SARS Concern After 7 Employees Test Positive for COVID-19

At least seven employees of the SA Revenue Service have tested positive for COVID-19, four of them in the Western Cape and one still in ICU, SARS has said in a statement.

Trust in government, not tax rates, determines citizens’ attitude to taxation. Shutterstock

SARS said it learnt ‘‘with concern” that by yesterday two more two additional positive COVID-19 cases had been found. It said that besides 4 in the Western Cape, the Free State, KwaZulu Natal and the North West offices each had one case, while one employee was in intensive care and on oxygen support.

It said the SARS Bellville campus would be temporarily closed to carry out a deep sanitisation, and would reopen on Wednesday, 20 May. Customers have been asked to make appointments by phone and not to just turn up at SARS offices.

SARS Commissioner, Edward Kieswetter, has been in touch with the affected employees to extend his support.

“It is important that during these challenging times, none of our employees feel that they are emotionally and spiritually separated from the larger SARS family, even as they are physically isolated to limit the spread of the virus to others,” he said.

“We will continue to communicate with taxpayers to provide alternative ways of interacting with SARS in instances where we decide, as an abundance of caution, to close our offices. The safety of our employees and the public is paramount, and we want taxpayers to know that we are committed to the public health, occupational and social distancing measures as is required,” said the revenue service.

Should taxpayers need to file a return or make a payment, they may do so from the safety of their home or office via digital channels which include eFiling, the SARS MobiApp, e@syFile or call the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277. –