20 February 2018

South Africa to Tackle Tax Avoidance - Ramaphosa

South Africa will continue to play a leading role in international efforts to stem the tide of various forms of tax avoidance, President Cyril Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa reiterated his commitment to fighting corruption when he replied to the debate on his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Tuesday.

Corruption and state capture were hot topics on Monday when speakers from the opposition and governing party debated Ramaphosa's inaugural SONA.

Ramaphosa said these matters were raised "quite correctly" during the debate.

"It is time that we implement our resolutions on the conduct of lifestyle audits of all people who occupy positions of responsibility, starting with members of the executive," he said to applause from both sides of the House.

"Institutions like SARS (South African Revenue Service), the Reserve Bank, the Financial Intelligence Centre and our law enforcement agencies work together to detect and prosecute tax evasion.

"South Africa will continue to play a leading role in international efforts - through structures like the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) and G20 - to tackle the various forms of tax avoidance," said Ramaphosa.

Gupta money laundering claims

This was in response to EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu, who called on Ramaphosa to deal decisively with tax avoidance and pass legislation to deal with base erosion, illicit financial flows and transfer pricing during the debate.

It is a longstanding bugbear of Shivambu's, who has often raised the matter since he became an MP in 2014.

Since then massive data leaks such as the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers have shed more light on and attracted public attention to how the super-wealthy and large corporations stow away their money.

It is also alleged that the Guptas laundered the money for the Estina farm project through one of these offshore networks to pay for their lavish 2013 wedding.

Source: News24

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