It first began with a meeting recommending the distributing of sanitary towels to the poor for free of charge…
A parliament caucus of women from all the political parties represented in the house wants the recommendation that government issue free sanitary pads to also be about giving women-owned companies the opportunity to manufacture these items.
The free of charge pads will have no value added tax on it and this was recommended by the Multi-Party Women’s Caucus in its meeting Thursday this week.
This tax-free issue will be instituted by National Treasury, the caucus said.
Caucus chairwoman Rosalia Morutoa said though this was still a recommendation but it was worth celebrating.
Treasury briefed the caucus on Thursday and told them of the closing date for input on what should be included in the list of zero-rated VAT items.
The caucus was told that the Standing Committee on Finance has already been briefed and said that zero-rated sanitary products would be “a blunt instrument” – as it will apply to both rich and poor.
It said instead VAT should still apply to these products but that free sanitary towels should definitely be provided to poor South Africans.
“The women’s caucus resolved that women must be empowered to manufacture sanitary towels in an effort to develop themselves financially,” caucus chief whip Nthabiseng Khunou said.
“This could be done in the form of co-operatives and help in lifting women out of poverty,” she added.
Morutoa told the sitting: “This is a milestone, an achievement for the Multi-Party Women’s Caucus. We have been advocating for this for some time. It should be celebrated.
“We understand it is just a recommendation at this stage, but it is progress nonetheless,” she said.
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