Govt removes duty on sanitary wear
GOVERNMENT has removed duty on sanitary wear, a move likely to be welcomed by women as the price of basic toiletries is now beyond the reach of many.
Gender activists and legislators have over the years pleaded with Government for duty free and subsidised sanitary wear, to no avail.
Speaking during a prebudget seminar in Bulawayo on Thursday, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said it was a “done deal” and he would announce it in the 2019 budget statement.
“The cost of sanitary wear and removing duty on it, consider it done,” he said. “We will have something on the budget on this issue of sanitary ware. Consider it done; there is no debate.”
In his presentation, chairperson of the portfolio committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development Cde Felix Mhona had proposed a subsidy for sanitary ware.
“Honourable Speaker Sir, concerns were raised over the cost of sanitary wear which is now beyond the reach of many and it was proposed that Government subside sanitary ware and consider giving it for free to all girls of school going age,” he said.
MDC-T Bulawayo legislator (proportional representation) Mrs Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, who has been advocating for the cause for years, could not hide her joy at the news.
“I’m excited, although it has taken us almost two decades to get to a point where Government has agreed and it is a legacy that this particular minister will take with him for a very long time,” she said.
“There is no VAT (Value Added Tax). So we are also not paying duty.”
Mrs Misihairabwi-Mushonga caused a stir when she brought a sanitary pad to Parliament last year in a bid to emphasise her point.