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Henry Terrier
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A practical approach to the post-democratic era

04 December 2013, 11:07

In my opinion we've become a post democratic society in South Africa after 1994. The majority of voters use their vote to express their loyalty to the ANC and then want to express their political will.

These other means often infringe on other people's right. One of many examples is the recent Bekkersdal protest where children were prevented from going to school and writing exams. The protesters go as far as saying they will not vote in the next election, but they still refuse to vote for another party.

A report even stated that there is a protest every second day in South Africa.

The ANC uses this kind of blind loyalty to do whatever they wish without any concern for the people they are supposed to serve, and the tax payers have to foot the bill.

A practical approach might be to have a separate body like a senate, voted for and controlled by the tax payers. This senate will be responsible for financial controls. To name a few functions, it will have to approve cabinet and government salaries and benefits, increases in tax percentages and the introduction of additional taxes like tolls etc. The Public Protector, Auditor General etc. should also report to this senate.

How will we be able to convince the ANC to accept this type of control?

We could wait for democracy to run its course and other political parties to gain more support. The e-tolls in Gauteng may just be the tipping point to accelerate the growth of the other political parties.

More importantly, the e-toll saga has shown us that the ANC post-democratic regime does pay attention when their envisaged income is threatened. They've twice discounted the
rates and payment limits. They have posted on social media to try and convince people to accept e-tolling. And finally they've gone the brute force way and implemented the system with threats of criminal charges for those opposing it.

(Resistance to e-tolling may still lead to the collapse of the system. All those opposing e-tolls should however be aware that it might be very expensive to oppose, and they should be prepared for the expenses.)

No tax paid for a month.

Similar to the resistance to e-tollong, the absence of tax paid in a month, will get their attention.

It could be difficult to implement:

First of all, as salary earners we don't have control over the deduction of tax from our salaries.

A second option might be for society to declare a dispute with government. Companies should then pay employee tax deductions into a trust account instead. However this would
still be illegal and it's highly unlikely that this would get sufficient support. It might also put CEOs, Financial Managers etc. at risk of going to jail. I can't see that happening.

There is a legal way of not paying tax: if you don't get paid, you can't pay tax.

The first possibility that comes to mind is for all tax payers together to strike for a month. No work, no pay, no tax. This is very extreme and would most definitely hurt the economy as well. Strike action should always be the last resort.

We could however all arrange for deferred payment of our salaries. For example, although we work during March, our salaries are not paid in March, but deferred till later. This way there is no tax to be paid for March.

This will take a lot of preparation. Most of all financial preparation. If you're getting a bonus in December, the best gift you can give your family and yourself, is to save as much as possible. Everybody should have enough in savings to replace three months of income.

Let's prepare and take the fight to the ANC post-democratic regime.

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