Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Shocking Statistic

I just read a news article stating that 4 million South Africans submitted tax returns this year, which is a 1% increase over last year. This may not seem like big news to you, but it stopped me in my tracks.

There are 45 million people in South Africa. If only 4 million submitted tax returns (and this is an increase, remember) that means that 9% of the population is funding 100% of the government. Chew on that for awhile.

It is true that unemployment is high here - latest statistics show it at 25.3% for the 3rd quarter of 2010 - but that means that 74.7% of residents are employed. So why are only 9% paying taxes?

I'd actually like to research this one. There is probably much I don't understand, but still - the fact that 9% of the populations pays for the other 91% is mind-boggling.

(statistics courtesy of and

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