In this virtual meeting, the Select Committee received a briefing from National Treasury and the South African Revenue Service on the key issues of the 2021 Tax Bills: these are the Taxation Laws Amendment Bill, the Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill and the Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of Revenue Laws Bill (Rates Bill). The Committee received an update from National Treasury on its engagements with the Banking Association of South Africa on the Financial Sector Laws Amendment Bill (B15-B). An update from the Department of Justice on the Insolvency Bill was communicated to Members and the Committee considered the policy issues on the Financial Sector Law Amendment Bill (s75).
National Treasury and the South African Revenue Service outlined the key issues highlighted during public consultations on the 2021 Tax Bills. The central comment on the Rates Bill was around the increase in excise duty on alcohol and tobacco. In the Taxation Laws Amendment Bill, the tax on withdrawals of retirement interest, when individuals ceased to be tax residents, received comment as well as curbing the abuse of the Employment Tax Incentive and strengthening the anti-avoidance rules. The comments on business tax were around strengthening rules dealing with the limitation of interest deductions of debts owed to certain persons not subject to tax, and clarification of ‘rehypothecation of collateral’ and ‘Contributed Tax Capital.’ A number of comments centred around the Carbon Tax Act such as aligning schedule 2 emission activities and thresholds with the greenhouse gas emission reporting regulations. The Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill received comments on the information required in receipts issued for tax deductible donations in the Income Tax Act; increasing the minimum thresholds for underpayments of duty by taxpayers; and payment of refunds by the South African Revenue Service to ease administrative burdens under the Customs and Excise Act. The extension of the period within which taxpayers could request a revision of an assessment based on an estimate received comment in the Tax Administration Act, as well as the extension of prescription in certain instances.
Members stressed the need for Treasury – as the experts on tax - to outline the issues for the Committee in plain English. Feedback was requested on the planned review of the customs and excise policy framework. Members asked if there was a need for stronger measures against tax avoidance. Had Treasury received any negative feedback about the carbon tax, given that government was ‘one of the largest contributors’ to emissions in South Africa? Members asked for an update about how the South African Revenue Service and law enforcement agencies were addressing issues of illicit alcohol trade in the country. The Chairperson asked how the increase in petrol prices would impact the ability of people to pay tax.
The Chairperson apologised for the inconvenience of the time, as many Members were still in the House. He assured Members that this would not happen again. He welcomed the representatives of National Treasury.
Presentation: Taxation Laws Amendment, Tax Administration Laws Amendment and Rates bills
Ms Yanga Mputu, Chief Director: Tax Policy Unit, National Treasury, outlined the context of the ‘2021 Tax Bills’. [Please see the presentation slides for full details].
The following officials joined Ms Mputu in addressing the Committee: Mr Mpho Legote, Director of VAT, Excise Duties and Sub-National Taxes at National Treasury; Ms Hayley Reynolds, Director of Corporate Income Taxes at National Treasury; Ms Sharlin Hemraj, Director for Environmental and Fuel Taxes at National Treasury; and Mr Franz Tomasek, Head of Legislative Policy Tax, Customs and Excise at the South African Revenue Service (SARS).
The bills gave effect to the tax proposals that were announced in the Budget on the 24 February 2021 and to the tax proposals announced for COVID-19 and the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). The current Tax Bills and the 2021 Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of Revenue Laws Bill (Rates Bill) were published [as draft bills] for public comment on the 24 February 2021 together with the Budget. Treasury published the Tax Bills [as revised drafts for a second round of public comments] on the 28 July 2021. The closing date for public comments was on the 28 August 2021. Public hearings were held on the 31 August 2021. From the 7 to 9 September 2021 public workshops were held on the [draft] tax bills. Due to the parliamentary process and voting, the first date given for the response document was the 13 October 2021 by the Standing Committee on Finance, but Parliament was closed [for the elections recess]. This response was then given on the 10 November 2021. Changes due to the emergency tax measures contained in the second batch of the 2021 Draft Taxation Laws Amendment Bill (TLAB) were included in this Bill. The final 2021 TLAB and Draft Tax Administration laws Amendment Bill (TALAB) contained all the changes together with the changes made due to emergency tax measures. On 11 November 2021, the Bills were tabled by the Minister in Parliament. The Standing Committee on Finance had voted on the Bills on 24 November 2021.
