South Africa has joined a growing number of countries that have zero tax on sanitary pads – move welcomed by Western Cape Social Development Minister Albert Fritz.

“It is pleasing that South Africa will finally join the ranks of Canada, Nigeria, Tanzania, Australia, Lebanon, India and Kenya who do not tax sanitary items,” said MEC Fritz.

Last week the newly appointed Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced that sanitary pads, among other items, will be made a zero tax item as of 1 April 2019.


The government has long provided free contraceptives including female and male condoms, and birth control. 

“It is time that as men and women, we talk honestly about the impact of menstruation on the girl child. I will be writing to Minister Mboweni to ask whether his Ministry is also considering making tampons a zero tax item,” said Fritz.

This year, Stellenbosch University’s Law Clinic found that approximately 30% of girls in South Africa do not attend school when they are menstruating because they cannot afford sanitary products.


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