Tax important for SA – Zulu

The tax needs of small and medium enterprises needed to be balanced with those of government, Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said on Tuesday.

“Tax is important for the country, so that even those that are in business, who… want to be assisted by government, there must be an understanding that money is taken from tax,” she told a media briefing at the national SMME policy colloquium in Johannesburg.

“However, the tax burden that small and medium enterprises have been complaining about, we do need to address it.”

Government understood their concerns, but a situation could not exist where small and medium enterprises paid no tax at all just because they were small or medium enterprises.

“But it’s even beyond just the tax burden. It’s also about the filling of the forms, the way they have to do this thing. It’s very difficult for small and medium enterprises,” Zulu said.

Small and medium enterprises needed to be educated on why it was necessary for them to pay tax.

“I pay 40 percent tax, that’s a very high amount, but at the end of the day I pay that tax because I see the returns,” the minister said.

Government used taxes to create a conducive business environment and infrastructure, with the money needing to come from somewhere.

Earlier, Zulu said her department stood by the national government’s position on e-tolls while the e-toll advisory panel continued its work.

“We’ve got a national government position on that [e-tolls] but there is a process there,” she said.

“The panel is ongoing and everybody has got the right to go to that panel and make their presentations. We’ll wait for that process to go through.”

Business Day newspaper reported on Monday that the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) as well as the department of transport would make representations to the panel in November.

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters told the newspaper that the department and Sanral would face the panel to “clear the distortions” about the electronic tolling of Gauteng highways.

The newspaper reported that Peters had previously said the panel did not have power over the national government.

In July, Gauteng premier David Makhura commissioned the review panel, which has been tasked with assessing the socio-economic impact of e-tolls.

Since then, motorists and organisations have made submissions to the panel.

Chairman of the African National Congress in Gauteng, Paul Mashatile, told the panel that urban tolling would “kill the economy” and that the current system needed to be reviewed.

However, he encouraged users to continue to pay their e-toll accounts during the review process.

The panel is due to present its findings to Makhura at the end of November.



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