Business Botswana calls for consumer advocacy body
Business Botswana CEO, Norman Moleele has called for the establishment of an advocacy body to speak on behalf of consumers on issues such as taxes.
At the start of the month, the Government hiked Value Added Tax (VAT) from 12 percent to 14 percent, as well as introducing various others taxes and levies.
“These taxes end up hitting the consumer’s pockets. The unfortunate thing about our country is that we don’t have a strong consumer movement which can stand up against these issues,” declared the BB Chief Executive Officer.
Moleele explained that in some countries ratepayer associations are elected into councils to ensure the voice of the ratepayer is heard.
“Also, as business people, these taxes increase our workload in that we have to collect them on behalf of the government,” he pointed out.
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Moleele further revealed Business Botswana has noted certain enterprises are taking advantage of the changes to increase their prices beyond the VAT itself.
“That is a major concern for us; fortunately I have not received a report regarding any of our members who have done that. But should it be reported, action will be taken in line with our constitution,” he promised.
Moleele stressed it is vital a strong consumer movement is established to speak on behalf of consumers instead of relying on other bodies to talk on their behalf.
“We should look whether as consumers we are making representation on our behalf. This affects all of us because even if you are unemployed if you buy anything at the shop, that plastic you are given has a levy,” he highlighted.