Mansoor Parker, ENS executive (tax)
Andrew Gilder, ENS senior associate (carbon markets specialist, environmental)
On Monday, 2 November 2015, the South African National Treasury published a Draft Carbon Tax Bill (the “Bill”) for public comment, with the comment period commencing immediately and continuing until 15 December 2015. At first glance, the Bill does not stray too far from the carbon tax design that Treasury has been proposing since 2010 in various discussion papers, national budget speeches and their associated explanatory memoranda and responses to stakeholder commentary on the design. The Bill does not change the essentials, but it does progress certain of the detail while providing only a tantalising glimpse of some of the more interesting aspects of the design. While the proposed tax is vaunted as the carbon tax, this is not the only or the first carbon tax imposed in South Africa. Emissions on new vehicles are subject to emissions taxation and approximately five years ago, the fossil fuel electricity levy was introduced. These are both taxes on greenhouse gas emissions, as is the proposed carbon tax.
The following high-level points are important to note in relation to the Bill: