chicken VAT

Organisations are calling on government to remove tariffs and VAT on chicken. Image: Adobe.

Calls for chicken to be VAT-exempted as prices increase

There have been numerous calls for government to remove tariffs and VAT on chicken products as the prices continue to soar.

chicken VAT

Organisations are calling on government to remove tariffs and VAT on chicken. Image: Adobe.

The South African Informal Traders Alliance (SAITA) has called for government to remove Value Added Tax (VAT) and other tariffs on chicken products. 

Recently, chicken producer RCL Foods said due to inflation and rising costs, higher prices cannot be avoided


The alliance which represents over a million informal traders  feels that the removal of tariffs would provide relief to its members. 

In an interview with eNCA, Paul Bester from SAITA said this has had a huge impact as there has been an increase of over 11% on chicken products. 

“This increase has made it impossible to bring the chicken products into the informal sector. When this happens, families go hungry and  people don’t eat nutritional food, they eat what they can find which usually comes with a health risk. 

“One thing we want government to decide is to have the normal South African family at least have one nutritional meal a day and that would be chicken.”

Paul Bester

The South African Association of Meat Importers and Exporters (AMIE) also called for the removal of trade tariffs on all poultry products, a three-year moratorium on any new tariffs, and supports the removal of VAT on the price of chicken.

Association chief executive Paul Matthew said South Africa’s trade partners accounted for 14.9% of all chicken consumed in the country, and the (import) sector was critical in maintaining a healthy balance between availability and affordability.

Matthew said imports (excluding mechanically deboned meat) have in fact decreased by 41% between 2018 and 2021, with bone-in imports decreasing by as much as 53% for the same period.

Matthew said the pressing challenge for South Africa is not imports, but rather the ever-rising price of chicken, and consumers’ diminishing ability to afford it.

“Removing VAT and all tariffs will provide South Africans with some breathing space,” he added.

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