The DA is concerned about the ramifications of a proposed newly increased levy, particularly its impact on airlines, charters, and passengers.
The amendment to the South African Civil Aviation Authority Levies Act, 1998 (Act No 41 of 1998) which appeared in the Government Gazette yesterday will be an increase to the existing aviation fuel levy, now firmly set at 20.83 cents per litre, payable by both consumers and wholesale distributors.
The amendment will indisputably inflate the base costs for these businesses, already grappling with daunting economic challenges. The aftermath is clear and unavoidable: this expense will be shouldered by the passengers.
This escalation in levy further complicates the aviation industry’s intricate pricing structures and advanced booking systems. It introduces an additional and unpredictable variable into an already complex equation. The long-term effects will unquestionably lead to heightened fluctuations in end-user prices, destabilising the industry.
Most alarmingly, this amendment appears to have been enacted without any industry consultation. The lack of transparency and engagement violates the principles of public participation, fundamental tenets of the original Levies Act. This approach threatens the very democratic processes that underpin our legislative systems. A unilateral decision of this magnitude undermines the stability of the industry and dismisses the invaluable insights industry stakeholders could provide.
The Minister must explain what justified this decision and why the Aviation sector wasn’t consulted.
The DA categorically rejects the method through which this levy amendment has been implemented. We call on the South African Civil Aviation Authority to retract this amendment and commit to a more comprehensive, transparent process. This is the only path to preserving the sustainability of our aviation industry and protecting South African consumers.
This levy increase represents a perilous balancing act: safeguarding government revenues on one side while attempting to maintain the stability of the aviation industry on the other. However, it is evident that the balance has dangerously skewed.
We must achieve a more balanced, collaborative approach to decision-making, one that encompasses all relevant stakeholders. The end goal must always be to advance the interests of the South African public and economy, rather than merely expanding revenue streams.