a tax on the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere  is the the new carbon tax policy which will be effective as of the 1st January 2015.

The policy will set a tax rate of 120 rand per ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted, above the basic tax free threshold of 60 per cent.

Resources indicated that the policy will follow a fairly similar carbon tax process to Australia where the country will look at organisations’ carbon footprints and then base their tax charges in reference to that.

It is said that South Africa will be the first developing state to have a CO2 reduction policy. The government has also now allowed the public to put forward their responses to the policy until the 2nd August 2013. There has been a mixed reaction to the Carbon  tax policy as some believe that it is needed because South Africa is a heavy CO2 emitter.

South Africa’s (SA) CO2 emissions were last at 10.1 metric tons per capita, making it the worst emitter in Africa. Some people think that this policy will absolutely kill our industry and there’s quite a ring of truth to that,” says Swart.  He explains that South Africa’s current industry is built on coal, and it powers the country’s economy. Africa is slowly moving away from being a carbon intensive economy towards one that is more carbon neutral but this will take time. If we do not do this correctly, we can see quite a lot of industries suffer as a result,” exclaims Swart.

If South Africa followed that moral and has enough safeguards in place for job creation and so forth, then this law will get more support, however, it is unlikely that the government will do this. Another concern of industrial players is the uncertainty of where the carbon tax revenue will go towards. The government have stated that a portion of the funds will go towards green initiatives; however, Swart believes that the majority of the revenue collected will be absorbed into the government’s “general pot”, where most tax revenue goes.

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