Noord Street taxi rank in Johannesburg. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/ERIC MALEMA
Noord Street taxi rank in Johannesburg. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/ERIC MALEMA

I read shortly before Christmas that the taxi industry is estimated to generate annual profits of at least R90bn, and that there are more than 200,000 minibuses in SA.

The report described how taxi drivers, after paying for their petrol, per diems, traffic fines and other running costs, have to hand over R500 cash each day in unmarked brown envelopes to the taxi owners, who are members of the National Taxi Alliance.

The report further emphasised that there is no salary-slip system, which tells me that owners in all probability do not maintain any form of the accounting records that would enable the SA Revenue Service (Sars) to register them as employers and taxpayers.

If we assume the above figures are reasonably accurate and that taxi owners own on average five minibuses then there must be at least 40,000 owners countrywide sharing the said R90bn profit yearly, which translates to an annual net income of R2.25m per owner.

My question to Sars is: What are you doing about bringing these people into the tax net so that this huge loss to the fiscus can be collected? If Sars took the initiative to track down such tax evaders it would be fairer to the small percentage of honest taxpaying citizens who bear the burden of financing the running of SA.

Errol Hicks


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