Two Sars employees test positive for Covid-19

Two SA Revenue Service employees have tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the number of cases in the revenue service to seven.
Two SA Revenue Service employees have tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the number of cases in the revenue service to seven.
Image: Reuben Goldberg

The SA Revenue Service (Sars) has confirmed that two of its employees have tested positive for Covid-19.

This brings the total number of infections in the revenue service to seven since the beginning of the pandemic.

“One of the Covid-19 positive employees is in the Free State, one in KwaZulu-Natal, one in North West and four the Western Cape. A colleague who had earlier recovered was also based in the Free State. A second employee is still in intensive care and remains on oxygen support. We continue to wish them all the best for a speedy recovery,” Sars said in a statement.

According to the revenue service, its commissioner Edward Kieswetter had been in touch with the affected employees to extend his support.

“It is important that during these challenging times, none of our employees feel they are emotionally and spiritually separated from the larger Sars family, even as they are physically isolated to limit the spread of the virus to others,” Kieswetter said.

“Covid-19 is real, and its impact will inevitably infect many of us directly, but certainly affect all of us in one way or another,” he said.

Sars had implemented decontamination measures where positive cases had been identified, it said.

Individuals who were in close contact with the two Covid-19 positive colleagues in Belville in the Western Cape have been traced and advised to seek medical advice before returning for duty, Sars said.

“In addition, the Sars Bellville Campus will be temporarily closed to effect deep sanitisation, and will reopen on May 20.

“We will continue to communicate with taxpayers to provide alternative ways of interacting with Sars in instances where we decide, with an abundance of caution, to close our offices.

“The safety of our employees and the public is paramount, and we want taxpayers to know we are committed to the public health, occupational and social distancing measures as is required,” said the revenue service.

Sars assured the public and its 12,500 employees that it would take precautions to ensure its offices remain fully compliant with every measure required to lower the risk of infection.

“Where unfortunate instances of positive cases are detected, we will respond immediately to ensure affected employees follow the appropriate action, follow through with disciplined contact tracing to identify other individuals who may be at risk, and return our places of work to the necessary public health standards, as required.

“We apologise where taxpayers may have been inconvenienced, and will work hard to restore our normal rhythm to be at your service.” 

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