Briefing journalists in Johannesburg, the department’s director-general, Nelisiwe Magubane, announced the promulgation of regulations which will allow Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, in consultation with the ministers of energy and trade and industry, to publish the tax incentive.
The incentive will contribute to energy efficiency and the reduction of South Africa’s greenhouse gas emissions, Magubane said.
He said the regulations would be published soon, and urged businesses to scale up their energy efficiency improvement measures so as to take advantage of the incentive.
“We’re not saying [to companies], reduce your energy use by simply switching off machines. We are saying, run your machines in an energy saving way.”
Registration with Sanedi
To benefit from the incentive, companies will have to register with the South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi), which will administer the technical component of the incentive.
Cecil Marden, chief director at the National Treasury, said the incentive would work “on the basis of quantifiable energy that you have saved expressed as kwh [kilowatt hours], and for each kwh that you have saved, you will get a 45 cent tax relief.”
On the projected cost of the incentive to the national fiscus, Marden said: “That is difficult to [estimate] right now … We will rely on Sanedi, which will collate data upfront. Once we have data from Sanedi, we will be able to quantify that.”
Marden said South Africa was “a fairly energy-intensive country, and over the years some effort has been made and energy efficiency is improving. We’ve made a commitment as Treasury to support the Department of Energy to deal with energy efficiency.”
The department, the Treasury, Sanedi and the South African Revenue Service will conduct workshops from January to March 2014 to help businesses understand the incentive and the registration process. Information will also be made available on www.sanedi.org.za.