DRAFT TAXATION LAWS AMENDMENT BILL
The National Treasury invites taxpayers, tax practitioners and members of the public to submit written comments on the 2020 Draft Taxation Laws Amendment Bill, 2020 Draft Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill, 2020 Draft Regulations Prescribing Electronic Services and request all Venture Capital Companies (VCCs) registered with SARS as at 1 March 2020 to submit to the Minister of Finance information prescribed in the VCC survey as mandated in terms of section 12J(10) of the Income Tax Act, 1962.
The requested written comments and the completed VCC survey should be submitted by no later than Monday, 31 August 2020. Further details can be found in the Media Statement inviting such submissions on the National Treasury website by following this link: http://www.treasury.gov.za/public comments/TLAB and TALAB 2020 Draft/
2020 DRAFT RATES AND MONETARY AMOUNTS AND AMENDMENT OF REVENUE LAWS BILL
The National Treasury and the South African Revenue Service (SARS) published, for public comment, the 2020 draft Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of Revenue Laws Bill (2020 draft Rates Bill), and the draft Regulations Prescribing Electronic Services. The 2020 draft Rates Bill was first published on Budget Day (26 February 2020) but is published for the second time in order to solicit any public comments on the tax proposals contained therein. These draft Tax Bills contain tax proposals made in the 2020 Budget on 26 February 2020.
We urge you to read the attached document that outlines the tax proposals. We also urge you to provide comments into these draft Tax Bills via the stipulated email addresses that appear in the attachment.
Plastics SA Training Division turning a challenge into an opportunity.
After all training courses were halted with immediate effect when the COVID-19 lockdown regulations were announced at the end of March, PlasticsSA’s Training Division turned the challenge into an opportunity!
Although we have never offered online training before, the Regional Managers and Trainers together with the Training Administrators at Plastics|SA rose to the challenge of transforming all of the theoretical and classroom practical learning content that they usually offer for in-classroom learning, into an interactive, live online platform.
We’ve been overwhelmed by the industry’s positive response to our online training offerings and excited that vital training continues in their organisations.
Companies who have already enrolled learners for the online learning experience include Verigreen, Tropic Plastics, Fibre-Wound, Smiths Manufacturing, First National Battery, Mpact Plastics, Master Plastics, Chespak, Plaslantic, Gold Sun Industries, Lumotech Uitenhage and PlastiColors.
Many of our learners do not have access to their own computers, data or a stable Wi-Fi connection. However, thanks to careful planning and close working partnerships with their employers, our efforts have paid off and it’s happening! Because most learners are enrolled by their employers, the onus rests on the company to provide a conducive learning environment and a reliable computer and internet connection to ensure the success of the learning programme.
We are proud of our team of trainers and the students who embraced this new way of life. They have gone out of their way to be creative and ensure that the practical components of training are satisfied through the use of material samples and examples of quality defects in the training sessions. A specially designed virtual classroom has been created for the online training, using the same format as the classroom-based training. The learning content continues to be very interactive, with many classroom activities and exercises interspersed throughout the course.
Engaged and focused learners, throughout the learning process, is essential and all of the necessary steps are in place to make the online experience as rewarding, interactive and seamless as possible. The practical aspects of the training that require hands-on experience, are scheduled for when the companies are able to arrange safe transportation of the learners to one of Plastics|SA’s three training facilities located in Midrand (Gauteng), Maitland (Western Cape) and Pinetown (KwaZulu-Natal).
We have put all of the necessary safety measures and protocols in place to accommodate the learners for practicals, but it is up to the employer companies to determine when their employees can complete their training offsite.
Learning programmes already on offer online include:
- Skills Programmes and Learnerships viz. Principles of Quality
- Apply study and learning techniques
- Read and Interpret Engineering Drawings
- Understand and Deal with HIV Aids
- Apply SHEQ Processes and Procedures
- Maintain and Monitor SHEQ Systems & Procedures
- Process Machine Construction
- Understand Production Process and Quality Principles in Plastics Manufacturing
- Basic Raw Materials and Generic Management.
For more information please contact the branch in your region.
Western Cape and Port Elizabeth: Kim.Arendse@plasticssa.co.za
KwaZulu Natal and East London: Desiree.Reddy@plasticssa.co.za
The South African plastics industry has welcomed the recent findings released by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), confirming that reusable, plastic shopping bags have the lowest environmental footprint compared to carrier bags made from alternative materials.
The study was funded by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and aimed to identify which bag is “best” in the South African context. It assessed sixteen different types of carrier bags – including the standard single-use, 24 micron HDPE bags, as well as a number of reusable and biodegradable alternatives.
Twenty-one environmental and socio-economic indicators were used to assess the life cycle of each bag, including water use, land use, global warming, the impacts of pollution, impact on employment and the affordability for consumers.
According to Plastics SA’s Executive Director, Anton Hanekom, the local study confirmed the findings of similar studies which have been conducted elsewhere in the world, such as a recent analysis by Denmark’s Ministry of Environment and Food which found that cotton bags have to be re-used 7,100 times in order to have the same cumulative environmental impact as using standard plastic bags which are easy to produce, require very little energy and produce very little carbon dioxide emissions.
“What is particularly welcoming, is that the CSIR study assessed a broad range of environmental and socio-economic indicators that are unique to our South African context. It has confirmed our message that our locally produced, plastic bags (ranging from 24 microns right up to 70 microns) are ideally suited to be reused and should therefore not be considered a single-use plastic,” Hanekom said.
The majority of the plastic carrier bags used in most African, American, Asian and European markets, range between 12 and 17 microns in thickness. In South Africa, however, retail plastic bags are regulated to be a minimum of 30 micron, plus or minus a 20% variance. Although the CSIR study focused primarily on testing the plastic carrier bags of that were between 30 and 70 microns, it confirmed that plastic carrier bags performed best overall – provided that they are reused.
