- Ongoing strike action has forced the South African Revenue Service to close 40 branches to the public.
- The Public Servants’ Association and National Education, Health, and Allied Workers’ Union are demanding a 7% increase in wage talks.
- SARS says it cannot afford unions’ wage demands unless it receives further funding.
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The South African Revenue Service (SARS) said the ongoing strike at its operations has caused continued delays, forcing the tax body to close 40 branches throughout the country.
The Public Servants’ Association (PSA) and the National Education, Health, and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) resumed their strike at SARS after wage negotiations hit a deadlock again last week.
While the unions demand a 7% increase, SARS offered to channel its savings from 2021 towards salaries. Unions rejected this, saying it would only add up to a 1.3% increase, while SARS maintains that it could not afford the 7% increase without further funding.
In a statement released on Monday, SARS advised taxpayers that the strike would continue to affect some services at its branches.
“SARS apologises for any inconvenience caused, but due to the industrial action taking place across SARS, we are experiencing delays in servicing our taxpayers. While some of our branches and offices may be closed to the public, they will continue to honour virtual appointments, as booked,” the statement said.
<p ‘apple=”” ‘helvetica=”” ‘noto=”” ‘segoe=”” arial,=”” color=”” emoji’,=”” emoji’;font-size:16px;”=”” neue’,=”” roboto,=”” sans’,=”” sans-serif,=”” segoe=”” symbol’,=”” ui=”” ui’,=””>The statement added that SARS would follow up on virtual bookings that were not honoured due to the strike as branches worked towards recovery. SARS advised taxpayers to use its digital services in the meantime.READ | SARS strike to resume from Tuesday as unions reject wage offer
Branches affected by the industrial action include East London in the Eastern Cape, Pretoria North in Gauteng, Pinetown in KwaZulu-Natal, Cape Town in the Western Cape, and Nelspruit in Mpumalanga.
SARS said the 12 branches that managed to remain fully open on Monday are Worcester in the Western Cape; Witbank and Standerton in Mpumalanga; Ashley Gardens, Roodepoort, Randburg, Rissik, Dooringkloof, Pavilion, and Boksburg in Gauteng; and Gqeberha and Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape.
The SARS branch in Mmambatho in the North West was only open for appointments set for Monday.