Key issues raised in the 2021 Tax Bills
The presentation outlined the key issues highlighted during public consultations on the TLAB, the TALAB and the Rates Bill. The central comment on the Rates Bill was around the increase in excise duty on alcohol and tobacco. In the TLAB, the tax on withdrawals of retirement interest when individuals ceased to be tax residents received comment, as well as curbing abuse of the Employment Tax Incentive and strengthening the anti-avoidance rules. Business Tax received comments around strengthening rules dealing with the limitation of interest deductions of debts owed to certain persons, not subject to tax; clarification of ‘rehypothecation of collateral’ and ‘Contributed Tax Capital,’ among others. A number of comments centred around the Carbon Tax Act and the clarification of renewable energy premium beneficiaries, definitions and aligning schedule 2 emission activities and thresholds with the greenhouse gas emission reporting regulations. The TALAB received comments on the information required in receipts issued for tax deductible donations in the Income Tax Act; increasing the minimum thresholds for underpayments of duty by taxpayers; and payment of refunds by SARS to ease administrative burdens under the Customs and Excise Act. The extension of the period within which taxpayers could request a revision of an assessment based on an estimate received comment for the Tax Administration Act, as well as the extension of prescription in certain instances.
Tax on withdrawals of retirement interest
After the public consultation process, the proposed amendments dealing with applying tax on withdrawals of retirement interest, when an individual ceases to be a tax resident, contained in new section 9HC were withdrawn from the TLAB that was tabled by the Minister. In order to address the complexities that were raised through public comment process, further amendments would be considered in the next legislative cycle.
Employment Tax Incentive Programme
The Employment Tax Incentive (ETI) programme was introduced in January 2014 to provide for employment of young workers and make provision for employers to reduce their pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) tax payments to the South African Revenue Service (SARS) for the first two years in which they employ qualifying employees with a monthly remuneration of less that R6 500, subject to certain limitations. It has come to Government’s attention that some taxpayers have devised certain schemes to claim the incentive in respect of individuals who do not work for them, but were rather engaged in training programmes using training institutions, with no employment characteristics (therefore failing to meet the definition of ‘employee’ as defined in section 1(1) of the ETI Act).
In 2016, anti-avoidance measures were introduced to curb the tax-free transfer of wealth to trusts using low interest or interest-free loans in order to avoid estate duty and donations tax on the assets subsequent growth in value. In 2017 and in 2020, further changes were made to counter new attempts to undermine these measures. Government was concerned about further tax avoidance schemes between trusts, where the founder of one trust holding the original asset was related to one or more beneficiaries of the other trust to which the loan asset was transferred. After the public consultation process, the proposed amendments dealing with strengthening anti-avoidance rules in respect of loan transfers between trusts in section 7C were withdrawn from the TLAB that was tabled by the Minister. In order to address the complexities that were raised through the public comment process, specific amendments would be considered in the future.
Information required in receipts issued for tax deductible donations
The information required of Public Benefit Organisations (PBOs) by law, in the receipts issued for tax-deductible donations, was limited. Entities issuing the receipts were not required to provide third-party data on the donations to SARS on a systematic basis. SARS had detected that receipts were being issued by entities that were not approved to do so. To ensure that only valid donations were claimed and to ensure that receipts and third party data provided to SARS matched, it was proposed that the information required in the receipts be extended to allow such information as the Commissioner may prescribe by public notice from time to time. Third-party reporting would be extended in future to cover the receipts issued. The aim of third party reporting was to make it easier for those receiving the receipts (donors), as well as those issuing the receipts (PBOs), to comply with their obligations. SARS would be able to auto populate returns thereby making it easier for donors to claim their valid donations. It would encourage donations to PBOs by donors and lessen the burden on PBOs where taxpayers approached them for additional documentation requested by SARS during the verification process. PBOs would also be protected from fraudulent claims using their details and the impact on reputations such claims had. SARS was cognizant of the impact third party reporting may have on smaller PBOs and was therefore considering a differentiated approach, for example by providing a simpler mechanism for third party reporting by smaller PBOs.
