Solidarity is embarking on what it has called a “lawful tax protest” campaign, which would include legal actions against state enterprises.
Taxes and VAT form a big part of the fiscus and tax avoidance in South Africa is illegal.
Talks of a tax revolt have surfaced in the recent past, but it was called irresponsible and highly unlikely by economists who spoke to Fin24.
However, Solidarity chief operating officer Dirk Hermann, in a statement issued on Sunday, said that it is time “taxpayers turn to active and lawful tax protest”.
South Africa must discover the power of tax activism, he said. “We’ve already had a taste of it with the E-toll protest. Tax protest does not have to include the withholding of tax,” Hermann said.
Solidarity said it will serve urgent court papers on Denel to force it to pay the unemployment insurance and tax contributions it had deducted from employees to where it is due. Solidarity said it also started a process in terms of section 165 of the Companies Act to have mismanagement and corruption perpetrated by former Denel directors investigated with a view to their possible prosecution.
A similar section 165 process will be followed in collaboration with Sakeliga in respect of Eskom, which may have major implications for former Eskom directors such as Brian Molefe. It warned that similar applications against other directors at other state-owned enterprises may follow
Solidarity plans to mobilise thousands of taxpayers to get involved with the tax protest and to collect millions of rands through crowd funding.
“We must complete this. We are hungry, we want our land back,” Majodina said after introducing the motion, to applause from the ANC and EFF.
DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said it was a “smokescreen for the government’s failure with land reform over the past two decades”. He added the CRC process was “legally, procedurally and constitutionally flawed”.
“What this motion is, it is the greatest hoax perpetrated on the people of South Africa,” Steenhuisen said.
EFF MP Hlengiwe Mkhaliphi said an amendment to section 25 would “reflect the pain where we come from as black people”.
She added in its current form, section 25 “draws a moral equivalence between the dispossessed and the dispossessors”.
“It makes the settler equal to the dispossessed,” Mkhaliphi said.
She added the EFF would ensure the ANC does not introduce “artificial amendments” and that the land was returned to its “rightful owners, which is the black people”.
IFP MP Elphas Buthelezi said there needed to be justification for amending the Constitution.
“The Constitution has not failed our people, it is the policies of this government that failed our people,” he added.
Hermann said taxpayers underestimate their power.
“The state is not working with its own money, but with the money of taxpayers.”
He said it is not disloyal to utilise legal instruments for accountability.
“In fact, it is loyal to taxpayers and ordinary South Africans, rich and poor, black and white who expects good infrastructure and services from the state, and who are entitled to it.”
More information about the campaign’s activities, including an application to place SAA into business rescue will be revealed, said Solidarity.
Article by FIN 24