Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana announced his budget speech on Wednesday 21st February 2024, that he hoped would alleviate immediate fiscal pressures.  It was disappointing news for South Africa’s already struggling households to hear that the additional R15 billion needed to balance the budget, will come out of the pockets of individual taxpayers. To achieve this, SARS will be raising personal income tax across the board, without providing any relief from increasing tax rebates and medical scheme credits.

Further bad news for companies, is that SARS will be implementing a global minimum corporate tax that will bring more business operations into the tax net, subjecting multinational companies to a tax rate of at least 15%, regardless of where its profits are located.

Some good news was that the expected VAT increase to 16% was not introduced and will remain at 15%.  There was also no increase to the general fuel levy, while the accident fund levy and the customs and excise levy will remain unchanged.  In 2026, producers of electric vehicles in South Africa will be able to claim 150% of qualifying investment spending, as an incentive to aid the transition to new energy vehicles.

Changes to the environmental taxes are as follows:-

  • Carbon tax increased from R159 to R190 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent, as of 1 January 2024.
  • Carbon fuel levy will increase to 11 cents per litre for petrol and 14 cents per litre for diesel effective from 3 April 2024.
  • Plastic bag levy will increase from 28 cents a bag to 32 cents from 1 April 2024.
  • Incandescent light bulb levy will rise from R15 to R20 per light bulb from 1 April 2024.

The brackets of the property transfer duty table also remain unchanged, providing no additional incentive to buyers, with properties below R1.1 million remaining exempt from the tax.

The budget also includes a hike in excise duties on alcohol of 6.7% to 7.2%, while duties on tobacco products will increase by 4.7% to 8.2%.  Godongwana also said they would be tabling an increase of the excise duty on electronic nicotine and non-nicotine delivery systems, known as vapes, to R3.04 per milliliter.

These changes to the budget are expected to grow South Africa’s economy over the next three years at an average of 1.6%. The government has said they would be prioritizing energy and logistics reforms, along with measures to arrest the decline in state capacity.

Rebates remain unchanged, as follows:-

  • Primary – R17 235
  • Secondary (Persons 65 years and older) – R9 444
  • Tertiary (Persons 75 years and older) – R3 145

Age Tax threshold

  • Below age 65 – R95 750
  • Age 65 to below 75 – R148 217
  • Age 75 and above – R165 689











Click here to see our in-depth Tax Guide for the 2024/2025 tax year that begins on 1st March 2024.