The budget stated that a revised policy paper on a carbon
tax will be published this year for a second round of public
comment and consultation. The country’s commitment
to moving forward with this issue has already been
"As set out in the Climate Change Response White Paper
approved by Cabinet in 2011, the need to price carbon emissions
and the phasing in of a tax instrument for this purpose are
accepted," the budget document said.
Wian de Bruyn, associate director at Grant
Thornton’s Johannesburg office, confirmed that the
government intends to progress with the next steps towards
introducing a price on carbon emissions.
"It seems likely that the government will be moving in the
direction of a draft policy paper some time this year," de
However, the implementation of a carbon tax is not going to
be easy, as Australian prime minister Julia Gillard
Ben Strauss, director at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, a member of
the DLA Piper Group, believes there is still a long way to
"I think more work needs to be done and there will be a lot
of resistance from business," he said. "Note that we do already
have an ad valorem carbon tax on new motor
Mark Linington, head of tax at Webber Wentzel, agreed that
it is "too soon" and that there is "still too much to be
Strauss went on to echo the thoughts expressed by many
Australian taxpayers throughout the last year, that progressing
with a carbon tax in the absence of any global accord would be
disastrous for the country’s economy.
"In my opinion, particularly as a developing country, South
Africa cannot afford to impose a carbon tax which will increase
its input costs and decrease its competitiveness globally."