The mission statement of SARS reads "to facilitate trade and to enlist new tax contributors"...
Well, they are not facilitating my business, they are actually harming my business. We have jumped through hoops since July, but still no VAT number.
Not having a VAT number means that you can not trade effectively as people see you as Mickey Mouse or a fly-by-night. All the registrations you have to do for a new business requires a VAT number.
As a manufacturer with a potentially high turnover, our VAT registration is not voluntary, but compulsory. So why the hold up? They are drowning us in red tape "because of all the tax fraud". Well, don't make your problem my problem. Choose a better government that will stamp out corruption and train an effective police force to catch the criminals.
As an example: As proof of address, we provide SARS with a letter from the landlord, an invoice and statement showing a few months history of paying rent and bank statements showing the rent paid. No, this is not good enough, they want a signed copy of ALL the pages of the lease agreement. That's the rule and that is what they want. Stuff you, stuff the environment, stuff the trees required to print almost 30 pages.