"I learned that courage was not the absence of
fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel
afraid, but he who conquers that fear."
- Nelson Mandela,
Paul Harris’ "letter to a friend” recently
was on the button. His letter to his friend in Australia disparaging the notion
that all is doom and gloom in South Africa should be required reading for
Yes we have challenges particularly poverty but
this is changing.
Every day millions of South Africans go to work
and hundreds of new businesses are registered. Every day hundreds of thousands
of cars travel our roads. According to the recent census data 9 out of 10
households have access to water, 73% use electricity as a main source of
cooking and 88.9% of households use mobile phones. 96.1% of children between
five and seven go to school. The percentage4 of the population aged 20 and over
with higher education has increased to 12.3%.
On the international scene South Africa achieved
the number one global ranking for auditing and reporting standards – three
years in a row. The World Economic Forum’s 2012/13 Global Competitiveness
Report also ranked us very high with regards the efficacy of corporate boards,
the regulation of the securities exchange and for our legal rights index.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is the African Union
commissioner, Kosie Louw has been appointed as the chair of the Global Forum on
Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes. South Africa is
serving a second term as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.
South Africa is a member of BRICS, the grouping of most influential developing
nations consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. South
Africa will host the 5th BRICS summit in 2013.
Individual South Africans achieve amazing things
- we win gold medals, rank number one in test cricket, get senior appointments
in multinationals, invent new technologies and reach consensus across racial
and political divides. The site www.sagoodnews.co.za
has some amazing stories about ordinary South Africans doing extraordinary
things. There is a good news trend developing in South Africa and as tax
practitioners we should not be left behind. Paul Harris’ approach should also
be our approach. If a client comments on how bad things are let’s respond with
how good things are – or can be.
If a client wants to start a business – let’s
encourage him to do so. Let’s have the courage to believe in, and contribute to
the good news story.
Section 240A of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (as amended) requires that all tax practitioners register with a recognized controlling body before 1 July 2013. It is a criminal offense to not register with both a recognized controlling body and SARS.