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3,3 Million South Africans Pay 99% of All Income Tax — No Comments

  1. You know Mike, this article has left me so angry I could spit poison. My brother in New Zealand has been offering to sponsor me into the country for the last 11 years after my husband died very suddenly and very young. But I was adamant to stay here. This is my country. I am African. But now I am beginning to despair. My late husband worked really hard at putting additional payments into his pension fund and also taking out an additional pension fund offered to mining employees. His thoughts were always to ensure his family was taken care of “should some thing happen to him one day”. Well that “something” did. I am one of the 3.3 million who are carrying this county….. paying taxes that nearly cripple me every month because my two pensions get added together. I have to save money every month and live relatively frugally to ensure that I can pay my tax … and for what? No bedding in hospitals, big fat cats on big fat gravy trains whilst the poor live in squalor… but I guess this has all been said many times before…. but it is sad to think that my hubby sacrificed so much (we lived on quite a bit less because he wanted a good pension) …. hmm New Zealand or no New Zealand. .. that is tge question….

    • With you in frustration and anger. I live below the tax threshold but we all pay in some way. I was faced with a similar choice as i could have gotten a British visa through my grandfather’s name (too late now). Not my dad, but much of my family lives there. But i was a young liberal and i chose to be 100% African by helping our country grow…except South Africa has become a place where each year i have less rights and i’m poorer. I’m still fighting what i hope is the good fight but not a week goes by without me hitting a wall and wondering if i’m fighting battles far too small to ever win the war against corruption which is stealing our lives bit by bit.

  2. Wicked Mike: government could, if it chose, legislate against stores charging exorbitant interest rates in respect of credit purchases. Sadly, they’re happy to ‘go with the flow’ by allowing businesses to get away with blue murder.

  3. Keith is right that VAT is regressive (though it is to some extent avoidable by not indulging in ‘luxury’ goods). I have to say that SA’s ‘poor’ are in a very different income category to those poor whom I’ve encountered elsewhere in Africa. And that’s partly because many ‘poor’ here still find it within themselves, even if at outrageous rates of interest on loans or credit, to procure fridges, TVs, hi-fi, cars and more. But it is the income tax evaders (of all racial groups) whom the government needs to work harder to track down and punish. In this respect, SA is worse than Greece, and that’s saying something! Of course, it doesn’t help when local government write off R30m of debt owing to it – think how many RDP houses that would have bought. Much better to have worked out a system of longer term payment, for those businesses caught in debt difficulties.

    • Yes, those fridges and TVs on crippling credit has a major role to play with the diminishing quality of life in SA. What happened at Lonmin was in part (a large part) due to miners in debt. No one is going to be happy living in a shack whilst paying several thousand to loan sharks. Sure, it’s their fault for putting themselves in that position but government is there to lead which includes protecting Man from himself (and the public from him when he needs someone to blame other than himself).

  4. Quite obvious, those who earn a lot pay a lot. 13.7 million tax payers, earning minimal salaries, while the bosses cream it – of course they will pay the bulk. I do not remember the max percentage tax bracket going up.
    How does this lead to a crash? I see disgruntled workers earning less and less proportional to their bosses, where does this lead?
    dont forget that everyone pays VAT, which hits the poor far harder than the rich, but also taxes illegal business.

    • I find it easier to look at it in a Knysna context. After all, that’s what attracted me to what Piet le Roux had to say (plus i like making people think and talk).

      We have massive unemployment in Knysna and the spending power of the middle class has obviously shrunk (unless they’re working for government). The burden has continually fallen on a shrinking minority. Although tax goes up, that taxpayer isn’t seeing a return. instead he gets a flyer being so ‘helpful’ as to explain to him how to fix a pothole. And when our Municipality doesn’t believe they owe the taxpayer, who is paying their salary, an explanation as to the R30 million in ratepayers debt that got written off, we have a crisis of responsibility.

      As for the crash, nothing was truly sorted regards the derivative market which remains massively in the red. The scary result of government bailouts overseas was that an even smaller crew of banks now have more power. Hell, AIG got a $30 billion bailout (if i recall correctly) because they would’ve crashed whilst holding over $1 trillion in insurances – totally disproportionate. And our banks claimed to be free of all that ‘American nonsense’ but the fact is that our rates have been held artificially low for a helluva long time. Life is far worse now than in 2000 when (again, if i recall correctly), rates were 3 to 4 times higher. Our country, like everyone else, has been printing money and issuing credit so as to keep a false economy lurching a bit longer.

      Debt and unemployment is going to crash our country unless someone commits to major action that risks triggering it anyway.

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