21 October 2010 Strong rand dilemma Source: BuaNews She said there was no doubt that the rand was overvalued relative to its fundamentals. South Africa’s biggest internal challenge is unemployment, which currently stands in excess of 25%, and there is no doubt that addressing this must be a national policy priority, says Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus. “However, if we are looking at job creation as a priority to address unemployment, then current labour legislation, which extends wage determination to all firms in a particular sector, needs to be examined regarding its effects on small and medium enterprises, which should be a focus of growth and employment creation,” Marcus said. Marcus warned that excessive focus on the exchange rate could result in the neglect of other factors, which would constrain growth even with a properly valued exchange rate. She said that the response to the financial crisis, when about a million jobs were lost, showed that South Africa has a fair amount of labour market flexibility. “While we clearly recognise the problem, the solution is not clear cut. The costs of intervention are not insignificant and involve serious policy choices,” Marcus said. “Nevertheless the bank is engaging with the National Treasury, and we are examining the effectiveness and appropriateness of what other countries are doing.” She added, however, that unemployment in the country was of a structural nature, and was not something that could be solved simply by cutting interest rates or intervening in the exchange rate. Marcus said the central bank was aware of the disadvantages of a stronger currency and that it was ready to do what it could to alleviate this situation, adding, however, that “we need to recognise the limits to what can be done”. “The various forms of direct intervention on their own will not suffice, as international experience has suggested. Consideration should be given to combining intervention policies with direct special targeted support measures for those sectors of industry that are hardest hit by the exchange rate developments,” Marcus said. Labour market flexibility “It’s incorrect to look at the interest rate or the exchange rate as the silver bullet that will solve the country’s growth problems,” she said in Pretoria on Tuesday. Structural reforms were required in skills development and education, while skilled artisans were also needed.
7 April 2014The ombud’s office is an additional and free avenue to deal with complaints by taxpayers that cannot be resolved through the South African Revenue Service’s (Sars) internal mechanism, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Monday.Speaking at the launch in Pretoria, Gordhan said the ombud’s office “added to the sound institutional framework” that has sustained South Africa’s social and economic progress during the past 20 years.Gordhan said the government owed a debt of gratitude to the millions of taxpayers who provided the state with the means to fund its programmes, which in a “virtuous cycle” would stimulate growth, job creation and generate higher future revenue.“We owe them our deep gratitude and a commitment to spend this money wisely, honestly and efficiently, but also we owe to these taxpayers a tax system that treats them fairly.”‘Simple remedy’He said the ombud’s office was intended to be a simple remedy for taxpayers who have legitimate complaints that relate to administrative matters, poor service or the failure by Sars to observe taxpayers’ rights.As announced in October last year, retired Judge Bernard Ngoepe will head up the new office, which will review a complaint, and if required, resolve it through mediation or conciliation with Sars officials specifically appointed to deal with the ombud.Ngoepe may only review a complaint after a taxpayer has exhausted Sars’ internal complaints resolution mechanisms. Direct access to the ombud will only be allowed if there are compelling circumstances for doing so.His office may not review legislation or tax policy. It will also not review Sars policy or practice generally prevailing, other than to the extent that it relates to a service matter or a procedural or administrative matter arising from the application of the provisions of a tax Act by Sars.ChallengeThe office will also not review a matter subject to objection and appeal under a tax act, except for an administrative matter relating to such objection and appeal or a decision of, proceeding in, or matter before the tax court.“Our challenge is not just about affording the taxpayer a fair hearing or the provision of service,” Ngoepe said. “It is more about providing information that is easily accessible and understandable.