Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom has thrown his weight behind calls for sanitary pads to be VAT-exempt.

Hanekom was speaking during a visit by hundreds of pupils from schools across SA to Parliament for a youth summit on Tuesday.

“There is a panel at the moment which is making recommendations on which items should be VAT-exempt and there is a very strong submission that sanitary towels should be VAT exempted,” he said at Parliament.

“I think, though, there is a strong case for free sanitary towels to be made available especially to girls at school.”

Hanekom said government should start seeing pads as a basic human right.

The youth summit was organised by the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund in partnership with the Department of Tourism under the theme “A Mandela in Every Generation”.

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