FINANCE Minister Pravin Gordhan has refused to commit government and Treasury to the 1percent direct tax proposed by Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda for future funding of the SABC.
Gordhan told Parliament the proposal "is not prudent" and "is not under consideration by Treasury".
Gordhan was responding to a DA parliamentary question on whether Treasury was considering increasing taxation to fund the public broadcaster as proposed by Nyanda's Public Service Broadcasting Bill.
"No. The current policy is to keep earmarked taxes to an absolute minimum as taxes not only limit the fiscal space available to government, but also tend to be inefficient from both revenue and expenditure perspective."
Gordhan said the Treasury feared the introduction of a tax to fund the SABC would result in runaway spending by the institution.
"There is generally more accountability in spending when an entity is reliant on a user-charge rather than an earmarked tax.
"It is not prudent to encourage a proliferation of earmarked taxes."
DA spokesperson Dion George said the party opposed the proposed tax because it would give the SABC a blank cheque to spend with little consideration for the taxpayer.
"Nyanda's proposal would see the SABC granted an annual windfall with few strings attached.
"The reason the SABC is facing such a crisis is that it has failed to hold its own people to account, particularly in terms of their misspending."