Letter | Exempt water from VAT
A team has recently been appointed by the government to make proposals on a revision of the current list of zero-rated VAT items, in the wake of the 1% increase in the VAT rate. This has to be completed by the end of June. Perhaps this is a good time to propose the freeing of water from VAT, and by water I mean water supplied (or sometimes not supplied) by local municipalities.
We can compensate for lack of electricity by use of candles, gas, paraffin and solar panels, but we cannot survive without water.
It is certainly a more basic input into our lives than pilchards and samp, and yet we pay VAT on it.
The loss of VAT revenue to the municipality can be recovered from adjusting the water rate to large water users that add value to it by manufacturing beer and soft drinks and the like.
These products cannot claim to be as vital as beans, samp etc.
In fact, this applies to any business that uses water as an input to profit.
As an aside, I also cannot understand, as a prepaid data user with Vodacom, when I lose my unused data after 30 days (debate for another day), why I am not entitled to a refund of the VAT on the unused portion.
I did not get any value added if it was taken from me. Perhaps it is time to look at this as well.