On Thursday 19 October 2023, the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences (EMS) at the University of the Western Cape’s (UWC) will host a stakeholder engagement presentation by the Office of the Tax Ombud ( OTO) for staff, students and industry partners. The event is scheduled for 11am in the Senate Building.

Dean of EMS Professor Michelle Esau expressed the honor of forging a partnership with the OTO in something as fundamental as safeguarding the rights and entitlements of taxpayers. “The Faculty recognizes the contribution of meaningful partnerships and engagement with relevant external stakeholders. Not only in how we prepare our students for the world of work and/or to contribute to society through establishing relevant businesses and the like, but also as it relates to the impact of what we do on local communities and the broader South African society.”

According to Prof Esau, the partnership with the OTO will enhance the Faculty’s strategic focus on collaborations, partnerships and engagement. “It is my opinion that a partnership with the OTO not only serves to elevate the UWC as an engaged university. But it also raises awareness in the minds of our students as they pursue their qualifications, that compliance with regulations, upholding citizens’ rights and entitlements, and treating people with the dignity that is rightfully theirs, are substantive requirements in any democracy worth its salt. I am very excited about the future prospects resonating in this mutually beneficial partnership and I look forward to the upcoming stakeholder engagement.”

Tax Ombud Ms Yanga Mputa revealed that the collaboration with UWC coincides with the OTO’s tenth-anniversary celebration, and is part of the  ongoing awareness campaign, “Making Taxpayers’ Rights Matter, ” which is reiterating the OTO’s commitment to championing taxpayer rights awareness and protection.

“Our record in the past decade speaks volumes about the impact we have made in saving taxpayers hundreds of millions of rands – and in some cases even their homes and businesses – while helping SARS to improve its service offering. I’m looking forward to having a constructive engagement with our stakeholders in the Western Cape province and finding out what kind of tax issues they have with SARS and how they can be resolved. I’m grateful for the opportunity provided by UWC, and we plan to cultivate a long and mutually beneficial partnership with the institution,” says Mputa.

“We will continue to be a beacon of hope for taxpayers. We will work diligently to fulfill our mandate of assisting taxpayers in resolving their complaints against SARS, thereby improving the South African tax administration system,” Mputa adds.