It was to be expected that tax collections would be affected by the slowing down of the economy, joblessness, business closures and inflationary pressures. But what the honchos at the SA Revenue Service (Sars) have never pointed out is the imprudent way the state is misusing hard-earned revenues.
Trevor Manuel, Pravin Gordhan and their dedicated Sars team toiled to make our tax regimen one of the finest in the world; bringing in more than R1-trillion was no small effort. To have all that wasted through their ouster and replacement with Jacob Zuma acolytes was tragic, but just the tip of the iceberg.
Sending out alarm bells about the shortfall without reprimanding elements in the government about bailouts, grandiose schemes, Eskom debt and the proposed National Health Insurance will get the fiscus nowhere.
Austerity measures, trimming an overburdened cabinet, reducing defence spending, monitoring every tender, tightening the screws on individual and corporate tax evaders, and frequent lifestyle audits are what will save the country.
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