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Gov't To Collect On Plastic Levy

The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka says government will follow up and collect on the plastic levy from retailers who have been collecting it from members of the public.

When responding to comments raised by Members of Parliament (MPs) of his Ministry’s proposed budget estimates for the financial year 2020-2021, Matsheka explained that government initially introduced the levy in order to reduce the use of plastic bags on account of environmental concerns. Government has not collected plastic levy funds from businesses since its introduction in 2007. Parliament passed the plastic bag amendment to the Waste Management Act in August 2006 and the new law was implemented the following year. However, he said there was a challenge in that the government did not have the resources to collect the levy from the retailers themselves.

“We have tried before to find a way of collecting that levy because that was the intention, but unfortunately at the time of enacting the law, it wasn’t included,” he said. He said they are in the process of collecting money as part of increasing government revenue.

“That will be done soon. We all know that Batswana continue to pay the levy, so we

will amend the law to put in place sections to allow us to follow up with those who have been collecting to give to surrender the levy fund to government,” he added. MPs have complained that the value of one shopping from a retailer is now further increased by the cost of the plastic.

They also said retailers saw this as an opportunity to charge the consumer more money to the extent that they even determined how much they were selling the plastic bags for.

Meanwhile, Matsheka has said government departments should not occupy buildings at the Central Business District (CBD). Matsheka said the CBD is a business place for private companies.

“We should not be seeing your CTOs or MYSC occupying buildings at the CBD,” he said.

This was after MPs had said that different departments were leaving government property to occupy space at the CBD. They said this has led to most government buildings being unoccupied for long to the point that some are dilapidated.


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