The Minister of Finance, Mr T A Manuel, today announced that twelve 20 ft containers of clothing and footwear will be donated to the victims of the recent tsunami in South East Asia by the South African Government. The donated goods are the proceeds of smuggling seizures undertaken by SARS over the last few months. "South Africa and a number of the affected countries have sound bilateral relations and SARS is a crucial player in the facilitation of trade between these countries. By this donation, we are expressing our oneness with the people affected in their hour of grief," Manuel said. The goods will be distributed through the South African Red Cross Society. South Africa is one of the countries with the highest number tourists still unaccounted for following the disaster. In this regard the South African government, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a special Inter-ministerial Committee, is conducting an extraordinary effort to provide international support as well as technical assistance to the relatives of those who are still missing.
The latest aid efforts should be seen in this context and is an attempt to relieve the humanitarian need of about 1,8 million whose living conditions have adversely been affected by the Tsunami disaster. The death toll the disaster has claimed thus far constitutes one of the gravest and severest natural tragedies in modern history and South Africa is joining the international community to assist countries in need. Minister Manuel said, "South Africans - along with other nations - were saddened by the devastation suffered by the people of South East Asia by the tsunami."
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ISSUED BY THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN REVENUE SERVICE