SARS wishes to respond to the allegations in the media of an information leakage of the Trade statistics to selected players as well as claims that the trade figures were released at 15h15 on 25 February 1999.
The South African Revenue Service (SARS) wishes to confirm that the Trade statistics were under embargo up to its release at 14h03 on 25 February 1999 and no information in this regard was made available to any selected players before this time.
As mentioned in Media release no 2 of 1999, issued on 21 January 1999, the Commissioner for SARS will publish Trade Statistics monthly on SARS Online at www.sars.gov.za and this will be released within the last week of each month. Furthermore, a banner on the SARS Online as well as a faxed notice will serve as an indicator to the anticipated date and time of each publication. In doing so, it will ensure that all interested parties receive simultaneous and unbiased access to this information.
In terms of the above commitment, SARS issued this notice on Wednesday, 24 February 1999 and released the preliminary trade statistics of January 1999 for the Republic of South Africa on SARS Online at exactly 14h03 on 25 February 1999.
ISSUED BY THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN REVENUE SERVICE