With September marking Deaf Awareness Month, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) is set to assist people with hearing impairments at several of its branches around the country.
“To celebrate Deaf Awareness Month, SARS will work together with different organisations and municipalities that support people with hearing impairments in South Africa to assist them with their tax affairs at specific SARS branches around the country,” said the revenue service on Monday.
The initiative involves conducting a once-off tax education workshop and availing a South African Sign Language (SASL) interpreting service on each Friday of the month at the designated SARS branches throughout the country.
The revenue service said the intervention is meant to break the barriers faced by Sign Language users that are challenged by lack of access to basic services across the country.
“The objective is also aligned with SARS’ objective this tax season of migrating taxpayers, including persons with hearing and visual impairments, to the digital platforms.”
The revenue service appealed to the public to spread the word to all people with hearing impairments in their communities.
“SARS remains committed to providing education to improve tax compliance and accessibility to taxpayers with hearing and visual impairments,” it said.
The service will be available at SARS’ Alberton, Rissik Street branch and at Sammy Marks Square Council chambers in the Pretoria CBD in Gauteng.
In KwaZulu-Natal, the service will be available at the Blind & Deaf Society in Meer Street, Durban, and also at the Richards Bay branch, while the Nelspruit and Standerton branches in Mpumalanga will host the workshops.
The service will also be available at Limpopo’s Thohoyandou branch, while the Rustenburg branch will host the North West session of the workshop.
In the Eastern Cape, the Mthatha Stadium Conference Room will host the session, while Port Elizabeth will host the session at the City Hall Reception Room.
The National Institute for the Deaf will host the Worcester leg of the workshop in the Western Cape.