The South African Revenue Service’s (SARS) employees’ pay strike has resulted in the closure of about 40 branches.
The revenue collector should return to the negotiation table with a higher offer than 1.39 percent, according to Nehawu and the Public Servants Association.
In May, the PSA and Nehawu started their strike with a call for raises of about 12%.
While this is going on, SARS claims it lacks the funding.
A 1.39 percent offer was declined by Nehawu and the Public Servants Association.
If the unions’ demands aren’t met, they claim the strike will go on indefinitely.
Taxpayers were informed by a statement from SARS that some services at its branches would not be available due to the strike.
“SARS apologises for any inconvenience caused, but due to the industrial action taking place across SARS, we are experiencing delays in servicing our taxpayers. While some of our branches and offices may be closed to the public, they will continue to honour virtual appointments, as booked,” the statement said.
As branches sought to recover, the statement noted that SARS will investigate any virtual reservations that had not been honored owing to the strike. SARS recommended taxpayers to use its digital services in the interim.
According to Commissioner Edward Kieswetter, thousands of taxpayers have already used internet services to file.
“At this stage, we’d encourage all taxpayers to use our digital platforms. This filing season, we’ve had 700,000 taxpayers who’ve filed their returns on our additional platforms. A significant portion of our work is already taking place online and seamlessly.”
Affected branches include East London in the Eastern Cape, Pretoria North in Gauteng, Pinetown in KwaZulu-Natal, Cape Town in the Western Cape, and Nelspruit in Mpumalanga.
According to SARS, the 12 branches that were able to stay fully operational on Monday were: Worcester in the Western Cape; Witbank and Standerton in Mpumalanga; Ashley Gardens, Roodepoort, Randburg, Rissik, Dooringkloof, Pavilion, and Boksburg in Gauteng; and Gqeberha and Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape.