The commissioner of the SA Revenue Service, Edward Kieswetter, has warned that the combined impact of SA's struggling economy and the lockdown could mean a loss of up to R285 billion in tax revenues this year.
"Whilst it is early days, our revenue losses could be peaking at between 15% and 20% lower [than projections]. That translates to a revenue loss of up to R285 billion," Kieswetter told a joint meeting of two Parliamentary committees on Tuesday.
"That is a function of the sluggish economy, but also the impact of lockdown," he said.
A loss of R285 billion in revenues would be larger than the R229.7 billion budget allocated for SA's health sector for 2020.
The commissioner would not be drawn into the politics or the rationale behind the lockdown, but said many of the jobs lost and businesses closed during lockdown would not be regained once the pandemic recedes.
"It takes 100 businesses ... to create one successful business. So for every one we lose, we will have to have a hundred if not more entrepreneurs to take the risk [to start a new business]."
He said the SARS also had "clear evidence" that the illicit economy was thriving.