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26 September 2000
Taxes and Bonusses

Monday we had Heritage Day - another of the plentiful unique South African public holidays. A day I utilised fully by repainting my kitchen. The fuel crisis has everyone by the proverbial "nuts". The Americans are tapping into their reserves, which in the short term is a life-saver for the American people.We had such reserves once. Our esteemed minister of energy (and whatever else they've added to his portfolio) acted quite swiftly at the time when the ANC took control. He sold it all!The government lost in three months somewhere in the region of 680 Million Rand in government fuel levies due to Jo Public who just cannot afford the fuel price anymore. There is less travelling and more staying at home (hence the repainting of my kitchen). Lift-clubs are booming and citizens are once again tightening the expenses.With all the legislation that is enforced on us, it is starting to become a real pain living here. For some time now most whites have been cutting down on essentials, never mind luxuries. This obviously has an enormous effect on the economy as a whole. Welfare organisations are struggling to keep up with government still sitting on the National Lottery funds. The SPCA is in dire straits not even talking about organisations looking after the elderly being totally dependant on the public's contributions. A global problem has been very prevelant in South Africa of late. The influx of rural communities settling in and around major cities and towns. Shacks go up wherever there's an open piece of land. Local municipalities are struggling to provide for these people. According to our government policies, local government is responsible for the welfare of all it's people. I don't have a clue where they will place (provide shelter) or employ these sorry souls. What I do know is that according to our constitution, these people must be provided with all the facilities and utilities they need which includes water and electricity. How would they finance all this? Very easy - there are plenty of white people that can still be milked. 
 Why do I only refer to white people? Easy to explain this one - our education system is being paid for by whites (80% up to 95%), our health system is totally supported by whites (they never use it due to the shambles it's in), our transport system is funded primarily by whites (fuel levies not included), so do I need to carry on?The extra burden of supplying utilities to the "shack" community will be funded through increased levies to the relevant constituancies. How they would implement this is easy - from next month you will pay 30 % more for your property (tax and/or utilities) - no arguing! And in the meantime, if you work for Johannesburg Municipality or for the taxman, it's bonus time twice a year! This month Jo'burg is paying four of their employees (should be working for us, but they don't - it seems) a performance bonus of Sixty-Eight Thousand Rand each. This is in recognition of getting their work done! What nonsense - I don't do my job, my boss will get rid of me!The same applies to the Tax Collector - twice a year they get an incentive bonus which is a percentage of taxes collected which the taxman previously did not get. Now they go and give this money away to their employees (should be our employees, but they're not) instead of utilising this to make it possible for the ANC (re. government) to fulfill their promises to the people.This leaves the system open to abuse. I have to pay in (to the taxman) for the first time in my entire tax-paying life. How come? Is this because I'm a non-contributing member to the taxman's bonus scheme, and if this is not the reason, how do I get behind the real reason?The taxman nailed a friend of mine. He offered to pay the amount claimed by the taxman in installments. All parties agreed on the arrangement and everything went well for the first six months. One day this poor sucker got a call from his bank manager, informing him that he is totally overdrawn on his account. You guessed it - the taxman (or some clever dick working there), decided that they've been waiting this long and no further (probably because it was bonus time), and instructed the bank to pay the balance up front. 
 This is the new South Africa. How you're going to survive for the rest of your life is of no concern to this powerful organisation. If you go out of business because of their ridiculous actions - so what. The powers given to the taxman borders on the ridiculous. They can repo your furniture, your car, your house. And who pays the bulk of the taxes in this country of ours? 
The white man.