Budget 2022 | Informal traders call for less tax increases on products they sell
The South African Informal Traders Alliance (Saita) says it cannot have excessive tax increases on products its members sell as customers are already under financial pressure.
Saita, which represents more than 2-million informal and micro businesses across SA, made this call on Tuesday, before the budget speech by finance minister Enoch Godongwana on Wednesday.
The organisation said the most common products sold in the sector are fruit and vegetables, dairy products, chips, sweets, cold drinks, cigarettes and other tobacco products.
Saita president Rosheda Muller said it believed one of the proposals on the table was to apply VAT to some VAT-exempt products, yet some of these products are staples for the informal and micro sector, as well as for poorer consumers.
“These products are the lifeblood of our trade, and therefore, excessive price or tax increases affect our ability to trade and survive in business,” Muller said.
“This is especially true for tobacco products, in the context of an ever-growing illegal market. This illegal market, which also results in less taxes collected by National Treasury.”
The organisation said it was imperative that the government stop thinking of informal and micro businesses as beggars requiring handouts, but rather to start thinking of them as strategic partners able to contribute meaningfully to the economy and job creation.
“We don’t need handouts, but require help with skills development, mentorship, urgent removal of red tape and a budget that is sensitive to the critical role we play in the economy and job creation,” Muller said.
Muller said removal of red tape to allow informal and micro businesses to prosper and grow has long been on Saita’s agenda.