us and then reducing the number of hands in the till.

  • ockert - 2010-08-26 10:57

    R30 mil out of R140 mil - plastic bag tax for the environment and the rest for Jack Daniels ??, what about the previous recoveries of R360mil. Now we come to the vehicle tax and they can really party "General Government Priorities" very obscure way of putting it - Like General Expenses in a budget - which is sometimes the highest amount in a company committing Fraud.

  • Paul - 2010-08-26 11:04

    I'm really not surprised by this. Anything to add a new tax and take more from the people. I AM however surprised by the taxes in that there isn't really alternatives. Cool beans, green tax on electricity... paid by the people. Let me generate power from geothermic heat... oh wait, we don't HAVE surface magma in South Africa. Why oh why aren't the receivers of taxes using the funds to do something about the situation so that taxes aren't necessary? Sure, don't use coal, but come up with a viable and affordable solution then.

  • Stevie - 2010-08-26 11:04

    R1.6bn per year going into a "general government priorities"? Sounds more than a bit dodgy... Then again, this is in line with everything else that government has done since the ushering in of cleptocracy in '94...

  • Mr T - 2010-08-26 11:05

    This is pathetic. We must pay more so the ANC can line it's pockets and buy fancy new cars and houses. The money made from this tax should be pushed back into the community and encourage a greener lifestyle.

  • greenie - 2010-08-26 11:10

    If this is the tune Government wants to sing then we the public, demand greener motor vehicles. Electric cars are the future. They have zero emmissions and are faster/cleaner than most vehicles. People should be given an alternative to this new tax idea and if they cannot be given an alternative, how on earth does Government expect to enforce a tax that basically will back every motor vehicle user in RSA into a corner!! GET REAL!!!

  • Eina Broer - 2010-08-26 11:11

    Continue with the strike government workers....continue!!!!!

  • Fouche - 2010-08-26 11:11

    Well, someone has to finance the extravagent lifestyle of the ANC elite! It takes heaps of taxpayer money to oil the machine of Zuma inc, Malema inc, Nyanda inc, etc. We can expect to be robbed blind by tha ANC scum in many more ingenious ways in the future.

  • John - 2010-08-26 11:11

    I'm all for green tax but then spend it on green energy and other environment friendly project. " fund general government priorities..." sooner or later the people will say enough is enough.

  • C- vaaldam - 2010-08-26 11:15

    Wow - great country. Goverment elect can't balance the gravy trains runing costs.- JUST HIKE MORE TAXES. What happens if the goose that lays the goldern eggs fly away or get killed!

  • ZANE - 2010-08-26 11:16

    the anc cares about the environment to me thats why they must be handing out new mining rights to all their pals

  • WTF - 2010-08-26 11:18

    It is blatently clear that our wonderful government is out to bleed as much as they can from the ordinary citizen without providing any benefit whatsoever. Green initiatives!?!?!?!? None exist .....

  • DAVID - 2010-08-26 11:19

    The levy on Eskom would go to the fiscus to fund general government priorities. MMMMMMM, ZUMA'S 100 MILLION RAND HOUSE. AND 20 CARS FOR ALL HIS CHERRIES

  • morena - 2010-08-26 11:19

    we as tax payers were against caol powered stations but the ANC pushed ahead with em using hitachi africa to get the millions from chancellor house now they want to charge us for green levies hahahaaa haaahahaa I DIDN'T WANT TO ACCEPT IT BUT THE ANC ARE A BUNCH OF SHAMELESS, GREEDY TWATS

  • morena - 2010-08-26 11:22

    and where do all those billions go? with that 3billion they could have hell started a rain forest to help out in cleaning the air not only for SA but for the entire planet, i think and believe the treasury is the ANC's private bank

  • Beenstolenfrom - 2010-08-26 11:29

    You think that this is day light theft...wait until all the proposed toll gates are up and running....In JHB alone they will be placed every 10KM apart on all main roads. this government is not only broke but now they steel from us to make ends meet, they the ones trying to con us that crime is on the down, they are the biggest criminals.Funny thing is they think the the rest of the world don't see what they are doing. It will not be long before we see less countries investing in SA, this country is fast becoming to expensive to live in.You will have to be a goverment official to live here very soon. SAD!!!!

  • Henry - 2010-08-26 11:30

    Green raxes are to make one or two persons very rich. Type in on google. "jesse ventura global warming hoax" In these videos you will see where the money goes. Were are swindled out of our money. Next will be because we exhale co2 we will have to pay taxes. Follow were the money goes.

  • Beenstolenfrom - 2010-08-26 11:31

    Is there going to be any way i can submit a tax claim at the end of the year to reclaim some of this "GreenTax" ???

  • LB - 2010-08-26 11:31

    What happens if you build green and are off the grid and harvest rain water, etc. Can we than claim back all the taxes from the government!!!

  • eh - 2010-08-26 11:33

    Time for taxpaying citizens to start demanding more of our government. Taxpayers are not their voters, so they are using our money to buy their votes and trying to suppress stories about their scandalous wastefullness. Perhaps we need to pay our taxes into a trust fund until these clowns wake up and realise it is not a one way street.

  • Melsh - 2010-08-26 11:35

    Goverment workers I support your strike and cause 100%. Because the ANC thinks it has the mandate to destroy their own nation with ridiculous Taxes and claims to fund its 6 cylinder engine that is only running on one cylinder with the nations funds. Viva Strikers break their command chain for once and all VIVA!!!!!!!!!

  • Roane - 2010-08-26 11:38

    Go ahead and deduct green taxes - but then use all of that revenue for green products, not just 20% of it!!!! What's the point of deducting it at all if nothing is being changed? It's like using the UK as an example for taxing passenger vehicles and decreasing carbon footprints, but not actually considering that SA hardly has a public transport system as farreaching as the UK does. Hmph

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