Increasing the minimum thresholds for underpayments of duty by taxpayers and of refunds by SARS
The proposed amendments to section 47(1) aimed to ease the administrative burden on taxpayers and on SARS by increasing the minimum thresholds that the Commissioner may condone for underpayments of duties by taxpayers. A similar amendment was proposed in respect of section 76(5) in relation to minimum thresholds for refunds of duty to taxpayers. After the public consultation process, the proposal was withdrawn from the TALAB that was tabled by the Minister, in order to consider whether this approach could be extended to the Value-Added Tax Act, 1991, for VAT on importation.
(See presentation for further information)
Mr D Ryder (DA, Gauteng) highlighted the need for the slides to be presented in plain English. He noted that there were lots of comments from Treasury stating that ‘engagements’ or ‘feedback received’ had led them to look at those things. It was fantastic that Treasury and SARS were being fairly accommodating in some instances. In what forum were those discussions taking place? It would help Parliament to understand this as Parliament was struggling to get sufficient engagement with civil society, organisations and the general public when calling for interactions on bills. There seemed to be a ‘backdoor’ process that Parliament was not informed about until Treasury chose to make amendments based on the discussions it was having. He realised that many people did things at the last minute or two days after the last minute - ‘South Africans were famous for this.’ Most peoples’ reactions would only come after the laws were passed. It seemed to be ‘side-stepping’ the parliamentary process – he requested that Treasury comment on that.
Slide eight spoke about the alcohol and tobacco excise duties. This time round he had a bit of sympathy for the ‘alcohol and tobacco guys’ because of the impact of the COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions on the sale of alcohol and tobacco. He asked that the Committee receive some feedback on the planned review to deal with the customs and excise policy framework. He suggested that it should not wait until the next round of discussions that formally took place with Treasury, for the Committee to receive the outcomes of the discussions on the customs and excise policy framework.
National Treasury had spoken strongly about having an anti-tax avoidance stance – there was ‘nothing wrong with tax avoidance’. Tax evasion was problematic. Tax avoidance was ‘not always problematic’ – however some loopholes did need to be closed. He hoped for a more moderate approach in some of the language used by Treasury – such as the use of ‘anti-avoidance’. Avoidance was taxpayers merely using the given tax laws to benefit [themselves].
Slide 13 stated that it had come to government’s attention that some taxpayers had devised certain schemes to claim the youth incentive for people that were not actually working for them but were undergoing training. He asked for further information. Training should be seen as a good thing. He understood that there was not a normal employee/employer relationship in such cases. He asked if companies that had interns, whose education was being facilitated through the company, were claiming some benefit – or was it just a random abuse of the system? Where a company did take on a young employee and pushed them through some sort of education and training, that should be encouraged, provided there was a reasonable opportunity for that person to be employed full-time by that company at a later stage and that there was a formal relationship between the two. It seemed to sound like tax evasion the way it was put forward in the presentation.
He noted that Ms Reynolds had spoken about the adjustments to clause 20. The tax neutral situation was mentioned when discussing clause 19. What were the anticipated outcomes of the adjustments to clause 20? It looked like South Africa was bringing itself in line with international trends. What was likely to be the net impact of that?
The clarity about the carbon tax was welcomed. There were a number of accusations that ‘government was targeting certain industries’ and attacking ‘low-hanging fruit,’ when government was probably one of the largest contributors to emissions in the country. Had Treasury experienced this – that the carbon tax was being challenged on the basis that it was unfairly applied?
