Super-tax via Black Lives Matter raised the spectre of white wealth worldwide. In South Africa, it’s an ongoing bone of contention. Suggestions have ranged from a “once-off wealth tax,” a “whites only once-off taxation” and total socialization of the economy.
Super Taxing – EFF and Ekurhuleni Mayor call for total breakdown of economy
No one denies that there is still an unequal spread of wealth in South Africa. The ANC Mayor of Ekurhuleni recently backed the EFF’s calls to dismantle the economy in order to rebuild it under one run by a socialist state. The ANC immediately distanced itself from the Mayor’s statement. Anyone who thinks it is a good idea should holiday for a week in Zimbabwe – take your own food, solar lamps and so on with you.
If COVID-19 continues to run its full and devastating course, perhaps EFF will get exactly what it wants – a broken economy. We have yet to see or hear a sound proposal for the socialist rebuild. Few people seem to believe a man such as Julius Malema who wears a fortune in designer clothes and accessories, is a genuine socialist. South Africa struggled before COVID-19 landed on her shores. It has served to exacerbate and emphasize the vast gaps in South African society.
Could super taxing of inherited money break the cycle of white wealth?
Pierre De Vos, on The Daily Maverick thinks it could make a difference. His article assumes that many white people inherit money from their parents and grandparents. His suggestion that it be super taxed has been met with some derision. Not necessarily because the proposal is unjust – by and large it is not – but because the South African taxpayers have no faith in their government’s money management.
Anyone with enough money to be worried about massive taxation on inheritance will simply financially migrate. Rest assured, the super-wealthy whites have already done that. Duduzane Zuma and The Gupta family moved their assets to Dubai and the Channel Islands a long time ago.
Undoubtedly, other people of financial means have done the same. Those without the means to do so will be Joe Middleclass who may be fortunate enough to inherit a house from Mom and Pop. Joe Middleclass encompasses both black and white potential super tax payers.
A once-off ‘white super tax’
The wealth gap in South Africa certainly needs to be addressed. The ongoing circular question is how? No one wants to give money to SARS until taxpayers see realtime careful management of the money. The government is supposed to manage tax money not spend it as if it’s a bottomless pit. Joe Middleclass, both black and white are at the coalface of that pit and the seam of gold is running dry as the economy crashes.
A possible solution would be a once-off ‘white tax’ on a sliding scale according to earnings. Most white people still in South Africa would genuinely like the opportunity to make some kind of retributive offering. The government could put that money into a specific foundation or investment that would pay for a housing estate, or build a new hospital, something concrete and lasting.
It would remind all South Africans that we are all who we are as the result of Apartheid, both white and black. This could be an opportunity to begin changing our heritage and work together to rebuild our country equably.
What are your thoughts? Sound off in the comments below.
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