DA leader Mmusi Maimane

CAPE TOWN  - DA leader Mmusi Maimane is set to launch the national petition opposing the Value Added Tax (VAT) increase, in Soshanguve on Saturday.

DA says the increase of VAT, along with a huge increase in fuel levies, will cause an increase in food and transport costs for all South Africans. 

"The ANC cannot make the poor pay for their looting of public money, and we will fight this increase in VAT on behalf of the poor and the unemployed," the opposition party said in a statement.

This comes after the Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba announced an increase in the VAT rate by one percentage point from 14% to 15% on Wednesday.

"Increasing the VAT rate by one percentage point is estimated to have the least detrimental effects on economic growth and employment over the medium term," Gigaba said. He noted that it was unavoidable, given the already significant burden carried by individuals.

Maimane said the government could have been able to generate additional revenue by selling off some of the State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) and cutting down the cabinet.

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VAT increase has also left other opposition parties moaning. The Congress of the People leader Mosiuoa Lekota shared similar sentiments to those of Maimane and said he was highly disappointed that the burden placed on the poor would increase.

On Saturday, Maimane jointly with the party's shadow minister in the presidency, Sejamothopo Motau will also be presenting to the media members the proposal on how to "cut the fat" in government by reducing the size of cabinet to 15 streamlined ministries.

The party believes that this could save R4.7 billion of public money each year, which can be spent on basic services.

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