March 31 2019

The Small Business Institute appeals to workers’ representatives and leadership at the SA Revenue Service (SARS) to urgently resolve their wage dispute which is threatening small businesses in SA.

“The strike, entering its second week, is the latest blow to small businesses still reeling from weeks of load shedding. SMMEs are already saddled with the burden of regulatory compliance. They cannot afford any more set-backs occasioned by the industrial action,” says Bernard Swanepoel, SBI’s executive director.

Examples of the strike’s impact on small businesses include delays and, at times, failure to receive VAT refunds and tax clearance certificates, which are important to doing business with government and state-owned enterprises.

The SBI calls on labour and management to find one another urgently.

“We appeal for a sense of urgency and maturity among parties as they approach the CCMA (the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration) to help them resolve the strike. Both parties must place the interests of all South Africans ahead of their own. Already, South Africans have had to bear the cost of the historic increase last year in Value Added Tax and, in all likelihood, Mark Kingon will be reporting another revenue shortfall,” says Swanepoel.

On the appointment of the new SARS Commissioner, Edward Kieswetter, Swanepoel says: “We believe SARS has an opportunity to start afresh, albeit from a low base, and we hope alongside rebuilding the institution’s capabilities, the new commissioner ensures the Service is de-politicised.”

For more information, please contact John Dludlu: 083 676 1881