Public Benefit Organisations declared annually in order to retain their Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) accreditation. PBOs declared an amount that had been donated to them each year. How difficult would it be to cross-reference that with the tax relief that taxpayers were claiming? Was that a possibility? It might be quite tedious, but the computer technology should exist.
He highlighted the difficulty in submitting information. From his own experience, he was having a problem with SARS e-filing to try and submit documents that had been requested.
The Chairperson reiterated what Mr Ryder had said. The Committee was not made up of tax experts. He had been chairing committees since 1988 and he had never come across a more difficult set of bills to process. The Committee found it particularly difficult to understand some of the more technical concepts. The onus was not on the Committee, they were politicians and not technical experts. Where the Committee did not understand technical concepts, it meant delaying the process, and the onus was on Treasury. The Committee would not vote on something it did not understand. He needed more time to read through the final version once it was received and go through the set of slides.
Mr M Moletsane (EFF, Free State) directed a question to SARS. The illicit trade in alcohol products was a serious concern for the government both in undermining public health and harm reduction objectives. What efforts were used by SARS and law enforcement agencies to address this challenge?
The Chairperson stated that the African National Congress (ANC) felt that tax avoidance should be tightened. It was estimated that billions of Rands left the country through tax evasion and tax avoidance - that was basically theft. In the case of tax avoidance, people were using loopholes in the law. Treasury always had to update the legislation that Parliament had to pass. The private sector rightly pointed to a lot of corruption in the public sector, however ‘a lot of them’ in the private sector were avoiding and evading the law. That was criminal – tax evasion. Morally what was the difference? Why were people trying to avoid paying? Tax evasion and avoidance had taken place during the apartheid era – from what he could tell it was only in the later years that the apartheid government caught up with this. It was basically ‘just wrong’. The majority of the ANC wanted Treasury to tighten things so that people could not do this. Across three parties there was support for various enquiries into this matter. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) was quite heated up about this as well. It was agreed around 2018 that PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and all those ‘big shots,’ who lectured the committees on tax bills, should be asked if they thought what they were doing was morally right. He did not know why this ‘heinous’ behaviour was not dealt with on an international scale, such as in the case of PwC. People avoided paying tax – what was good about that? He suggested more needed to be done by National Treasury to close the loopholes. He was not suggesting that legitimate transactions be put under the wrong bracket of ‘tax avoidance’.
There would be an increase in petrol prices at midnight, which was following on the increase the week before. What were the impacts of that on people’s ability to pay taxes? Was there anything that Treasury could tell the Committee beyond what was known from the media about the petrol price increases. Sometimes National Treasury came across as, or was accused of, being dogmatic. On the other hand when it came to tax bills, one noticed that National Treasury often retreated once there had been further submissions in the public domain. Some of the bills were technically complex. It was very hard for the Committee to be clear on what was the right thing to do. As was done in the previous five-year term, the relevant contesting parties were referred to meetings in Tshwane in the offices of Treasury, or wherever. Treasury came back with its positions and those of the parties that were contesting aspects of National Treasury’s bills. Then the Committee heard both sides and established its views. Often the Committee liked to reach consensus. Why were these issues not settled through the gazetted versions of the Bill and the discussions and negotiations could took place thereafter. The other issue to remind Members of, was that the Committee was at a disadvantage because the Bill was processed by National Assembly, who held public hearings. The Bill that came through was a final version that had been processed. The Committee was left out of the loop. Until recently, the Committee had been part of that – but he suggested they not go back there.
As far as Mr Ryder’s suggestion that the Committee should be privy to the discussions that took place – strictly the Committee could be, provided it was after the Bill was introduced to Parliament. The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) could only be party to it from the following day, 1 December 2021. Members were welcome to attend that. The Committee held the Executive to account. The Committee could not be involved in shaping bills before the Executive brought bills to Parliament, as the Committee would then have oversight over bills it had partly shaped through its own interventions. It could not be both ways. If there were Members who wanted to sit in on any negotiations that would take place after the Committee heard public hearings, there would be no problem. It could be arranged. He appreciated the fresh faces in Treasury, that were contrary to the stereotypes about ‘white males dominating’ – Treasury had been accused of that for many years. Women were coming forward, the notion that ‘men were the experts’ and ‘dominated the financial sector’ had been debunked by National Treasury. He welcomed this.
