By Kaya 959 News
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced several big changes for South Africans in his budget speech.
Mboweni delivered his more than R2-trillion budget in parliament on Wednesday.
Here’s a look at some of the highlights from his speech.
Cigarettes and Alcohol
Consumers will be paying more for “sin” taxes. A packet of cigarettes will increase by R1.39. A 23-gram cigar will cost you R7.71 more.
Sparkling wine drinkers will be forking out 86c more for a 750ml bottle. A 750ml bottle of spirits, including whisky, gin or vodka, will go up by R5.50. Wine will cost 26c more per 750ml bottle, while a 340ml can of beer or cider will be 14c more.
Government will also be raising excise duties on alcohol and tobacco by 8%.
Millions of South Africans who rely on social grants will see increases that are way below inflation. Social grants will increase by 1.6%. Pensions will increase by R30, childcare grants will go up by R15, and disability grants will rise by R30 to R1,890.
Government has also made a provision of R2.1-billion to extend the special, emergency COVID-related grant until the end of April.
COVID-19 vaccine Funds
The minister also announced that government will make available R19.3-billion for vaccine procurement and rollout in the medium term. Mboweni says the allocation has been made in order to save lives and support economic recovery.
“We increase the contingency reserve from R5 billion to R12 billion to make provision for the further purchase of vaccines and to cater for other emergencies,” he said.
The minister added that no new taxes will be introduced in order to fund the vaccine programme.
Mboweni announced changes to the country’s personal income tax brackets.
“The personal income tax brackets will be increased by 5%, which is more than inflation. This will provide R2.2 billion in tax relief. Most of that relief will reduce the tax burden on lower and middle-income households.
“This means that if you are earning above the new tax-free threshold of R87 300, you’ll have at least an extra R756 in your pocket after 1 March,” he said during his speech.
Mboweni said fuel levies will be hiked by 27c per litre (15 cents per litre for the general fuel levy, 11 cents per litre for the Road Accident Fund levy and 1 cent per litre for the carbon fuel levy).
— National Treasury (@TreasuryRSA) February 24, 2021