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Tourism Minister supports VAT-free sanitary towels

11th July 2018 BY: African News Agency
Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom
Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom

Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom on Tuesday threw his weight behind calls for sanitary pads to be VAT-exempt.

Hanekom was speaking during a visit by hundreds of pupils from schools across the country to Parliament for a youth summit.

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"There is a panel at the moment which is making recommendations on which items should be VAT-exempt and there is a very strong submission that sanitary towels should be VAT exempted. Sanitary towels should be VAT exempted, I support that," he said while answering questions from learners.

"I think though there is a strong case for free sanitary towels to be made available especially to girls at school."

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The youth summit was organised by the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund in partnership with the Department of Tourism under the theme “A Mandela in Every Generation”.

The summit created a unique opportunity for children and youth to have their voices heard on matters that affect them. It also provided a platform for children to engage representatives from different institutions including business, political leaders and other leaders from society.

Hanekom said the government should start seeing sanitary towels as a basic human right.

“And I think that we should move in that direction, we should start seeing it as not something that people buy but something that is a right in the same way education is a right,” he said, adding that the fact that poor learners could not afford sanitary towels affected the ability of girls to learn. 

EDITED BY: African News Agency
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