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Sars strike looms after deadlock in salary increase negotiations

Sars employees are planning to go on strike due to its refusal to increase their salaries. Picture: Armand Hough / African News Agency (ANA)

Sars employees are planning to go on strike due to its refusal to increase their salaries. Picture: Armand Hough / African News Agency (ANA)

Published Apr 8, 2022

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Johannesburg - Employees of the SA Revenue Service (Sars) are threatening to go on strike after they were offered no salary increases for this year.

This will be the second year in a row that Sars staff will not be receiving pay salary hikes.

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The employees are demanding a 10% increase for the 2022/23 financial year while the entity is offering nothing. The Revenue Service has also been accused of unilaterally withdrawing several employee benefits.

According to the Public Servants Association (PSA), Sars has maintained that it cannot afford a salary increase and proposed a 0% salary increase for 2022/23, which the union rejected outright.

PSA assistant general manager Reuben Maleka said the parties reached a deadlock at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), which was trying to resolve the dispute.

”This was rejected, and the CCMA will issue a certificate (of non-resolution of the dispute). We are busy with finalising the picketing rules, and parties will meet at the CCMA on 11 April to finalise the rules,” he said.

Maleka said during the last strike in 2019, the PSA was very successful at border posts, and this placed pressure on Sars with regards to imports and exports.

”This should be another focus point for us since other divisions are still working mostly from home and rotating. The IT division, which are mostly working from Pretoria, will also be focussed on as this will hamper the systems at Sars,” he said.

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The PSA said the move was not only an attack on the collective bargaining processes but an onslaught on employees’ rights and interests.

”Sheer commitment and demanding work by employees resulted in Sars exceeding revenue collection targets, but unfortunately, the employer did not appreciate this,” the union said.

Earlier this month, Sars announced that it had collected R1.564 trillion while its budget estimate was R1.547 trillion, resulting in a surplus of R16.7 billion.

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