Reports of bachelor tax 'are fake news'
Bachelors in Nquthu in northern KwaZulu-Natal are not being fined R50 a year.
The provincial co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) department said reports that a local chief, Inkosi Thathezakhe Ngobese, had imposed a tax on unmarried men within the traditional community were fake news.
Cogta departmental spokesman Lennox Mabaso said the rumour of a bachelor tax was "spreading like wildfire".
"We have investigated these reports on the ground in Nquthu and found that this 'bachelor tax' is simply fake news. There is no truth to the story whatsoever," he said.
Ngobese told Cogta that the rumours were a smear campaign "by some elements who want to discredit him".
"Inkosi confirms his knowledge of only an annual fee of R50 per household, known as as a khonza fee, which is for covering administrative responsibilities of traditional council affairs," Mabaso said.
He explained that Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube had immediately assigned a team of officials to investigate the matter, as a bachelor tax would be a violation of the constitution.
"In terms of Zulu custom there are certain levies that are linked to customary practices. However, these must be properly regulated and cannot be directed at or violate any demographic, such as unmarried males."