The DA will be writing to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Tourism, Beatrice Ngcobo, in order to request that the National Treasury appear before the committee to clarify the impact that the proposed carbon tax will have on domestic air travel.
In a recent reply to a parliamentary question, the Minister of Transport, Dipou Peters, conceded that she was unsure of the impact that the proposed carbon tax would have on the cost of domestic air travel, and that carriers would be left to determine how its introduction would affect travellers.
Many South Africans already cannot afford air travel due to the high charges and taxes imposed by domestic carriers.
With several reports suggesting that domestic tourism is declining due to affordability, we need to explore ways to minimise the impact of taxes on domestic air travel.
Tourism is a key job providing industry in South Africa, with one in 22 employed people working in tourism, and we should not seek to restrict it but rather aim to grow it throughout South Africa. It seems ludicrous that no assessment is available which is indicative of how the tax will balance the interests of the job-creating tourism sector with the aim of reducing carbon emissions.
We need to minimise taxes, we need to be truthful in our advertising, treat air transport as a strategic catalyst for economic growth, and increase our number of flights to all parts of the country.