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Carbon Tax Act, 2019 (Act No. 15 of 2019)

Part 1 : Definitions and general provisions relating to imposition of carbon tax

1. Definitions


In this Act, unless the context otherwise indicates—



means any amount allowed to be taken into account in terms of Part II, subject to section 14, for the purposes of determining the amount of carbon tax payable;


"carbon budget"

means an amount of greenhouse gas emissions permitted, against which direct emissions arising from the operations of a person during a defined time period will be accounted for;


"carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent"

means the concentration of carbon dioxide that would cause the same amount of radiative forcing (the difference of sunlight absorbed by the Earth and energy radiated back to space) as a given mixture of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases;


"carbon tax"

means a tax on the carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent of greenhouse gas emissions imposed in terms of section 2;



means the exothermic reaction of a fuel with oxygen;



means the Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service;


"emission factor"

means the average emission rate of a given greenhouse gas for a given source, relative to the activity data of a source stream assuming complete oxidation for combustion and complete conversion for all other chemical reactions;




(a) the release of greenhouse gases or their precursors; or
(b) the release of greenhouse gases and their precursors, into the atmosphere, over a specified area and period of time;


"emissions intensity"

means an indicator of the result of the measurement of the quantity of greenhouse gas emissions in relation to an activity;


"emissions intensity benchmark"

means the result of the measurement in respect of an activity that creates greenhouse gas emissions—

(a) expressed as a predetermined value of the quantity of specified greenhouse gas emissions;
(b) in relation to an activity that is differentiated from other activities by means of a product, a type of fuel or a technology; and
(c) compared against the quantity of greenhouse gas emissions,

in relation to an identical activity undertaken by another person;


"fugitive emissions"

means emissions that are released into the atmosphere by any other means than through an intentional release through stack or vent including extraction, processing, delivery and burning for energy production of fossil fuels, including leaks from industrial plant and pipelines;


"greenhouse gas"

means gaseous constituents of the atmosphere, both natural and anthropogenic, that absorb and re-emit infrared radiation, and includes carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6);


"industrial process"

means a manufacturing process that chemically or physically transforms materials;



means the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change established for the purposes of providing internationally co-ordinated scientific assessments of the magnitude, timing and potential environmental and socio-economic impact of climate change by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and endorsed by the United Nations by General Assembly Resolution 43/53 made at the 70th plenary meeting on 6 December 1988;


"IPCC code"

means the source code in respect of an activity resulting in the emission of a greenhouse gas as stipulated in the "Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories" (2006) issued by the IPCC;



means the Minister of Finance;




(a) a partnership;
(b) a trust;
(c) a municipal entity as defined in section 1 of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act No. 32 of 2000); and
(d) a public entity listed in Schedules 2, 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D to the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act No. 1 of 1999);
(e) a municipality which falls within a category listed in section 155(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, and which is an organ of state within the local sphere of government exercising legislative and executive authority within an area determined in terms of the Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act, 1998 (Act No. 27 of 1998);

[Definition substituted by section 89(1) of the Taxation Laws Amendment Act, 2019 (Act No. 34 of 2019), GG42951, dated 15 January 2020 - deemed to have come into operation 1 June 2019 (Section 89(2)]



means a person liable for the carbon tax in terms of section 3; and


"tax period"

means a period in respect of which tax is payable as prescribed under section 16.