Picture: RAZIHUSIN/123RF
Picture: RAZIHUSIN/123RF

I am concerned over the huge disparity in wealth between rich and poor in SA, and think it is ridiculous that super-rich individuals such as Patrice Motsepe, Johann Rupert and Nicky Oppenheimer pay tax at roughly the same rate — about 45% — as someone who earns a relatively modest R1,577,301 per annum (the threshold at which the maximum rate is introduced).

The only explanation I can offer as to why they are not paying tax at a significantly higher rate is that politicians receive campaign contributions from the super-rich and hence dare not “rock the boat”. On this point one notes that President Cyril Ramaphosa apparently spent R400m in 2017 to get elected president of the ANC, and only signed the Political Parties Funding Act into law after Corruption Watch threatened to apply for an urgent interdict.

I also note that in the US the maximum rate — an exceptionally low 37% — only applies to individuals earning more than $518,401 per year (about R7.8m).

Terence Grant 
Cape Town

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