Mr Ismail Momoniat, Deputy Director-General (DDG): Tax and Financial Sector Policy, National Treasury, provided brief responses. Generally, tax bills were, by their nature, quite complex and hard to follow. He told Members that the bills were hard to follow for many of them [in the Treasury]. That was why there was a multi-disciplinary team to deal with it – ultimately because the basic tax laws were old. The Acts got changed incrementally over time. If one looked at the Bill, it became extremely difficult to follow, unless one was a legal tax expert. That was why Treasury tried to cover this in the explanatory memorandum to put in plain English, what the issues were. The onus was on Treasury to come and explain what changes were being proposed. In most instances, the changes were incremental, the changes were being made against a policy that was already there. Occasionally there would be a new policy proposal, like in the case of carbon tax, and Treasury would start from scratch to explain the entire Bill.
As the bills were market sensitive, it was unlike the expenditure process, where there had been some sort of consultation with departments and within Cabinet on what the spending proposals were. There was no consultation with those that were affected beforehand. Treasury made the announcement and then Treasury consulted. The first consultations that took place were after the February Budget when Treasury met with those most affected – who wanted to meet with Treasury. Even when the tax rate was announced, one did not know the tax base and how the legislation would read etc. Until that level of detail was known, one did not know how it would impact companies. That was the first part of the process and it led toward the TLAB and TALAB that got published in July 2021.
The Rates Bill was generally easier because Treasury focused on the changes to any rates and thresholds. It was just a number change. Treasury tried to publish that Bill on Budget Day, as it reflected the change in date and small changes to the tax base. One saw all the Bills together. Most of the complex stuff was left till July when it was published for comment. Treasury then ran the process together with the Standing Committee on Finance. It was not a ‘secret’ process. The people that wrote to Treasury, also submitted to the Standing Committee. Sometimes there were some delays, such as local government elections, which might disrupt the cycle for Parliament. If there were no delays, Parliament tended to have first hearings in August. Treasury prepared detailed response documents to submissions, which would be made available to the Committee, from the draft Bill and the changes being made. Treasury published draft bills in July, the engagements that the Standing Committee had were around the draft bills. The Standing Committee would then process the Bill with the response document. The Minister would introduce the Bill, which was formally done in October – which tended to coincide with the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS), but not necessarily so. Then the Standing Committee would sometimes only make a few changes – as formally it was a money bill and there was a process. If the matter was more complex, before Treasury prepared the response document, meetings took place with associations that might have raised something strongly. In previous years there were Members who had attended some of those hearings. It was a relatively open process, Members could be invited to those meetings – there was no problem with that.
He responded to the comment that ‘Treasury retreated’. Treasury did not see this as retreating. As the tax announcements were a surprise – there was no pre-consultation, Treasury could only test if some proposals made sense. Once the Bill was published in July, people could respond to it, which was quite an essential part of the process. Treasury took account of the comments. Sometimes Treasury made amendments. Sometimes Treasury delayed because clearly the issues might be more complex and needed to be looked at again. Sometimes Treasury rejected the proposals. If one took the example of the alcohol industry or tobacco industry, the industry might not like the approach taken by Treasury – that was a policy judgement call. Whilst Treasury accepted that there was illicit trade that needed to be dealt with through SARS and other authorities – it did not detract from the policy position taken on what the rate of tax should be. As it was a judgement call, when it came to a rate, anyone would tend to argue to bring it down – that was always an issue. Even the further work Treasury was doing was simply to bring guidance and stability to the industry. The Minister was free to make an announcement and change the law subject to Parliamentary approval. Treasury was not attempting to get consensus. Having heard the inputs, an assessment was made in terms of the tax principles that existed in the system and the way to move forward.
