South African Revenue Service commissioner, Edward Kieswetter, has confirmed seven positive Covid-19 cases among their staff members, which are located in four provinces at the tax authority.
Kieswetter on Tuesday said management had “implemented necessary de-contamination measures” at the locations where the staff had tested positive. The agency’s Bellville Campus in Cape Town will temporarily close to be sanisited and re-open on Wednesday.
“It is important that during these challenging times, none of our employees feel that they are emotionally and spiritually separated from the larger SARS family, even as they are physically isolated to limit the spread of the virus to others,” said Kieswetter.
The South African Revenue Services has confirmed in a media statement that some of their staff members has tested positive for Covid-19.
SARS Commissioner, Edward Kieswetter has personally been in touch with the affected employees to connect with them, enquire how they were and to extend his support. The Commissioner says: “It is important that during these challenging times, none of our employees feel that they are emotionally and spiritually separated from the larger SARS family, even as they are physically isolated to limit the spread of the virus to others”. He has further thanked the respective SARS leadership at the respective offices for their swift and appropriate action, as well as the SARS Wellness Team who continues to provide a sterling support service to the individuals and their families.
“Covid-19 is real, and its impact will inevitably infect many of us directly, but certainly affect all of us in one way or another.”
The management of the locations where our colleagues are stationed have implemented the necessary de-contamination measures where positive cases have been identified.
At one of the locations, namely Bellville, individuals who were in close contact with two COVID-19 positive colleagues have been traced and have been advised to seek medical advice, before returning for duty. Should they test positive, they will self-isolate or go into quarantine.
In addition, the SARS Bellville Campus will be temporarily closed to effect deep sanitization, and will re-open on Wednesday, 20 May 2020. We will continue to communicate with taxpayers to provide alternative ways of interacting with SARS in instances where we decide, as an abundance of caution, to close our offices. The safety of our employees and the public is paramount, and we want taxpayers to know that we are committed to the public health, occupational and social distancing measures as is required.
The work of SARS remain invaluable as Government needs all the resources to able to deal with the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to ensuring tax collection, tax refund payments, and trade facilitation, SARS continue to administer the range of tax relief measures announced by Government to bring much needed relief to businesses in distress, to enable them to save jobs, and continue to operate in these challenging times.
“We are clear that the higher purpose of our work enables Government to employ frontline workers such as Community Health Workers, Nurses and Doctors, who put their lives in danger in order to combat the scourge of COVID-19. It also enables the purchase of additional equipment and supplies for testing, contact tracing, personal protection and medicines. Equally important, is Government’s support for poor households through social relief measures including financial support and food supplies to the most vulnerable”, Kieswetter emphasizes. “We therefore place enormous value on the work carried out by our employees during these challenging and unprecedented times. We are all learning to co-exist with the novel corona virus, and to establish a completely new sense of normality. I wish to extend my deepest appreciation to the thousands of SARS employees, who in doing their work, themselves face the virus head on”.
SARS wishes to assure the public as well as all its 12 500 employees that it will take every pre-caution to ensure our offices remain fully compliant with every measure required to lower the risk of infection. Where unfortunate instances of positive cases are detected, we will respond immediately to ensure affected employees follow the appropriate action, follow through with disciplined contact tracing to identify other individuals who may be at risk, and return our places of work to the necessary public health standards, as required.
We apologize where taxpayers may have been inconvenienced, and will work hard to restore our normal rhythm to be at your service.
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