Seven South African Revenue Service (SARS) employees have tested positive for COVID-19.
‘‘The South African Revenue Service has learnt with concern, that as of yesterday, 18 May 2020, two additional positive COVID-19 instances among staff have been reported. This brings the total number of infections to 7 since the beginning of the pandemic,” said the revenue service on Tuesday.
The Free State, KwaZulu Natal and the North West offices had each recorded a single case while the Western Cape office recorded four positive cases.
A colleague, who had earlier recovered, was also based in the Free State.
“A second employee is still in intensive care and remains on oxygen support. We continue to wish them all the best for a speedy recovery,” said the revenue service.
SARS Commissioner, Edward Kieswetter, has been in touch with the affected employees to extend his support.
“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 said.
In the Western Cape’s Bellville, individuals who were in close contact with two COVID-19 positive colleagues have been traced.
The two have been advised to seek medical advice, before returning for duty.
In addition, the SARS Bellville campus will be temporarily closed to effect deep sanitisation 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,” said the revenue service.
The revenue service appealed to customers not to visit SARS offices when necessary, and by making an appointment online or by telephone.
Should taxpayers need to file a return or make a payment, they may do so from the safety of their home or office via digital channels which include eFiling, the SARS MobiApp, e@syFile or call the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277