Carbon Tax - the carrot and the stick

Submitted by: Lisa Reynolds

Carbon Tax is being implemented in South Africa from 1 June 2019.  At the CBA’s annual conference, Lisa Reynolds of Green Building Design Group (GreenBDG) updated CBA members on this legislation.

Carbon Tax is for Scope 1 emissions – “polluter pays principle”. It calls for R120/tonne of CO2 equivalents, but with the allowances, the actual liability is between R6 to R48 per tonne of CO2e. A fuel levy of 9/10 cents will be imposed on petrol/diesel due to the Carbon Tax. Payment of the Tax will be done via the Customs and Excise Act. Inaccurate submissions will result in substantial fines.

The Switch Africa Green portal funded by the European Union will benchmark the industry and assist Members to calculate some Carbon Tax allowances. The consolidated, anonymous reporting identifies where real savings are being achieved by members, and provides accurate, local research for potential future mitigation projects.

The sunset clause has been extended to 2022 for the tax incentives Tax 12i and Tax 12L, to align with Carbon Tax.

SANS 10400-XA (Version 2) on energy-efficiency in buildings is on track for publication this year.  The new standard is more user-friendly and there is no reference to SANS 204.  The reference building route to compliance will be scrapped from the standard, leaving only two routes to comply: The tables and the “recipe” route.  

An important change is the new CSIR map that reflects energy zones (rather than climatic zones). It considers both energy and humidity needed to achieve thermal comfort inside a building.
While the regulations for non-masonry walling remain unchanged, there will be a higher thermal performance requirement for masonry walling.  The performance requirement for walling will depend on the type of building and the hours of day the building is used.

In order to comply, both concrete and clay brick walling will require thermal intervention – such as a cavity wall and insulation. In poor communities, owner builders will find cavity walls a challenge. The CBA is therefore preparing educational material to advise SME builders on cavity wall construction.

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