File image: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA)
File image: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA)

No plans in pipeline to tax churches, says Parliament

By ANA Reporter Time of article published Feb 23, 2020

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Cape Town - Parliament's cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) portfolio committee has dismissed suggestions that plans are afoot for discussions on taxing churches.

The committee notes with regret the rumours circulating that some members of the public believe that the committee will be conducting a workshop on “taxing” churches, committee chair Faith Muthambi said in a statement on Sunday.

"Based on those rumours, the committee has received a flood of requests from the concerned members of the public requesting to attend such a planned workshop.

"The committee would like to categorically state that it has neither discussed nor contemplated such a workshop on the taxing of churches, and neither the portfolio nor select committee on finance, the committees that are responsible for taxation-related matters in Parliament, is aware of such a workshop," she said.

The Cogta committee's agreed and adopted programme for the first term included items such as an indaba with the South African Religious Forum (SARF), scheduled for March 10 and 11, and a colloquium on the regulation of harmful religious practices envisaged to take place on March 17 and 18.

The programme was about finalisation of the matters raised in the report of the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious, and Linguistic Communities on the commercialisation of religion and abuse of people’s belief systems, which the commission submitted to Parliament towards the end of the fifth term, she said.

African News Agency (ANA)

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