Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba announced a one percentage point hike in VAT in his Budget speech this week, a move which has been widely slammed.

However, Maimane says the budget is an assault on the poor and the jobless.

He reiterated calls for the size of cabinet to be slashed as one way to save money.

Maimane says the VAT increase is bad news for everyone, especially the poor.

“They are legitimising stealing from you as poor people, as people of this country through this VAT hike. Sign the petition, go to your local ward councillor. Make sure you go to communities and sign. We will fight against that issue. We reject this VAT hike.”