The Justice and Peace Commission of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference wants a periodic review of zero rated goods.

It also wants the super-rich to be taxed more, and a delay in any value added tax (VAT) increase until such time that the government has a comprehensive social security system in place.

In a submission to the Davis Tax Committee, the SACBC Justice and Peace Commission called for a tax increase on the wealthy, instead of a VAT increase that would hurt the poor more than the rich and a higher VAT rate for luxury goods which would be difficult to administer.

In its submission, the commission said that the government should retain the zero rated basket and should defer VAT hikes until it had managed to establish a comprehensive social security system.

“We are as yet to see social transfer interventions that comprehensively and effectively address the food insecurity problem and ensure adequate nutrition for the poor in South Africa. Until we see this realised through the spending side of the budget, we shall continue to stand in solidarity with the working poor and the unemployed and argue for extensive zero rating.”

The commission has also asked the government to establish a mechanism for periodic review of the zero rated basket to ensure that it is optimally targeted towards the poor. The commission believes that a periodic review would make room for extending the zero-rated basket to help the poor.

Commenting on its submission, Gabuza said he believes it is possible to develop a more transformative and distributionary tax system for South Africa.