Following the announcement of value added tax being increased to 15%, concerns were raised by various interested parties about the impact on poor and low-income households. Based on public submissions, sanitary products, in addition to free provision, were recommended to become zero-rated VAT products.
Although the announcement was warmly received, factors such as inflation and the costs of raw materials will remain unchanged. The effects of the exemption are more likely to increase over the course of the forecast period as more girls and women gain access.
Leading players continue to introduce innovations in their products to maintain shares. Innovation over the review period was observed in terms of leakage protection, fit and comfort, in addition to compactness of both pad and tampon formats.
The GBO, The Lion Match Company, is better known for its matches, but in addition the company is gaining ground in tissue and hygiene with its sanitary protection and wipes product offerings. In addition to local manufacturing facilities, it recently imported specialist equipment to manufacture pantyliners in its NSP Unsgaard base in Cape Town.
Local brand, Comfitex from NSP Unsgaard, continues to target a specific segment of the female population, notably teenage girls with its Comfitex Teenz range. The brand remains relevant with a dedicated website and Facebook page, which is used to inform girls about the changes in their body during puberty.
Female members of parliament, academics and other relevant parties in civil society have long been calling for the abolishment of VAT on sanitary products, as thousands of young girls from underprivileged households were missing school because of menstruation and not being able to afford sanitary protection. It is anticipated that girls and women who missed out due to affordability issues are likely to start utilising these products more freely, allowing them to continue with school and other daily activities.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Tissue and Hygiene market research database.