With D-day, 1 April 2018, looming for the increase in the VAT rate, NAPTOSA wishes to reiterate its position adopted in its response to the budget speech of the then Minister of Finance, namely that the increase will impact the poor, but also the “missing middle” income group that includes the teachers.
Having had time for an in-depth reflection on the VAT increase debate, the leadership of NAPTOSA supports the calls for the decision to be reversed.
Had it not been for the years of corruption, wastage and ill-conceived policies that have taken South Africa to the brink of the fiscal cliff, a VAT increase could possibly have been palatable to justify improved and expanded services to the citizens of this country. But then again, there would not have been a need for such an increase if billions had not been lost through sheer greed, poor financial management and the bottomless pit called State Owned Enterprises.
Any opposition action by NAPTOSA alone will, however, have little impact, as would be the case with any other individual organization. If collective and cohesive civil action, as espoused by many organisations, however, come to fruition, NAPTOSA leadership will encourage members to support such action. As always, NAPTOSA will be swayed by the views of the majority of its members.
If, however, the implementation of the VAT increase goes ahead despite the general opposition to it, NAPTOSA calls on government to urgently re-examine the list of zero-rated items and to expand it to critical items that are necessities for the poor, including a balanced diet range of basic foodstuffs and other basic necessities, such as low-cost clothing and blankets.
To NAPTOSA the needs of basic education and therefore the needs of our members remain paramount. As a union we therefore wish to see similar, but better thought through policies, implemented for basic education as had been the case for higher education.