Local think tank call for blanket tax amnesty on returning Zimbabweans

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By Darlington Gatsi

FORCED returnees from neighboring South Africa should not be subjected to value added tax on their properties, a local think tank organisations has said.

Zimbabweans who had moved across Limpopo at the height of the economic meltdown are slowly trickling back into the country as living conditions in South Africa continue to bite.

Many had amassed properties and assets and on returning in the country are subjected to paying tax on their valuables.

Free Enterprise president, Brian Sedze, has called on government and parliament to amend Section 120 of the Customs and Excise Act, General Regulation 154 and Section 12 of VAT Act and consider tax amnesty for Zimbabweans who are returning from South Africa.

“Living and working conditions for Zimbabweans in South Africa are getting increasingly tougher. I think MPs must put Foreign Affairs Ministry and Finance Ministry to amend Section 120 of the Customs and Excise Act, General Regulation 154 and Section 12 of VAT Act.

“The sections only recognise a returning resident as one who either had permanent residency or diplomat or those who were pursuing education and those formally employed. It excludes ” illegal” immigrants, who unfortunately are the majority in South Africa,” said Brian Sedze.

Pressure has been mounting on Zimbabweans living in South Africa to return home, renewing fears of another wave of xenophobia.

South African pressure group, operation Dudula, has been forcing companies to retrench undocumented immigrants.

Recently, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fredrick Shava said Zimbabweans who wish to return would be welcomed if the blitz on them intensifies.

About three million Zimbabweans are currently living in South Africa,  making up the majority of foreign nationals living in that country.

“It means upon return, these ” illegals ” will face full duty and VAT on their households, personal effects and vehicles. They may be deemed to have commercial value. This will burden and punish our citizens who would have already been punished in SA and face bleak economic prospects in Zimbabwe.

Mps must push for a blanket amnesty on duty to apply to our South African brothers & sisters, and exempt them from VAT too. The amnesty must include goods for trade as some sort of soft landing” said Brian Sedze.