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Strike closes Sars offices nationwide

Sars employees affiliated to Nehawu on Thursday embarked on strike at taxman's Alberton branch.
Sars employees affiliated to Nehawu on Thursday embarked on strike at taxman's Alberton branch.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

The South African Revenue Service (Sars) closed 33 of its offices on Thursday due to a  nationwide strike by workers.

The action by members of the Public Servants Association (PSA) and National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) has brought services to a standstill  as staff downed tools in all provinces including at border post offices nationwide.

Speaking to Sowetan at the Sars Alberton branch, Dalinda Swart from the PSA said  Sars had  offered a 7.1% increase to employees based on a sliding scale that has been rejected.

"We feel the performance system is already unfair and that is why we are not willing to be silenced," Swart said.

She also said Sars had  offered them a three-year multi-term agreement which failed before.

"Therefore we want a single-term agreement and our benefits brought back or else the strike will continue."

A Sars employee who did not want to be named, who is an operations manager, said she is a single parent with two  children who are in university.

"They have taken away our bursary benefits where dependents of employees could be paid for at school. What pains me is that I have been in management for over 19 years but I'm still on [a] basic salary and cannot afford to pay my children's tuition."

She said the company has belittled their demands with intimidation."There is nepotism and unfairness when it comes to promotions and compensation,"she said.

Thomas Coutts, an employee represented by Nehawu, said: " We are collecting money daily for the state and doing all the groundwork yet we have not been looked after."

Coutts also said they  have been given a target of over R1-trillion to collect by the  financial year end.

"But regardless of us doing our utmost best for clients to adhere to the regulations to pay their dues to Sars we are not being given what we deserve," he said.

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