Letter: We already have a tax boycott of sorts - Businesslive

30 January 2019 - This crisis is solely the result of the government and the ANC hounding investment and entrepreneurship out of the country, having in revenue terms the same effect a widespread income-tax boycott would have.

While an income-tax boycott is impractical, much of the country is already engaged in a tax revolt of sorts. On August 18 2018, your newspaper reported that in Soweto alone customers supplied directly by Eskom owed the utility a staggering R12bn.

You quoted Eskom group customer-services head Ayanda Noah as saying: "We have not been able to get into the townships because residents are reluctant to pay. So the biggest challenge is the culture of nonpayment … we also recognise that most of them are unemployed … but I cannot overemphasise the importance of getting our political leaders to … push for a change to the culture of nonpayment."

Our inquiries lead us to believe that this phenomenon exists across the country. A culture of nonpayment is not something that arises overnight. That it is in place more than 20 years after 1994 suggests the tacit connivance of the government and the ANC in allowing it to continue.

But the government’s culpability in undermining revenue collection extends much further than this. The governing party and the government, joined by the revenue service, warned this week that any actions that undermine revenue collection would gravely undermine the functioning of the state and harm the poor.

Yet this is already the case. Two reports we release this week show that government debt more than doubled over a decade, that the budgeted deficit again plumbs apartheid-era levels and, most significantly, that state expenditure as a share of GDP now is at a record high.

This crisis is solely the result of the government and the ANC hounding investment and entrepreneurship out of the country, having in revenue terms the same effect a widespread income-tax boycott would have.

Frans Cronje
CEO, Institute of Race Relations

https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/letters/2019-01-30-letter-we-already-have-a-tax-boycott-of-sorts/

© 2018 South African Institute of Race Relations
CMS Website by Juizi

Copyright | Privacy Policy | Accuracy Guarantee | Sponsors & Donors