- To download a copy of the Draft Carbon Tax Bill, click here. (1.07 MB)
The National Treasury released the Second Draft Carbon Tax Bill for public comment on Friday and averred that it “seeks to give effect to the polluter pays principle . . . and will assist, in a least-cost manner, in reducing greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions and ensuring that South Africa meets its nationally determined contribution (NDC) commitments [under the 2015 Paris Agreement]”.
The Draft Carbon Tax Bill and annexures are available on the National Treasury’s website and interested parties have until March 9, 2018, to make written submissions.
Section 5 of the draft Bill states that the rate of the carbon tax on GHG emissions must be an amount of R120/t of carbon dioxide equivalent GHG emissions.
The tax will ensure that the real cost of GHG emissions to the environment and society are explicitly incorporated into the prices of carbon intensive production activities. It helps to ensure that firms and consumers take these costs into account in their production, consumption and investment decisions, the Treasury said in a statement on Friday.
The tax aims to encourage companies to change their behaviour and start taking steps to gradually change their fuel inputs, production techniques and processes through investments in energy-efficient, low-carbon technologies to reduce their emissions.
“The carbon tax will also ensure that emission reductions are delivered while sustained economic growth is realised,” the release averred.
The carbon tax is expected to have a significant impact on reducing South Africa’s GHG emissions, and would lead to an estimated decrease in emissions of 13% to 14.5% by 2025 and 26% to 33% by 2035 compared with business-as-usual, the Treasury stated.
The aim is to reduce GHG emissions in line with the National Climate Change Response Policy and the National Development Plan.
The implementation of the carbon tax will be accompanied by a package of tax incentives and revenue recycling measures to minimise the impact in the first phase of the policy (up to 2022) on the price of electricity and energy intensive sectors such as mining, iron and steel.
The date of implementation of the carbon tax will be determined through a separate and later process by the Finance Minister through an announcement during 2018, or at the Budget 2019, taking into account the state of the economy, the Treasury assured.
The impact of the tax in the first phase is designed to be revenue-neutral in terms of its aggregated impact, when assessed together with the complementary tax incentives and revenue recycling measures, it averred.
“To ensure a minimal impact on the price of electricity in the initial phase, a credit for (or reduction in) the electricity generation levy and the renewable electricity premium (built into the current price of electricity) will also be introduced,” the Treasury added.
Beyond the first phase, a review of the impact of the tax after at least three years’ implementation will be conducted.
“Future changes to rates and tax-free thresholds in the carbon tax will only follow after the review, and be subject to the same transparent and consultative processes for all tax legislation, after any appropriate Budget announcements by the Finance Minister,” the statement read.