Home Opinion and Features Like Zille, many are ‘gatvol’ of corruption

Like Zille, many are ‘gatvol’ of corruption


Millions of gatvol South Africans feel the way she does about our taxes being squandered by corruption and cronyism.

Helen Zille. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency.

I THINK Helen Zille knows that her suggestion about withholding our taxes until we see our corrupt political leaders jailed is not a practical one.

For starters, I think less than half the country’s people actually pay taxes, and those who earn regular salaries have their tax deducted in PAYE before they receive their pay-cheques.

We pay tax automatically on everything we buy, and extra taxes on booze and petrol. Those would be difficult to withhold. You can’t tell the petrol attendant to deduct the tax after he’s filled your petrol tank.

However, I believe millions of gatvol South Africans feel the way she does about our taxes being squandered by corruption and cronyism.

Why should we pay taxes when we see politicians living in obscene luxury while our schools, clinics, police system and transport networks are allowed to fall apart?

Don’t come with that tired old argument that it would be the “poorest of the poor” who would suffer the most if we withheld our taxes. The poorest of the poor are already suffering the most, and it’s largely because of greedy politicians swiping our tax money.

If our tax money were spent where it was most effective, we’d have training colleges producing well-educated teachers and nurses. We’d see security staff being employed to keep our trains safe, and artisans being recruited to repair the rail system and maintain our trains.

Maybe we would see qualified and competent people running Eskom and South African Airways if our tax money were not squandered on keeping incompetent fools in positions far beyond their capabilities.

There would be thousands of jobs created by simply keeping the country running smoothly and efficiently.

The man digging weeds from the gutter is worth far more to the country than the fat-cat Regional Director of Obscurities who is paid half a million rand of our tax money to sit behind a large desk looking important and not having the faintest clue what he’s supposed to be doing.

About the only justification one can find for putting incompetent officials in highly paid positions is that they might require an efficient tea lady to bring in regular trays of tea and cake. At least the tea lady knows what she’s doing and her wages feed her family.

Like Helen Zille, I feel highly frustrated to see the weed diggers and tea ladies of the country struggling to make an honest living while most of our tax money is used to bribe the wrong people to do a dishonest day’s work.

Last Laugh

The school’s first rugby team had a wonderful season as usual, beating every other school in the province.

At the end of the season the coach was interviewed on television.

“Tell me, Mr Jones,” the interviewer said, “how do you manage to select such good players every year?”

“I take them into Newlands forest at the start of the season and fire a gun,” he said. “They all start running and those who bump into the trees go into the scrum and those who dodge round the trees go into the backline.”