Ms Mputu stated that National Treasury issued a media statement after receiving all the public comments. Public workshops took place and Treasury had sent the invitation to public workshops to the Parliamentary officers. In 2021, the public workshops were held form the 7 to 9 September. There were more than 150 virtual attendees in those meetings, where the comments received on the TLAB were debated.
She responded to the issue of tax avoidance. The tax and international landscape had shifted since the famous statement by Lord Tomlin, in [the 1936 British tax avoidance case]: Inland Revenue Commissioners v. Duke of Westminster that every man was entitled, if he could, to order his affairs, so the tax attaching under the appropriate acts was less than it otherwise would be. Hence, the introduction of Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) in 2008, which involved international collaboration to end tax avoidance. South Africa was part of BEPS and attended all meetings. Treasury was strongly against tax avoidance where the provisions were being used against the policy intentions.
Slide 13 dealt with the Employment Tax Incentive (ETI). There were provisions in section 12H of the Income Tax Act where training was allowed – where there was a learner and employer agreement. If the current provisions in the Act catered for instances of training, one would use the current provisions in the Income tax Act, rather than using the current provisions which were in the ETI which were not meant for that. ETI was meant to provide work. Section 12H was meant for training and learnership agreements.
Ms Reynolds responded to the question about clause 20, specifically what contribution changes to the interest limitation rules would make to the fiscus. From Treasury’s estimations, it would increase revenue for the fiscus between one and two percent of corporate income tax revenues. That went together with the other base-broadening rule that would collectively off-set a reduction in the corporate tax rate. The idea of the holistic package was to be revenue neutral.
Mr Tomasek responded to some of the questions about SARS. The cross-referencing of receipts for PBO’s could be done. There were a couple of complications. If one took the case where people were forging receipts, SARS would be able to spot that as there would be receipts for R10 million but the PBO might say it got income from donations of R7 million. At that point SARS would know there was a R3 million difference, but it would not be known where that R3 million was and which taxpayers had paid it. There were also some PBOs which had mixed activities. Some activities would qualify for 18A receipts, and some did not. Those would have to be split out. SARS could do that kind of exercise, but it was tedious and did not always get SARS where it needed to be to counter some of the abuse seen.
On the point about submitting information, he was sorry to hear that there were difficulties with the e-filing. He knew that his Information Technology (IT) colleagues had been working very hard to try and improve the channels that were available for submitting documents using e-filing. That would be useful feedback to pass on through SARS so it could be followed-up and the necessary improvements could be made.
He stated that he was probably not the appropriate person to speak to about illicit alcohol trade. He was aware that between 2016 and 2019, there were around 800 seizures of illicit alcohol. There was clearly work being done in that space. There was a recent media statement in Mpumalanga where R15 million in illicit alcohol was found. It had originally been destined for export but was being relabelled for use in the domestic space. That was a problem. SARS had been clamping down on abuse of duty-free alcohol by certain diplomats. That had been a difficult task. It went to show that this was an area that SARS was active in – but he could not provide much of the details around that.
Ms Hemraj responded to the question about some entities feeling that they were unfairly attacked with the carbon tax. The carbon tax was a new tax, and no one liked taxes. It took Treasury ten years before the tax was implemented. Treasury went through a ten-year consultation process on the carbon tax and in the design of the tax, which was very comprehensive in its coverage of different types of emissions and covered all sectors. Taking into account the ten-year consultation process and the current design of the tax, with a whole range of tax exemptions and the low rate – Treasury felt ‘more attacked’ at the end. Treasury took into account a lot of the comments. Treasury designed the tax to provide the space for the transition that needed to happen in responding to climate change commitments.
