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Tom Moyane sacked over incompetence

Tom Moyane has been fired due to the fact that he sucked at his job according to the Mail and Guardian.

Basically the Nugent commission into SARS found epic mismanagement and outright lunacy ruling the day there.

Not only that, but in the latest medium term budget one of the things raised as a form of stimulus was that government pledged to actually start paying the VAT refunds it owed.

Speaking of VAT, according to News24 in August, the increase in VAT to 15% in Malusi Gigaba’s budget in February was necessary because of SARS’ revenue shortfall.

My Take

For the most part, the response to this has been positive. Moyane was a failure in his job, we don’t really want that.

But I want to highlight a negative response, in order to illustrate how our country ended up in the mess its in:

Take out the racism, and you’ve got is arguments that just don’t make sense.

I engaged with Haider and pointed out that if Moyane was going after big business revenue should have matched or in fact beaten projections. He responded that Pravin Gordhan simply had an expanding debtor’s book, and Moyane had to declare those debts bad.

If you declare somebody’s debt to be bad, you’re not going after them. That is what a bad debt is – its a debt you aren’t bothering chasing.

So which would it be? Not only that but I can’t see any indication of this debt collection problem from reports going back to Gordhan’s tenure.

For example:

Corporate Income Tax: A 30% growth in corporate tax registrations helped boost corporate income tax collections to R141,636 billion, exceeding the original printed estimate by R2 billion, and accounting for 24.72% of total revenue.

Continued economic growth, especially in the first three quarters of the year, and an increase of 18% gross operating surplus (compared to 15% in 2006/07) provided further profitability especially in financial services, manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, transport, storage and communications, and the minerals and petroleum sector.

That is Pravin Gordhan in 2007. For most years since 1994 taxes went down on an annual basis, in part because tax compliance was fairly good. This included during Thabo Mbeki’s reign.

This also serves as evidence against the claim that taxes are bad for growth – because a weak tax office is pretty much the same as having lower taxes, yet Mbeki’s economy achieved pretty good growth despite having a much stronger tax office than we have now.

But anyway the fact that revenues were going pretty well is how those tax cuts under Mbeki were paid for.

In fact if you look at the rogue unit allegations, those were centered around Gordhan going too far to enforce compliance, this “rogue unit” was supposedly breaking the law in order to boost SARS revenues.

The evidence doesn’t match the allegations, and the allegations don’t match each other.

Which is why the argument is racialised in the first place. We’ve seen these “It is a plot” arguments before, it is how Jacob Zuma became president after Mbeki sacked him over corruption allegations.

And the net result was a presidency so corrupt that positions on his cabinet were being sold by the Gupta family.

Corruption is not something that particularly defeats monopoly capital, and nor does incompetence. The fight against both is in a very big way the fight against monopoly capital because it is harder to evade your taxes if the taxman knows what they’re doing, and a corrupt politician serves the highest bidder – and the whole point to being a monopoly is that gives an edge in having the money to be that highest bidder.

Part of dealing with income inequality, which is a major crisis in our country, is getting our tax system working. If compliance isn’t well maintained, and that was one of the key issues that came up in the Nugent inquiry into Moyane’s tenure, the rich get richer at the expense of programs that benefit the poor.

Racism attempts to divide us into black and white, so that if you’re white you have to defend the white crook, and if you’re black you have to defend the black one, even if you’re the one getting robbed.

I mean look at cops in America, kill a black kid and they get Fox News saying the kid was no angel, and people defending that cop – and that’s why racism exists.

It is all in order to build a mob to defend the indefensible.

That is why people promote racism, because they’re planning some nonsense and want a ready crowd to defend them when they do it.

And that is how we got into this mess. We are all individuals, the actions which reflect upon us should be our own, and we should not have to defend people out of identity concerns. We are best served not as treating each other as representatives of some group, but as people.

If we can do that, we can move forward, we can slowly develop stronger institutions and help each other achieve a better country.

But is that what we’re going to do? I don’t know. The evidence isn’t looking good.

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