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 exte...

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