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Tax breaks for artists if Mthethwa has his way

Wednesday, 20 May 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: Siyabonga Mkhwanazi
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Author: Siyabonga Mkhwanazi (Business Report)

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa wants artists and performers to get a financial break and will ask the Davis tax committee to give them tax incentives.

Mthethwa told journalists in Parliament on Tuesday, during a briefing on his budget vote, that the department would meet the committee to deliberate on the matter. The department believed the committee could explore avenues for artists to get incentives.

Then finance minister Pravin Gordhan appointed the committee in July 2013 to review the tax system.

The committee is headed by Judge Dennis Davis.

Vuyo Jack, acting director-general in the department, said they wanted the committee to look at how it could give incentives for receiving things like donations.

"We want to engage the Davis tax committee in their schedule when covering incentives, not in this round,” he said, adding that the committee was still busy with other areas in its work stream.

The tax committee was looking at, among other issues, base erosion, profit-shifting and carbon tax.

It has been suggested by some parties in Parliament that big corporates and some wealthy individuals take their profits out of the country to avoid paying tax.

Parties want the state to stop this practice, called profit-shifting.

Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture Rejoice Mabudhafasi said the government was getting South Africans to combat xenophobia.

"We as government, not only government alone but civil society, schools and churches, got into a campaign to condemn xenophobia. This is because as government, we won’t tolerate such behaviour,” said Mabudhafasi.

She said it was a criminal element that had attacked foreigners last month.

The situation seemed to have stabilised now and people in the camps, after fleeing their areas, wanted to go back to their homes, she said.

Mthethwa said they had also roped in artists to highlight the plight of xenophobia.

The department’s social cohesion programme, which had been in place for some time, was dealing with all intolerance, including xenophobic violence.

He said in the last year the department had held 40 meetings across the country, talking to communities about the need to respect each other’s rights, practices and cultures.

The time for any form of intolerance, including racism and xenophobia, was over, said Mthethwa.

He added that the one way to stop xenophobia in the country was through education.

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