Perhaps a financial boffin can explain to me why we continue to hand over R50.3bn in taxes to the SA Customs Union when we collect only R52.7bn on customs duties and R61.3bn on trade and transactions taxes. Government should do business a big favour and scrap skills development levies. Though they’re a source of R18.7bn in income, this is completely negated by the R21.7bn cost of skills development institutions. In reality, the cost and effort involved in claiming back some of the skills levies far outweigh the money received. For most businesses — particularly SMEs — it is just absorbed as another handout to government. All our wonderful budgets are ultimately meaningless if we continue to spend more than we receive. You don’t have to be a genius to work that out. President Cyril Ramaphosa needs to become forceful if he wants to turn Brand SA around. Tony BallGillitts

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