The Truth and Reconciliation Commission and business representatives agreed on Wednesday on the need for reparations for apartheid-era victims, however, most business representatives at the meeting were opposed to the imposition of a compulsory reparations tax.
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TRC representative Hlengiwe Mkhize said the TRC's recommendation of a once-off tax on businesses still stood and that after consultations with the Business Trust of SA, the TRC would make recommendations to the president and the justice minister.
Father Michael Lapsley, a former anti-apartheid activist who works with apartheid victims at the Healing of Memories Institute, said it was an issue of moral responsibility for all South Africans and pointed to a tremendous urgency underlying it. "Now the state has put money on the table ... our call is to business to match this figure. Business could partner government," he said.
The TRC Act forfeits victims' rights to institute civil claims. The commission has put forward the proposed cost of reparations at R3 billion to be paid out over six years. The TRC's position is that it would be appropriate for the state to impose a tax if necessary to reach its obligation to create a moral society and business should back that, said Lapsley.
- Source: Full article "Reparations: business, TRC talk" appeared on the news24.com website