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By Cheryl Kahla

Content Strategist


Sars strike: These 18 branches will be closed from Tuesday due to national protest

Sars consulted with labour unions in May but could not settle on a wage agreement.


The South Africa Revenue Service (Sars) said 18 of its tax branches would be closed on Tuesday as employees will be embarking on a national wage strike.

Sars said it will be “experiencing delays in servicing our taxpayers” due to the planned industrial action. This after personnel initially embarked on a wage strike back in May.

Sars urges the public to use the available digital services in the meantime.

Sars wage strike

Nehawu’s demands

The strike is headed by the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) after it rejected Sars’ proposed wage increase of 1.39%.

Nehawu met with Sars on 3 June to “push the employer on improving its offer, however that meeting did not yield any positive results”.

Sars, however, “made it categorically clear” that it stands by its position tabled in May. Following a second meeting on 8 July, Nehawu states the following:

  • It still rejects the offer of 1.39%.
  • The union calls for a full-blown strike across all Sars workplaces
  • It promises that strike action “will intensify”, and will “re-commence on 12 July”.

ALSO READ: PSA and Nehawu continue strike at SARS amid tax season

Wage disputes since May

The revenue services consulted with labour unions in May but the parties involved could not settle on a wage agreement as they didn’t have the resources for a labour demand of CPI plus 7%.

Now in July, unions rejected the counter offer of a 1.39% increase. At the time, Commissioner Edward Kieswetter said:

“I understand that our offer is not what our employees want, but it holds the real possibility of resolving the current industrial action at a time where employees in the entire public service are affected”.

He said he could relate to the frustration, but Sars “is a microcosm of the broader society and the sentiment of discontent is understandable”.

Affected Sars branches

The following tax branches and customs offices are closed:

Gauteng

  • Edenvale
  • Benoni
  • Randfontein
  • Springs
  • Boksburg

KwaZulu-Natal

  • Richardsbay
  • Pietermaritzburg
  • Durban

Western Cape

  • Cape Town
  • Mitchellsplain
  • Paarl
  • Beaufort West

Mpumalanga

  • Mbombela

Eastern Cape

  • Mthatha
  • Uitenhage
  • East London

Northern Cape and Free State

  • Upington
  • Qachas (Border post)

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protest South African Revenue Service (SARS)