Banking Association of SA submission on the Financial Sector Laws Amendment Bill (B15-B)
Mr Momoniat said that the last time the Committee met with Treasury there were issues that had come up. Treasury had provided a response document and had met with the Banking Association of South Africa (BASA), as was requested by the Committee. Treasury had largely dealt with BASA’s concerns. The document summed up what Treasury had responded to the last time.
(see letter from National Treasury)
The Chairperson said there was no need to go through the document again in this meeting. He had assumed that there had been engagements between Treasury and BASA. He asked what happened with BASA.
He stated that Members had received the progress report on the Insolvency Bill being managed by the Department of Justice. He provided a brief synopsis of the contents of the letter received from the Department of Justice. The status of the development of the Insolvency Bill was that the Department of Justice was continuing with work on the Insolvency Bill, which would replace the existing one. It was in the process of seeking approval to publish the Insolvency Bill for public comment. He asked if anyone had any questions about the letter. The next issue was BASA; he requested an update from Mr Momoniat on that.
He noted that the Parliamentary Programming Section had shuffled around the programme of the NCOP. Parliament would not be finishing on 10 December, but on 15 December 2021. An extra week was added about three days earlier. The Committee was now under slightly less pressure, but because of the three-day rule, the Committee would like to finish the bills three days before the House sat. The sittings had changed as well. There might be some changes, but at present Parliament would rise on 15 December. The House would not be sitting that afternoon.
Mr Momoniat said Treasury had a meeting with BASA. There were issues about resolutions and curatorship. Treasury convinced BASA that it was a standard that got issued in terms of the Act, and that there was no problem with the law. Treasury agreed to publish the draft standard on the termination of agreements. This would be done as a discussion document in the following week, before the Bill was enacted. This would not affect the legislation – that was the issue with BASA and BASA had accepted that.
The Chairperson asked when Treasury had met with BASA.
Mr Momoniat stated that Treasury met with BASA soon after the meeting with the Committee.
The Chairperson asked the Committee Secretary if a letter had been received from BASA recently.
The Committee Secretary said that nothing was received from BASA recently.
Consideration of policy issues on the Financial Sector Laws Amendment Bill (s75)
The Chairperson said that the Committee was more or less ready to proceed with the Bill. He asked if there were any broader issues that the Committee wanted further discussion on. He began on page two of the Bill and asked if there were any comments. He went through the Bill clause-by-clause asking if any changes were proposed. He then asked if there was a mover and seconder for the Bill.
Mr Ryder stated that the Chairperson had caught the Committee a bit off-guard with a clause-by-clause reading – he had not been aware that this was on the agenda.
The Chairperson suggested that the Committee could treat it as informal – it was on the agenda. What was not said was that the Committee would formally vote on the Bill. Mr Ryder was right about that. He suggested that the formal vote could be postponed. He wanted to focus more time on the tax bills because of how complex they were. There was an extra week. If the Committee had to seek an exemption for the three-day rule, so be it, it had been an exceptional year. He agreed with Mr Ryder, the Committee would not formally vote on it in the meeting. The report was not ready yet. Informally so far, the Committee was fine with the clauses as they were. As the Committee was not voting that day it was open to changes in the next 24 hours.
Mr Ryder agreed with that.
The Chairperson suggested that, given that the Committee wanted to table the Bill the following week, to separate it from the tax bills and to separate it from the Division of Revenue Bill, he suggested that the Committee might meet to vote in the next couple of days.
Mr Ryder stated that many provinces were having discussions on the Appropriation Bill the following day.
Ms D Mahlangu (ANC, Mpumalanga) stated that these would be taking place at different times across provinces.
The Chairperson suggested that the Committee could vote on Thursday 2 December 2021 at a time that did not clash with any other commitments. He asked if that was alright.
Mr S du Toit (FF Plus, North West) stated that the Chairperson spoke over them when responding.
The Chairperson stated that he had asked a question and he had then kept quiet and no one had answered. If Mr du Toit had a problem he could write to the Speaker about the ‘bad chairing.’
The meeting was adjourned.
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