Gains in tax collection squandered by officials: iLIVE
The tax season is upon us once more.
For many citizens this period is one of anxiety.
Long queues at South African Revenue Service offices, wanting to make sure all the paperwork is in order, meeting the deadline - all this in an effort to be an honest and upstanding citizen.
According to SARS, the number of people who submitted returns went up significantly last year, which meant more revenue was collected for the government's coffers.
This year, SARS has embarked on a campaign to make tax filing easier and faster with the use of cellphones and tablets. This considered, SARS might again increase the number of people who file tax returns.
However, all this good work by SARS and the commitment of citizens is spat upon by government officials who steal the very money that is meant to better the lives of South Africans.
Corruption among senior government officials reverses the achievements of SARS.
Ordinary citizens are betrayed and are disheartened by regular media reports of wasteful expenditure, irregular expenditure, lack of service delivery and huge sums of money being spent on trivial things while the majority of people languish in poverty.
Huge sums of money are thrown down the drain for things that government officials justify as being "necessary".
Examples of these are the leasing of buildings for government departments at exorbitant amounts, hiring cars for state officials and the awarding of contracts to service providers that later get cancelled at high cost and sometimes lead to court cases that cost the government even more.
If these evils are not rooted out, the gains that SARS continually makes that benefit the country will go up in smoke.