PSL players lash out at steep income tax in SA

Jeremy Brockie of Mamelodi Sundowns agrees with other PSL players that footballers are taxed heavily in South Africa. /Muzi Ntombela/ BackpagePix
Jeremy Brockie of Mamelodi Sundowns agrees with other PSL players that footballers are taxed heavily in South Africa. /Muzi Ntombela/ BackpagePix

A year after the announcement of a 45% tax rate for the affluent, some top earners in the PSL admit that their pockets have been hard hit.

During last year's Budget Speech, then minister of finance Pravin Gordhan presented a new taxation model for individuals.

They got no relief at this year's speech delivered by Malusi Gigaba yesterday. Those who earn more than R1.5-million pay up to 45% in tax while earners above R708310 contribute 41%. These are taxpayers who earn roughly R125000 and R59000 per month respectively.

Others like Mamelodi Sundowns attacker Khama Billiat have seemingly already taken tax into account in their new contract negotiations.

Earlier in the season, our sister publication Sunday Times reported that although Billiat earned a total package of R160000 per month, his take-home was only R90000.

While players' salaries -especially the big-earners - are largely undisclosed, we spoke to some of those who are known to command lucrative packages of between R150000 and R250000 per month.

Jeremy Brockie (Sundowns)

"Yeah, it's quite a lot (45%). Back home you are taxed according to the number of years you can work or your contract because there are no guarantees that a person will work after their deal expires."

Thuso Phala (SuperSport United)

"You end up being taxed [per month] more than someone who works for 20 years at a company, while footballers would spend maybe three seasons with a club. With our careers being so short, 45% is a lot. Not many can have a career of more than 10 years.

Bongani Khumalo (Wits)

"We have families, we have children and things are getting more expensive. We would like it to change."

"It really does hurt the pocket. We work really hard to help at home, progress and maybe invest. After taking home [money] to the family and paying for the house, thereafter it's really hard to save.

"It's not like players are earning R100-million a year like in Europe. A lot of us have to start at home, so it takes time to build wealth in SA.

In the UK, the earning power is different because they can be set for life even after paying tax. It would be fantastic for the taxman to meet us half way."

X