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The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has been forced to close 18 of its branches due to a strike.

The Public Servants’ Association (PSA) and the National Education, Health, and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) have announced that they will renew their strike again. This was after the two unions suspended their strike action during wage negotiations.

The unions are demanding a 7% increase in wages, while SARS has said that it cannot offer more than its budgeted R70 million for baseline increases.

In a statement, SARS said that it “has communicated that it does not decide on its own funding, but is dependent on an annual allocation made through a process managed by National Treasury. The demand of labour of CPI plus 7% is simply unaffordable until the SARS receives further funding”.

Although the tax authority has expressed its empathy towards the financial position of its employees, it has stressed that a “no work, no pay” policy will apply to those workers that are striking.

So far, five branches in Gauteng have closed including Edenvale, Benoni and Springs. In KwaZulu-Natal, the branches in Richards Bay, Pietermaritzburg and Durban have closed.

The Western Cape has seen four of its branches close including Cape Town and Paarl, while one branch in Mpumalanga, three in the Eastern Cape, one in the Free State and one in the Northern Cape have been forced to close temporarily.

Image credit: EWN

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