The Witness - - YOURMONEY -

FIN24 went shop­ping at South Africa’s lead­ing re­tail­ers to see which has the low­est prices on prod­ucts ex­empt from the value-added tax.

The VAT hike from 14% to 15% came into ef­fect on April 1, af­ter an an­nounce­ment by for­mer Fi­nance min­is­ter Malusi Gi­gaba in the 2018 Bud­get.

There has been a wide­spread back­lash to the im­pact it will have on South African con­sumers’ pock­ets, es­pe­cially those of the poor.

Only 19 items are ex­cluded from the VAT hike.

The list of VAT-ex­empt items com­prises: brown bread, maize meal, samp, mealie rice, dried mealies, dried beans, lentils, pilchards or sar­dines in tins, milk pow­der, di­ary pow­der blend, rice, veg­eta­bles, fruit, veg­etable oil, milk, cul­tured milk, brown wheat meal, eggs, ed­i­ble legumes and pulses of legu­mi­nous plants.

When Fin24 con­ducted a snap poll among con­sumers to hear their views on the VAT in­crease and which items they would like to see added to the VAT-free list, we were in­un­dated with re­sponses.

The mes­sage was clear — the list of items is not enough.

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Nhlanhla Nene said the gov­ern­ment will hold talks with stake­hold­ers in a bid to soften the blow of the VAT hike on the poor.

Nene also said that the gov­ern­ment is pre­pared to look at ex­pand­ing the list of zero-rated goods.

Fin24 filled some shop­ping trol­leys at Pick n Pay, Wool­worths, Spar, Check­ers and Sho­prite to get an idea of what a list of VAT-free goods would cost at the dif­fer­ent re­tail­ers.

Sho­prite emerged the win­ner.

Here’s what we found: Sho­prite — R346,61

Pick n Pay — R363,64 Spar — R400,55 Check­ers — R403,17 Wool­worths — R592,19

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.