No tax – no vote, says ANC ex-pats
28 June 2012
Posted by: SAIT Technical
By Peter Farbricius (Business Report)
The ANC's London Branch has turned the Boston Tea Party on its head by proposing that SA law should be changed to ensure that South Africans living abroad get "no representation without taxation”.
Interim branch chairman Xolani Xala reportedly said at last week's Youth Day commemoration event in Brixton, London, that his branch would table the proposed change at this week's ANC national policy conference in Midrand.
The branch wants to prevent South Africans voting from abroad unless they pay tax to Sars, even if they are not earning an income in SA.
The branch's move has been reported by The South African, a newspaper published in London for SA expatriates.
In 1773 Americans in what was then still a British colony dumped three shiploads of imported tea into Boston harbour to protest against the tax levied on the tea by the British parliament in which they were not represented.They coined the battle cry "No taxation without representation”.
Now ANC expatriates in London are attempting the reverse under the slogan "No Tax, No Vote!”
The South African reported Xala as saying that South Africans living abroad and not paying tax were cheating the country and undermining development.
"As a consequence, our grandparents are not receiving decent state pensions while their contributions are being hijacked by voters who are not paying tax even though they are gainfully employed.
"This is not what the 1976 youth fought and died for. While South Africa celebrates political victory today, economic control and hence indirect political power continues to lie with overseas companies… This weakens the government and stifles economic growth and service delivery to the majority of people who have been disadvantaged for so long.”
In 2009 the Constitutional Court ruled that all South Africans who live and work outside the country could vote in general elections if registered with SA's chief electoral officer.
Recently Sars announced that it would clamp down on SA residents working abroad, but this applied only to those who earned income in SA.
DA Abroad Global chairperson Ludre Stevens told The South African his organisation was "very surprised” about the ANC's "No Tax, No Vote” campaign as it "violates every South African citizen's constitutional right to vote”.
"Every adult South African citizen has the right to vote – we will fight to protect this right,” said Stevens.