ENERGY: Sustainability comes at a price
New environmental taxes will hit consumers — but incentives will ease the pain for business
The cost of sustainability weighed on consumers and business in the 2019 budget, with all indications that it’s taxes and more taxes that will pay for SA’s transition to a greener economy. In his budget speech on Wednesday, finance minister Tito Mboweni highlighted the "sustainability challenge" which, he said, affects us all. "Climate change is real," the minister noted in his maiden budget speech. Certainly, the world is moving towards a low-carbon economy and SA is already finding the inevitable transition quite painful. Mboweni announced that the long-debated carbon tax will come into effect on June 1. "The tax will assist in reducing emissions and ensuring SA meets its commitments under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. It will be reviewed after three years," the Treasury says in its Budget Review. Motorists can expect to pay a carbon tax of 9c/l on petrol and 10c/l on diesel, as of June 5. This is on top of the general fuel levy which will increase by 15c/l for petrol and dies...