“Our retail plastic bags are unique and unquestionably reusable for its primary function, namely shopping, but also have a multitude of secondary uses in South African households. Moreover, it is important to highlight that our locally produced carrier bags are now recyclable and a large percentage of them even have recycled content,” Hanekom stressed.
The South African plastics industry reached a major milestone in 2018 when the local bag manufacturers improved the recyclability of their bags by reducing the filler content. At the same time, South African retailers agreed to change their carrier bags from virgin, to include post-consumer recycled content. This move created a much-needed and substantial market for post-consumer recycled material. It was hailed as an important breakthrough for the industry and its efforts to address the issue of single-use plastics polluting the environment. By ensuring that plastic carrier bags become part of a circular economy, a win-win situation has been created for the environment and for the industry.
“The manufacturing and recycling of plastic carrier bags not only help to create employment to more than 60 000 South Africans, but also contribute vast sums of money to state funds. Plastic bags are still the only packaging item for which an environmental tax is levied. Since the beginning of April this year, plastic bag levies have increased to 25 cents, which is expected to generate more than R250 million for the state coffers. As an industry we are appealing to the Government to ensure that at least some of these funds are used to help us boost recycling and grow a circular economy,” Hanekom appeals.
Weighing in on the matter on behalf of plastic bag manufacturers, Phillip Abelheim, Chief Executive Officer of Transpaco Limited and one of South Africa’s biggest manufacturers of plastic bags, said the latest research findings were encouraging to a manufacturing sector that has been until recently, been on the receiving end of harsh criticism.
“Plastic bags were never intended to only be used once. In fact, they were invented in 1959 by Swedish engineer Sten Gustaf Thulin with purpose of saving the planet. Because they were significantly stronger than paper bags, he created these bags to help save the forests by being used over and over again. To Thulin, who was known for always carrying a plastic bag folded in his pocket, the idea that people only use their bags once and then throw them away, would be bizarre and completely go against what they were originally designed to do,” Abelheim says.
“We believe that plastic carrier bags and plastic items in general have an important role to play in our modern society. The recent worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has once again proven that the world relies on plastics to help prevent the spreading of diseases, protect food and to keep us healthy. Plastic products are strong and versatile and offer us convenience at a low price. The ongoing challenge lies in preventing this wonder material from ending up in the environment after it has been used, and making sure that it is properly discarded so that it can be recycled into a multitude of different and new products,” Hanekom concludes
For more information, visit www.plasticsinfo.co.za
Packaging SA, Plastics SA, the various PRO’s and other interested parties have been engaging with Government over the past 9 months regarding the proposed Section 18 notice.
Section 18 refers to the Extended Producer Responsibility aspect of the National Environmental Management Waste Act (NEMWA) and essentially replaces Section 28 (Industry Waste Management Plans) from 2017. Whilst both Section 18 and Section 28 essentially cover Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and material recovery, we welcomed the adoption of a Section 18 process as it allows industry to raise, manage and disburse EPR fees themselves.
WHERE ARE WE NOW
On 26 June 2020 the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF), Ms. Barbara Creecy, published an amendment to the National Environmental Waste Act in the form of draft Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) regulations. Members of the public and industry were given 30 days to comment and revert back to her with objections or suggested changes.
Once promulgated, the EPR Plan will substantially change the regulatory environment in South Africa, not only for producers and users of packaging, but for our various Producer Responsibility Organisations, i.e. PETCO, Polyco, the Southern African Vinyls Association (SAVA) and the Polystyrene Association of SA.
It will be the responsibility of the various Producer Responsibility Organisations (PRO’s) to drive sector based waste minimisation programmes, manage financial arrangements for funds to promote the reduction, re-use, recycling and recovery of waste; drive awareness programmes and innovate new measures to reduce the potential impact of products on health and the environment.
EXPECTED TIME FRAME FOR IMPLEMENTATION
Once approved and promulgated, producers and PRO’s will have 6 months to become compliant. However, the Minister has made it clear that she wants to implement the new regulations as soon as possible, and there is talk that it could be in place as soon as the fourth quarter of 2020. It is likely that the targets for the 1st year and reporting requirements will commence at the beginning of 2021. As currently drafted, the requirements essentially come into effect on the date of publication of the final notice, which could be as early as September 2020.
FOCUS AREAS FOR THE SA PLASTICS INDUSTRY
Of particular concern to us is ensuring that the final Section 18 notice is practical, reasonable and applicable to the South African context.
UNLOCKING THE HIDDEN VALUE OF WASTE
It is crucial that targets that are being set for the collection and recycling of the various forms of plastic, are based on the South African scenario, include local data, use our own best practice models and build on the successes that our existing PRO’s have already achieved.
A staggering 70% of the plastics that recycled in South Africa, are still obtained from landfill and other post-consumer sources.
34 % of South Africans do not have access to any waste management services. Waste management infrastructure needs to be put in place by municipalities throughout SA where concerned citizens can participate and which can deal with recyclable as well as non-recyclable waste.
Recyclables are a valuable resource and should be removed from the solid waste stream before reaching landfill where they become contaminated and extraction costly. Separation-at-source, whereby recyclable materials are separated from non-recyclables, is therefore a key success factor for all recycling.
The plastics industry is fully committed to cooperate with Government as we work to clarify the issues of concern.
For those producers who have not yet signed up to a PRO, you are advised and encouraged to join without delay. Not only will this ensure that your company is compliant and meet the obligations under the new legislation, but your input and contributions during this development stage of the game are much needed and could help to shape our industry focus and activities for many years to come.
For more information, kindly email Anton.Hanekom@plasticssa.co.za