Wealth tax: AfriBusiness resits

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The business rights watchdog AfriBusiness yesterday submitted its commentary to the Davis Tax Committee (DTC) on the proposed implementation of a wealth tax, stating that this would harm South Africa and the economy more than it will benefit the poor. South Africa’s fiscus is already one of the most redistributive fisci in the world. AfriBusiness also requests that the committee investigates the implementation of a tax rebate for private security and public/private transport.

The implementation of wealth taxes on vacant land, the value of property and an annual wealth tax can lead to people, especially the elderly, losing their property and savings. A wealth tax on the value of property, especially with no indication of ceilings or a definition of “wealth”, leaves South African citizens, and especially property owners, in the dark.

If, for example, a property ceiling of R1,5 million is determined, it will mean that all owners of property above this value would be eligible to pay a wealth tax. If you therefore purchased a property in 1980 for R500 000 and still own it with a current value of R2 million, you will be required to pay wealth tax. This not even considering that you may be taxed for the possession of vacant land as well.

“The implications hereof boil down to the arbitrary deprivation of property by means of implementing a wealth tax, which inherently means that Government does not need to change the Constitution, but can bring about the loss of property by implementing shockingly high taxes. Section 25 of the Constitution will seriously be affected by the implementation of any form of wealth tax on the value of property and/or vacant land. Property rights in South Africa are in danger due the current government implementing draconic and communistic legislation in this authoritarian state under ANC rule,” says Charles Castle, Manager of the Labour Law Advice Unit at AfriBusiness.

Castle furthermore states that South Africans should all take notice and, with a sense of urgency, start taking part in the discussion and processes regarding property rights in South Africa. People need to become part of organised organisations such as AfriBusiness to ensure the future of property rights in South Africa.