Small fry want to join big fish

Waghied Misbach

Waghied Misbach

Finance Minister Trevor Manuel revealed yesterday that more than 220000 small business owners had applied for the recent tax amnesty, which was more than double the number he had expected.

Manuel said this was an indication that people did not want to form part of the informal sector but wanted to enter the mainstream.

Manuel was responding to a question from the press yesterday enquiring why the government was not setting up economic zones in townships to create jobs.

"It speaks volumes about the fact that nobody wants to be informal, unregistered and off the record. Even small businesses want to be part of what we are doing. And I think it is important that we recognise those issues as well," he said.

The small business tax amnesty was aimed at businesses that have a yearly turnover of R10million or less and included all small enterprises, including taxi owners.

The amnesty deadline was Thursday May 31, which Manuel extended to Saturday June 2.