Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has called on South Africans to unite against the proposed value added tax (VAT) increase, saying that it will negatively impact the poor.
Government made an announcement in the February budget speech that VAT will increase from 14% to 15%.
Malema says that South Africans cannot survive the increase, especially those who are receiving social grants.
“We don’t want an increase on VAT because it is going to be too much on the poor. The poor cannot survive as things are now with 14% VAT, imagine 15%.”
Malema says the government should instead increase corporate tax to relieve the poor.
“We want corporate tax increased. We want the collection of tax from big companies to increase. These big companies are stealing money in South Africa and they’re putting it outside South Africa.”
The VAT increase to 15% has not been well received from most quarters, including from within the African National Congress.
Last week, Democratic Alliance also announced that it will challenge the VAT increase.
The party again emphasised that the looming VAT increase is unnecessary and will disproportionately hurt the poor.
Civil society groups are suggesting that 19 zero-rated food items be reviewed because they are not well targeted to benefit the poor.