R42 billion tax loss has devastating effect on the lives of ordinary South Africans.
According to Crime Stoppers International Vice President Yusuf Abramjee, over R42 billion is lost to tax evasion every year and the shortfall is having a devastating effect on South African communities.
Speaking at the Crime Stoppers International Conference in Singapore this October, Abramjee said that recovering the money would allow the government to pay for social houses for every shack dweller in the country in just two years or employ more than 2000 primary school teachers and 2000 police officers for an entire year.
Abramjee spoke out against tax evasion and the illegal tobacco trade, telling delegates that “Corruption has infected the institutions that were supposed to protect against it.”
In speaking about the Take Back The Tax Campaign for which he is the spokesperson, Abramjee recounted the legal battle which was waged against him personally by a leading cigarette manufacturer in South Africa allegedly involved in the illicit trade. “We will defend ourselves in the courts and provide the necessary evidence to back up what we said”.
Abramjee played a voice recording of one of the many death threats that he has received. He then called on delegates to be resolute in the fight against illicit trade and the criminal organisations that are behind it. Abramjee stated that the Take Back The Tax Campaign had gained 23, 500 signatories to date and has been able to assist the government claw back over R8 billion in tax revenue. Abramjee announced that a new organisation, Tax Justice South Africa, is being set up to demand action is taken against the criminals who are stealing billions from South Africans every year.
Devrol Dupigny, acting CEO of Crime Stoppers International stated that CSI would be partnering with Tax Justice South Africa and will take a leading role in collaborating with governments and law enforcement agencies to implement the tax recovery initiative in various countries in 2020 and beyond.
For more information and interviews please contact: Charne.Jones@csiworld.org