The South African Revenue Service (Sars) says staff salary increases will be paid out from last year’s savings.
Projected savings from the current year (2022/23) has also been approved for people costs.
The National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) and Public Servants Association of South Africa (PSA) had declared a dispute after Sars told the unions that wage demands for a 12% increase “was simply not affordable”.
The unions, who are chasing above-inflation salary targets, argued that Sars’ collection expectations were exceeded by 25% during the 2020/2021 financial year.
“Like all government institutions, Sars is affected by the financial challenges facing the country, and as a result, in Sars’ funding allocation from National Treasury, no provision was made for salary increases,” said Commissioner Edward Kieswetter
But “through its own diligence in managing costs, and other initiatives”, Kiewetter said the revenue collector is in a position to make some funds available for bargaining unit employees.
“I am pleased that under difficult conditions we are able to provide some financial relief to our employees. I also remind our employees that we are inordinately privileged to have employment security at a time when so many are unemployed and financially destitute,” emphasised the Commissioner.
The unions have been informed of Sars’ proposal and discussions are underway on how to allocate the funds and resolve the dispute.
Sars formally extended the offer to the unions on Sunday, 22 May 2022.
The unions are expected to speak to their members, after which the parties will meet again to continue engagements.
“Sars has further committed to continue discussions on a number of non-monetary items shared between the parties, to review and improve the overall employee value proposition,” added Kieswetter.
This process had already begun around the middle of last year.
Sars said it is pleased that engagement between the parties on the wage dispute had been revived, and remains constructive and positive.
“We remain confident that with this offer, we can resolve the current dispute and move forward to focus on serving taxpayers and executing the important mandate we serve,” concluded Kieswetter.