Global Tax Alert | 20 December 2017

South Africa publishes Second Draft Carbon Tax Bill for public comment

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Executive summary

On 15 December 2017, South Africa’s National Treasury published the Second Draft Carbon Tax Bill for introduction in Parliament, as well as public comment. Written comments must be submitted by close of business on 9 March 2018. Date of implementation will be announced during 2018, or at the Budget 2019, taking into account the state of the economy.

Detailed discussion

On 15 December 2017, South Africa’s National Treasury published the Second Draft Carbon Tax Bill for introduction in Parliament, as well as public comment and convening of public hearings by Parliament, which is expected to be early in 2018. Following that process, a revised Bill will be formally tabled in Parliament.

The Second Draft Carbon Tax Bill, together with the following annexures, is available on the National Treasury website: www.treasury.gov.za:

  • Annexure 1: Explanatory Memorandum
  • Annexure 2: Socioeconomic Impact Assessment Report
  • Annexure 3: First Draft Carbon Tax Bill 2015: Response Document

The stated purposes of the Carbon Tax is to enable South Africa to meet its nationally-determined contribution (NDC) commitments in terms of the 2015 Paris Agreement (on climate change), and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the National Climate Change Response Policy and National Development Plan. Cabinet approved the submission of the draft bill to Parliament on 16 August 2017 and noted Carbon Tax as an integral part of the system for implementing government policy on climate change.

The actual date of implementation of the Carbon Tax will be determined through a separate and later process by the Minister of Finance through an announcement during 2018, or at the Budget 2019, taking into account the state of the economy.

It is expected that the announcement on the implementation date of the Carbon Tax will be complemented by a package of tax incentives and revenue recycling measures to minimize 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 impact of the Carbon 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. Further, in order 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 Second Draft Carbon Tax Bill is the culmination of a consultative process on Carbon Tax policy since the publication of the 2010 Carbon Tax Discussion Paper, the 2013 Carbon Tax Policy Paper, the 2014 Carbon Offsets Paper, the First Draft Carbon Tax Bill published for public comment in November 2015 and the 2016 draft Regulation on the Carbon Offset.

Stakeholders are invited to submit written comments on the draft Carbon Tax Bill by close of business on 9 March 2018 to carbontaxbillcomments@treasury.gov.za.

For additional information with respect to this Alert, please contact the following:

Ernst & Young Advisory Services Ltd., Johannesburg
  • Wendy Gardner
    wendy.gardner@za.ey.com
  • Alain Mahieu
    alain.mahieu@za.ey.com
  • Neo Penn
    neo.penn@za.ey.com
Ernst & Young Advisory Services (Pty) Ltd., Africa ITS Leader, Johannesburg
  • Justin Liebenberg
    justin.liebenberg@za.ey.com
Ernst & Young LLP (United Kingdom), Pan African Tax Desk, London
  • Rendani Neluvhalani
    rendani.mabel.neluvhalani@uk.ey.com
  • Byron Thomas
    bthomas4@uk.ey.com
Ernst & Young LLP, Pan African Tax Desk, New York
  • Silke Mattern
    silke.mattern@ey.com
  • Dele A. Olaogun
    dele.olaogun@ey.com
  • Jacob Shipalane
    jacob.shipalane1@ey.com
Ernst & Young LLP, Pan African Tax Desk, Houston
  • Elvis Ngwa
    elvis.ngwa@ey.com

EYG no. 07130-171Gbl