Friday June 24, 2011
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Jessica Hannah.
South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says that the Tax Administration Bill should help businesses by improving consistency in administration of tax laws and cutting down on red tape. Gordhan was introducing the bill in the National Assembly.
He says that it should also equally protect the fiscus and compliant taxpayers from the corrosive effects of non-compliance.
The bill takes the generic administrative aspects of several different tax acts administered by the South African Revenue Service, brings them together, rationalises and updates them, he says.
The aim of the bill is to promote certainty, simplicity and coherence in the tax system, to the benefit of both taxpayers and Sars.
Business Against Crime executive for strategy, Advocate Simi Pillay-van Graan, has announced that copper cable theft, which is estimated to cost the South African economy about R5-billion a year, has been declared a high-priority crime.
She says the crime will now receive the focus and attention it needs, as government is beginning to realise the impact that copper theft has on the economy.
The organisation is engaging with the Department of Trade and Industry to incorporate more stringent legislation that will see stricter regulation of import and export processes. This will ensure that the exporting of stolen goods, including copper, is punishable by a jail sentence of up to ten to fifteen years.
Amnesty International’s head, Salil Shetty, says that free elections in Egypt this year could set the country on a new democratic course. However, he says the government must also end emergency law and military trials for civilians.
Egyptian elections were marred for decades by thuggery, censored media coverage and ballot stuffing that allowed former President Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party to keep a firm grip on power.
Egypt's military rulers have said they will scrap the emergency law before September parliamentary elections. A presidential election is due before the end of the year.
Also making headlines:
NATO's chief slaps down a call from Italy for a suspension of hostilities in Libya and tries to reassure wavering members of the Western coalition that Muammar Gaddafi can be beaten.
al Shabaab officials and residents said that unidentified aircraft attacked an insurgent base near the southern Somali port of Kismayu late on Thursday, wounding a number of fighters.
And, Senegal President Abdoulaye Wade has backed down on a proposed change to the election rules, completely withdrawing a bill that sparked violent clashes between riot police and protesters in the capital.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.