The taxman has warned that the combined impact of a slow economy and the lockdown could amount to a loss of up to R285 billion in tax revenues this year.
This is according to the commissioner of the SA Revenue Service, Edward Kieswetter, who was quoted by Fin24.
Kieswetter was briefing a joint meeting of two parliamentary committees on Tuesday.
“Whilst it is early days, our revenue losses could be peaking at between 15% and 20% lower (than projections). That translates to a revenue loss of up to R285 billion.
“That is a function of the sluggish economy, but also the impact of lockdown,” he said.
For perspective, a loss of R285 billion would be larger than the almost R230 billion allocated to health services in 2020.
Kieswetter said the loss of jobs would have a dramatic impact, and many jobs would not be regained.
“It takes 100 businesses … to create one successful business. So for every one we lose, we will have to have a hundred if not more entrepreneurs to take the risk [to start a new business].”
He also said he had clear evidence the illicit economy was thriving.
Illegal cigarette and alcohol sales have taken off since they were banned at the beginning of lockdown.