PayPal in South Africa

Why we need it but can’t have it. Jon Edwards argues government has failed us.

By - January 8, 2010 Share on LinkedIn
PayPal in South Africa

Living and working in and from South Africa has its obvious perks, but of late has become somewhat of a nuisance – particularly in my line of work, which is mostly web?based. The nuts and bolts of the issue is that I, along with countless other frustrated South Africans, cannot trade online with international clients. This is, well… a big problem.

What is PayPal? Well, PayPal says: “PayPal is the safer, easier way to pay and get paid online. The service allows anyone to pay in any way they prefer, including through credit cards, bank accounts, buyer credit or account balances, without sharing financial information.”

Having done a little bit of homework about the cause of the problem online, it appears the answer is a bit oblique. Some say PayPal does not meet the Reserve Bank’s Forex requirements. Others say that PayPal has simply given up on pursuing the matter any further with our banks and Sars, as we – South Africa – would make up less than 1% of their global sales.

Why bother? It’s estimated by PayFast (South Africa’s supposed answer to PayPal) that the number of online users in South Africa is 4.6m , which falls well short of even Egypt with 12.6m. Then there are those on the far left that have dubbed it a bank conspiracy. I believe it’s all three, and that this is another example of government failure in this country.

In the current economic climate, and in a time where South African’s are about to receive huge publicity from the World Cup of Football, should we really be excluding ourselves outright from the global market’s biggest commercial growth area? And for what? I suspect so that our government and banks can cling onto some outmoded exchange and tax regulations in fear that, god forbid, a few people don’t declare all their earnings.

Here’s a little tidbit for you from AllAfrica.com; “The South African Revenue Service (Sars) received a record four million tax returns for individuals and trusts during the 2009 tax season.” – I’d like to add, from a population of about 46m people. It’s also estimated by Unisa’s Bureau of Market Research that, in 2005, the “second economy” spent roughly R15.9bn on informal transport (mostly taxis) – who’s taxing and monitoring that?

Yes, our banking and tax regulations have protected us quite a bit in recent months, but it makes no sense that they’re happy to let us send our hard?earned money out of the country – using PayPal’s payment gateway – to purchase stuff online, but not allow us to bring money back in by selling stuff online… …even when said “stuff” is delivered electronically via downloads.

Paypal in South Africa – comments and views

Moneyweb

 

Join the conversation

Connect with Us

androidappletwitterfacebookgoogleplusfeednewsletter

Poll

Do you use Yahoo's search or email services?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

More News

Icasa hits back at government over spectrum auction

ICASA logo on wall

South Africa’s communications regulator has defended its move to launch a wireless broadband spectrum auction amid government threatening legal action over the move.

Government fighting hard to keep South African telecoms in the dark ages

South Africa Government Technology Spy

The Telecommunications Minister’s plan to fight ICASA’s spectrum auction may delay the roll-out of faster and better broadband. It is, however, not the first time this has happened.

How much it costs to build your own Apple Mac Pro in South Africa

Apple Mac Pro

If you want a powerful PC running Apple’s Mac operating system, there are alternatives to the Mac Pro.

The war against the SABC must go on

SABC logo on old tv

The Labour Court’s ruling that four of the axed SABC journalists must be reinstated is the first victory in a larger battle against those in the broadcaster.

Free MyBroadband Newsletter
×