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New vehicle taxes will force the use of public transport

In an attempt to reduce vehicle emissions the government is planning to implement many changes to the tax structure in South Africa.

While motorist will again feel like they are soft targets, there are many plans to improve public transport, make cities friendlier for pedestrians and cyclists as well as incentivise electric cars.

IOL revealed that vehicle emissions reportedly account for 10.8 percent of the country’s greenhouse gases and the Department of Transport have received proposals to reduce this between 2018 and 2050.

The plan includes reducing congestion, creating ‘no-car’ areas in the city centres, increased licence fees for vehicles that omit higher emissions. Regular emissions testing will be necessary on older vehicles and high-mileage cars will be banned in a bid to encourage motorists to make use of public transport. Restrictions will also be implemented on heavy trucks.

The department are looking to implement a Congestion Zone Tax for vehicles who enter the central business hubs, however an eco-friendly type of park and ride infrastructure will need to be implemented as well as a type of bike and car share scheme.

The DoT will review the Environmental Levy on the emissions of CO2 by new motor vehicles and extend the tax to include commercial vehicles.

Vehicles will be taxed annually by their emissions and payable through the licensing renewal system. A test certificate will be required every three years for road worthiness and exhaust emissions. This will determine the charge of the licence fee.

A car life cycle limit will be introduced which, according to BusinessTech could see vehicles being scrapped if they exceed 400,000km.

DoT are also consulting with cities regarding freight vehicles only entering urban hubs during off-peak times.