SARS's IKM strategy : an external perception through the eyes of the media
Groepe, Westonio Sarien
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South Africa held its first democratic election in 1994. At the moment, government has to address many injustices of the past. For this they need funds. The years before 1994 saw South Africa isolated from the rest of the world as a result of its human rights track record. As a result of this isolation, the government has not only inherited injustices that need to be addressed, but it also inherited debt, which needs to be repaid with interest. Therefore, the South African Revenue Service is tasked with the responsibility to ensure an inflow into government coffers. The South African Revenue Service has been constituted as an autonomous body in 1997. Although the task of revenue collection seems mundane, its enormity cannot be over-emphasised. The revenue it collects is needed to address issues of inequality such as: • equality of education; • restoration of basic living conditions, such as shelter and health care; and • upgrading and retaining skills in order to compete globally. The general perception is that the South African Revenue Service has achieved much through transformation projects in a very short period. Furthermore, the President is embarking on a mission to unite the African continent through various initiatives. Currently, perception gained from the media is that Africa is corrupt and lacks the economic will to change. The current study was undertaken to establish whether the model used by the South African Revenue Service, as perceived by the media, is well received. A positive media perception could pave the way for other government organisations as well as South Africa’s neighbours to enter into an information and knowledge sharing partnership with the South African Revenue Service to the benefit, not only of the country, but also of the continent as a whole. The conclusion drawn is that the South African Revenue Service is indeed an example to be proud of. They seem to have formed partnerships with business, professional bodies and foreign agents as well as with the ordinary man in the street to engage successfully in discussions, which will ultimately lead to the mutual benefit of all its stakeholders, internal and external. Finally, from a media perspective, the organisation is perceived to have done South Africans proud; however, it is also clear from media reports that room for improvement exists.