Frantic bid to beat tax deadline
Thousands of people around South Africa dropped everything to rush to the offices of the SA Revenue Service yesterday - the last day to submit tax returns without penalty.
Long queues were the order of the day at the Carlton Centre and Library Gardens in Johannesburg.
Some weary taxpayers lined up long before the offices opened at 7am. A few miserable folk were turned away because they did not bring all their paperwork.
"I am here for the second time. I was turned away in the morning because I did not have all the documents," said Mhlayisane Mabaso, of Orlando East, Soweto.
He was upset because the long queues were moving slowly.
Portia Molefe, a Johannesburg Metro police officer, said she had been preoccupied with other things, "but today I had to leave everything".
Doctor Baloyi, of Midrand, begged officials in vain to have his form accepted though he had failed to bring all the documents.
"I do not know what to do. My supervisor was reluctant to release me and now I am told there are documents missing," he said.
David Cele, the taxman's educational coordinator for Gauteng, said: "We had our people in places such as shopping malls, companies and city halls. We wanted to bring Sars closer to the public," he said.
Cele said people who failed to submit forms manually were advised to do so electronically over the Internet.
"People should not panic. Staff at all our branches will be available to help them submit their tax return forms electronically," he said.
January 31 was the closing date for electronic filing.