Expert predicts SA taxes will increase

SOUTH Africa's growing current account deficit was not sustainable and it needed to embark on a major drive to reduce expenditure‚ experts said yesterday.

Ettienne Retief‚ chairman of the tax stakeholder committees at the SA Institute of Professional Accountants, said Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan would be a "superhero" if he could allocate the budget to all necessary areas without increasing the deficit too much.

Gordhan will deliver his budget speech on February 26.

South Africans had to realise taxes would be increased at some point‚ as the country could not continue borrowing without further negative effects.

Zweli Mabhoza‚ head of tax services at accounting and auditing firm SizweNtsalubaGobodo‚ said the government's intentions to implement "cost containment" in its supply-chain management and reduction of cabinet expenditure sent the right message but was unlikely to substantially reduce expenditure.

He said the government should consider withholding money allocated to government departments and municipalities which received disclaimer audit reports. "Perhaps then taxpayers will begin to see value for their taxes." – Amanda Visser