Thursday, February 12, 2009

Manuel's Greenery

Min Manuel's Budget Speech, delivered 11 Feb, highlights a continued focus on improving South Africa's environmental performance. Here are a the few extracts dealing with incentives for energy efficiency, environmental fiscal reform and favourable tax treatment on carbon credits:

A further R1 billion is added for electricity demand management, together with tax incentives for investment in energy- 

efficient technologies. 

Tax tips continue to make up the majority of the tips submitted. Mr. Saul Margolis of 

Johannesburg called for a tax to be imposed on incandescent light bulbs to encourage 

people to use compact fluorescent lightbulbs and save energy. Mr. Margolis, I have 

asked that this be included in the revenue proposals this year.  

We propose taking further steps to encourage energy efficiency and reduce harmful 

emissions, some of which have tax implications. 

• An incentive for investments by companies in energy-efficient equipment will be 

introduced, in the form of a supplementary depreciation allowance.  

• The levy on plastic shopping bags will be increased from 3 cents to 4 cents. 

• An increase is proposed in the international air passenger departure tax, which was 

last raised in 2005/06.  

• The existing excise duties on motor vehicles will be adjusted to take into account 

carbon emissions. 

It is important, furthermore that we should encourage South African companies to take 

advantage of the clean development mechanism established in the Kyoto Protocol. A 

favourable tax treatment will therefore be introduced for the recognition of income 

derived from the sale of emission reductions, as certified through this mechanism.  

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