Members of opposition political parties represented in the National Assembly have reacted with anger at the sudden imposition of taxes on Kapana businesses, salons and so on with some describing it as pathetic.
Nudo deputy secretary general Vetaruhe Kandorozu said that the tax impositions have come at a time when the SME Bank from which majority of small informal businesses had looked up to for loans has been dissolved with those that borrowed from it and never paid back the money still walking scot-free.
“They were unable to return SME Bank money where these people were supposed to benefit from, they let those that took the money go and then now they want to replace that money by taxing those people that are supposed to be the beneficiaries of the SME Bank which is not fair.”
“We have politicians that owe SME Bank that bought Land Cruisers 4X4 that have not paid back the money and those are the people that we are supposed to trace. Not our poor people that are trying to (make) ends meet at the end of the day without any assistance fron government,” he said.
He said by the virtue of the informal sector not being registered, it then cannot be legally liable to taxes, “That’s why we call them the informal sector,” he added.
“If government has run out of money, if they have abused their own coffers they know exactly who don’t pay tax. They know exactly where they spend most of their money from the appropriation bill. So they must follow those people who implemented the capital budget, the contractors who benefit from the development budget, those people don’t pay tax,” he said.
He said most of the government money is being spent in the north where payment of taxes is non-existent and should be where they should start with collections.
Kandorozu pointed that the new development made no sense given that the economy is in turmoil while people in informal businesses are the same government wants to take from poverty.
United People’s Movement’s parliamentarian, Jan van Wyk said he was convinced that the decision to pounce on the informal sector was symptomatic of a broke government.
“It just doesn’t make sense, I think it’s a very bad decision, very bad situation. If we talk about informal settlements, we know that these people are struggling to put something on the table. In order for them to pay tax they need to implement certain measures for example, now you need to appoint an accountant to keep your books, so the cost involved is so high,” he said.
He said money was being put to failing projects and described the taxing as “evil” as it subsidises “irresponsible investors.”
Swapo party secretary general Sophia Shaaningwa has in the meantime reserved her comment on the matter saying she has not heard about these developments in cabinet yet.
“I really don’t know where that pronouncement was made to enable me to accurately respond. At which platform it was discussed at the decision hereof taken, I can not remember, therefore it is very difficult to respond,” she told The Villager.
Meanwhile, the Landless People’s Movement has pronounced itself on the matter saying, “Our people who are in these sectors are now being visited by the vultures of the regime”.
“They need to accumulate additional resources from that category of business to fund corruption and theft as resources in the mainstream economy have run dry,” said Bernadus Swartbooi.
He equated the taxing to that done by Zaire’s infamous dictator, Mobutu Sese Seko who taxed everything to aid a failing economy and further said this was a “crisis of governance at its height.”