In South Africa we pay what’s called VAT. This simply stands for Value Added Tax, and it’s on every single thing you buy. Because I didn’t do Economics or Accounting at school, I never had a problem with it. But on Monday this week I was infuriated to pay R2,79 as VAT just for R21 fries, which I normally buy but never really think about the amount I spend.
Petrol price increased last week, meaning motorists, taxis, and buses are affected. But the people who get the major effect is us, the end consumers, because we now are obliged to pay more. Our food is transported, we are transported, everything is, so directly we get to pay a lot more without seeing the rewards of our tax money.
In my calculation, per day the government makes over R100 million on tax. The reason is we are 51 million citizens and we pay different taxes daily; it can probably be way more. We all know that the government uses our money for their benefits. For example, a government official will get a petrol card that they use for the company car and their family cars. That is our tax money wasted on an individual.
We get police that patrol day and night. When called to a crisis they’re not there, but they always are on the road. Our money pays them for petrol, then it’s a blow in the face when you are in need of them.
The state personnel drive BMWs and Mercedes — the biggest cars which we know are expensive — but nothing is done for starving and unemployed South Africans. We always see bodyguards who protect government people from us, while they were elected by us. I say, “When you want votes you don’t fear us, but when you got our votes we are your threat.”
We can see that the money is always an issue. Service delivery is even worse. Wouldn’t it be nice to build a new top-of-the-range hospital, or building our people houses and giving them job opportunities? Such things the government isn’t serious about. They always look at Me, Myself and I, which really gets us back to selfishness and foolishness. In my opinion, we will always be a developing country due to our taxes inflating but nothing to show what it’s actually used for.
People are getting R500 million government tenders and misuse them, and the government tell us they don’t have enough money? If one tender can be that much, how much do they really have? Are we seeing a Zimbabwe-like South Africa emerge here? Because this will cause riots and chase potential businessmen away.
If you think of it, tax is the only principle used to tell us the rich will be richer and the poor even more poor, the reason being that wealthy person still buys food and petrol at the same price as me. Bear in mind I earn R2000, they earn R40 000. We buy R1000 groceries and at the end of the day who still has enough to spend? We are being ripped and the government doesn’t care because you don’t see any thin or skinny government official unless they have some sort of illness or allergy towards being fat.
I’ve had enough of corruption already, but if the South African government uses us in this way, the next working class generation will leave this country.