“The office will treat the taxpayer public with utmost dignity and respect, provide an open, accountable and timely service and it will also render well-reasoned decisions in respect of actions taken by it.”According to Ngoepe, the office will be operating independently of Sars and will also treat with strict confidence the communication between it and the taxpayer.“Given all these as well as other considerations, the office of the tax ombud expects to contribute towards boosting the taxpayers’ confidence in tax administration, resulting, hopefully in even better tax compliance,” he said.Acting Sars Commissioner Iva Pillay said: “The ombud will keep us on our toes. That’s good for tax compliance and that’s good for Sars and South Africa.“The credibility of Sars and the success of the ombud’s office will depend on how Sars handles complaints. This is not only a matter of how we handle an individual complaint.”The tax ombud reports directly to the Minister of Finance and its annual report must be tabled in Parliament by the minister.Source: SAnews.gov.za
Michael Hussey and Suresh Raina put on 137 runs for the second wicket as Chennai beat Rajasthan by 8 wickets at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk, Chennai, on Wednesday. Score | PhotosBatting second Chennai crossed a good 148-run target with eight balls and an equal number of wickets remaining.The onus for the win was jointly shared by Michael Hussey (79 not out) and Suresh Raina (61), who nullified Rajasthan opener Rahul Dravid’s impressive 66.Chennai lost their opener Murali Vijay early. On the fifth ball of the second Johan Botha trapped opener Murali Vijay on five to reduce Chennai to 8/1.Post Vijay’s fall, Michael Hussey and Suresh Raina batted steadily. Gradually the two upped the scoring rate and started dealing in boundaries. After 10 overs, Chennai were well on course with 73/1 on board.In the 13th over both batsmen scored their half-centuries and by the end of the over the team total was 109/1.Soon the two were seen pounding opposition bowlers even as Rajasthan skipper Shane Warne was struggling for an answer to their batting blitzkrieg.Suresh Raina fell on the third ball of the 19th over when Chennai were just three runs away for a victory. He mistimed a pull shot of Siddharth Trivedi and ended up getting caught by Johan Botha on 61. His 51-ball innings was decorated with three fours and one six.However, Hussey finished the job for Chennai hitting a four on the next ball to help Chennai win by 8 wickets and maintain their 100 per cent victory record at home in IPL season 4.advertisementHussey’s 79 came off 55 balls and included eight four and one six.Rajasthan inningsRajasthan opener Rahul Dravid scored 66 as Chennai restricted Rajasthan to 147/6 in 20 overs during their IPL match.Earlier, Rajasthan captain Shane Warne won the toss and elected to bat in the 43rd IPL match of the IPL season 4.Rajasthan openers Rahul Dravid and Shane Watson got on with a good partnership for the first wicket putting on 86 runs on board and that too with ease. The two carried on till the 10 overs frustrating the opposition bowlers.It wasn’t until the 11th over that Chennai bowlers managed to break the Dravid-Watson stand.On the first ball of the 11th over Shadab Jakati got the better of Aussie Shane Watson with a caught and bowled decision on 32.Later, in the 13th over new man in the middle, Ashok Menaria fell off R Ashwin when the team total was 92. Then Rajasthan’s South African recruit Johan Botha, who has been having a good run this season, became Jakati’s second victim. An edge off his ball got carried away towards Suresh Raina in the covers when he took an easy catch to dismiss Botha on 8. Rajasthan were 109/3 post his fall.Unfortunately for Rajasthan, Rahul Dravid, who was batting with determination could not score a ton and fell in the 16th over off Sri Lankan Suraj Randiv.The Rajasthan opener made room for a pull and went for it but Murali Vijay at deep mid-wicket ensured that his shot did not travel any further and caught him nice and easy on 66. His 51-ball innings was punctuated with 10 fours. Surprisingly the pull he got out on, proved to be the only big aerial shot in his innings. Rajasthan were 117/4 post his fall.Post Dravid’s fall, Rajasthan lost the plot a little and Chennai bowlers started striking with renewed vigour. In the 19th over Albie Morkel got rid of Ajinkya Rahane and Ross Taylor in a row to reduce Rajasthan to 139/6.Dishant Yagnik and Stuart Binny remained unbeaten as Rajasthan scored 147/6.