Amos vs Nkandla

27 Nov

Amos

This morning my tax guy sent me the SARS assessment of my return. As far as they’re concerned, I owe three times what he told me I would. Sorry friends and family, but this year my budget for Christmas went to Nkandla. I hope you understand.

There’s nothing like the revelation that you have a big expense you hadn’t made allowances for to make you reassess a commitment like this, which involves giving a sizable chunk of your monthly income to beggars. But I said I’d do it, so I will. And this morning when I passed Amos, who begs at 12th Avenue and Rivonia Road, I waved to catch his attention and handed him a R100 note. He seemed quite bewildered as he took it from me.

I haven’t had a chance to talk to him, so I don’t know where he lives. I don’t know what he will do with that money, whether he’ll buy alcohol or food or use it to help the children he refers to on his board. But at least I got to give something directly to someone who needs it right now.

This is a complex issue – too complex to think through properly right now, when I’m working on a strategy and wading through mail. But the juxtaposition of Amos and his immediate need and the dubious uses to which our tax money is put is an issue I do at least want to raise.

What do you think about it?

 

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