South African Revenue Services (Sars) employees rejected a last-ditch R500 million offer tabled by the tax agency in a bid to avert a crippling pay strike starting on Wednesday.
The workers on Tuesday said the revised offer would translate to a pay increase of only 1.3% and a R3,000 once-off cash gratuity.
Initial Sars offer
The Public Servants Association of South Africa (PSA) and the National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) are demanding increases of 11.5% and 12%.
The unions also rejected Sars’ initial position of a 0% increase.
On Sunday, Sars said it met Nehawu and PSA representatives on how to allocate available funding towards financial relief for employees and to resolve the dispute.
The tax collection service said its funding allocation from the National Treasury made no provision for salary increases. It will be forced to use funds from its savings to meet workers’ demands.
Ports of entry
The industrial action could affect tax collection at the country’s ports of entry and other services offered by the revenue service.
Sars said it has put contingency measures in place to ensure uninterrupted customs services, and the protection of infrastructure, officers, and clients.
“Throughout the duration of the anticipated industrial action, the processing of declarations will proceed as normal, physical inspections of goods will continue as normal, border operations will proceed as normal with the available staff supported by senior officials deployed from head office and the regions.”
Sars said ports likely to be impacted by the strike include Beitbridge, Lebombo, Maseru, Kopfontein and Golela among others.
Meanwhile, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) on Tuesday marched to the ArcelorMittal offices in Vanderbijlpark to hand over a list of demands.
The demonstration comes off the back of some relief granted by the Labour Court, essentially dismissing ArcelorMittal’s application to interdict the national strike at all its plants.