Imagine seeing this letter sent by a coalition of businesses to the Receiver of Revenue under the hashtag #BoycottSARS:
We hope you’re well?
We recently reviewed your 14% remuneration rate (VAT).
In light of your government’s performance, it is exhorbitant.
The undersigned companies have, in unison, agreed to decrease it to 1.4% (in line with the economy’s growth) until certain key performance indicators are met. We will measure the effectiveness, efficiency and productivity of the charity organization we call government (for it creates nothing, actually) until we are satisfied that it is being run frugally and is doing its bit to cultivate an environment conducive to economic growth and investor confidence. When this is clearly so, we will then consider raising its renumeration figure closer to the 14% mark again.
By the sweat of its brow will our government earn every crumb of its bread. Like the rest of us.
You may be upset that we have taken this decision without consulting you. But many of your government’s decisions are being made unilaterally. On the occasions when we did consult with one another, you reneged on the spirit of those discussions. We are informing you of what we shall do; we will negotiate with you when there is tangible proof that steps are being taken towards the targets we need you to meet in order for us to help keep the economy afloat and provide employment.
When an entity is not behaving ethically, people boycott it. You are being manipulated by a head of State who has de-facto resigned from his position as president of South Africa (insofar as the role is defined and described by the Constitution) and have therefore had your independence compromised. Hence, this boycott. Helen Zille has dared Jacob Zuma to sue her for defamation of character if these allegations are not true. That’s a pretty big dare. We’re staking the credibility of this boycott on that challenge. When Helen Zille and Jacob Zuma have battled it out in court (if Zuma is willing to set foot there) we, too, will #PayBackTheMoney that we owe you.
Consider this your boycott, SARS. It’s called #BoycottSARS
The undersigned business groups
Siya’s Notes And Questions:
- What sort of businesses would get behind the #BoycottSARS campaign? Let’s plant the seed in their minds and get the idea in the atmosphere.
- Will things change as long as every person is scared to put themselves or their business out there first?
- What alternatives do we have to boycotting SARS?
- With the way media is being slowly taken over, can we hope for the ballot to change the political landscape?
- Can corrupt government officials be trusted to discipline themselves and one another?
- What benchmarks and key performance indicators would justify 14% VAT?
- Do you know of any lucrative private-sector businesses that refuse to pay tax? Or whole business sectors? Do you perhaps drive with them every morning? Just asking.
- Do different rules apply to different businesses? Are you okay with this?
- Which banned political parties can identify moments that call for civil disobedience, and rally poeple on the ground to work with them to dismantle corrupt systems? Name three. Or two. Or one. Uh-oh.
- Or do you think opposition parties within the establishment, working within the rules, will be able to provoke the conscience of the ruling parties to repentance? Do they have any effective tools whereby they can bring the government back into line? What if they’ve already done everything they can? What if they’ve maxed out what they’re able to do as entities within the establishment?
- Must a voice from heaven tell us that it’s our turn to act? Or is that fact staring us in the face?
Now, don’t just imagine business groups sending this letter to the Receiver of Revenue. Encourage them to group up, send it and act on it until something measurable shifts. We must see real and measurable change – the purging and arrest of corrupt officials.
Ask businesses whether they’re #BoycottingSARS. If they give you excuses for not doing so, drop those responses into the comments’ section so we can discuss them.
Perhaps there will come a moment when citizens of good conscience will have the courage to tell them, “Be #BoycottingSARS or we’ll be #BoycottingYou”
Something. Must. Give.
If you’ve had enough of the way things are and want a front-row seat to the change at hand – or better yet, an opportunity to help change happen – then