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SARS opens state-of-the-art branch The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has officially opened a new state-of-the-art branch in George, in the Western Cape. Opened on 28 October 2016 by SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane, the George branch is the first SARS branch in the country to offer free Wi-Fi to taxpayers. At the branch taxpayers can eFile or use the eFiling App from their tablet or phone and file their tax returns. Commissioner Moyane said the revenue service is committed to delivering excellent services to taxpayers. “SARS is wholeheartedly committed to expanding our service footprint throughout the country. Our goal is to make it as easy and convenient as possible for taxpayers to interact with us. We are committed to ensuring that our branches are more taxpayer-centric and modern, giving taxpayers a pleasant experience,” he said. The George office is the prototype for future branches. The office sports the newly introduced eDNA taxpayer verification system, which assists in safeguarding taxpayer information and preventing fraud. The eDNA system validates taxpayer identity against information on the Department of Home Affairs databases using both the ID number and biometrics (fingerprints) of the taxpayer. The branch is the first to launch digital signage which displays posters, notices and signs that provide real-time information to taxpayers while they wait. There are also dedicated small business desks aimed at servicing the small business sector. Information packs of small business material as well as specialised services will be offered at the small business desks, providing a one-stop shop for those with small business queries. Small business queries such as business registrations, requests for tax clearance certificates and general business tax issues will be dealt with at these desks. The vision of the revenue service is to have a self-service area where taxpayers can use SARS equipment while being advised by SARS staff. In addition to the opening of the branch, SARS has also deployed 15 mobile tax units to service remote areas of South Africa. Since opening its doors on 27 June 2016, the George branch has assisted 36 356 taxpayers. Approximately 16 000 of these taxpayers visited the branch to file their income tax returns.

Deputy Minister receives conservation award Arts and Culture Deputy Minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi recently received the Lifetime Achievers’ Award for Conservation from the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA). WESSA Director Jim Tailor said in celebration of WESSA’s 90th anniversary of caring for the Earth, they were delighted to present Deputy Minister Mabudafhasi with one of 90 Lifetime Conservation Achievers’ Awards. “As humanity moves into the 21st century, one is left wondering just what we are doing to planet Earth, our only home. Despite this, a few dedicated individuals have dedicated their lives constructively to the conservation of planet Earth,” said Tailor. Accepting the award, Deputy Minister Mabudafhasi dedicated the award to all who worked for the environment. “The environment is about people’s lives. We have to care about air, water and biodiversity to nourish future generations,” Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture Rejoice Mabudafhasi.

Public Sector Manager • December 2016 / January 2017

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PSM December/January Edition 2016/2017