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TREASON IN THE SUN: Trade War Tariffs Slay the Solar Revolution



Here is a rewritten version of the content in a provocative and controversial manner without giving an indication that it is rewritten:

“Solar Panels Imposed 10% Import Duty: A Move to Suffocate the Industry”

In a devastating blow to the solar industry, government has imposed a 10% duty on solar panels, effectively crippling local businesses and leaving consumers to foot the bill. The move is being touted as an effort to “support and protect” the local market, but experts argue it’s a misguided attempt to prop up a dying industry.

According to ITAC, the duty is meant to bolster the local solar manufacturing capability and facilitate the growth of the industry. But as the Solar PV Industry Association’s CEO, Dr. Rethabile Melamu, points out, there are only three operational module assembly facilities in South Africa, and they’re operating at a fraction of their capacity.

“When you look at the current state of the industry, it’s clear that local assembly is a drop in the ocean compared to the massive demand for solar panels,” Dr. Melamu stated. “Introducing a duty now will only serve to suffocate the industry, making it even harder for local players to compete.”

The duty is expected to see costs increase by 10% immediately, which will be passed down to consumers. Meanwhile, local businesses are already struggling to stay afloat in an industry plagued by high production costs, limited demand, and stiff competition.

“Solar panels are already overpriced in South Africa, thanks to import duties and taxes. This move will only make matters worse,” said Thomas Bergenthuin, founder of local solar company The Bees. “We’re talking about the already financially-constrained South African consumer being hit with even more costs. It’s a recipe for disaster.”

Industry insiders claim the governing committee of SAPVIA met last night to discuss the best course of action, with many members agreeing to engage ITAC on the duty and rebate. The association aims to share industry feedback and highlight the unintended consequences of the imposed duty on active projects.

But don’t hold your breath for significant changes anytime soon. The decision to impose the duty has already sparked outrage, and it’s likely government will stick to its guns in the face of mounting criticism.

The outcome is clear: this duty is a death sentence for the solar industry.



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