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Walkie Talkie sale a reminder of cost that follows attack on SA’s tax base

By Alec Hogg

I’ve had a week of engaging with some very successful Saffers here in London and remain in awe of how well they perform in a global arena. It’s such a pity those who hold the power neglect these citizens of SA’s 10th province, preferring to embrace corrupt immigrants from India.

An apt reminder of how much this costs the country was highlighted in coverage around the recent sale of the “Walkie Talkie”, at 160m tall, one of London’s Big Six skyscrapers. It was acquired last month for £1.3bn by a Hong Kong food company.

Only two of the six are owned by individuals. Number four on the list, London’s 183m tall Tower 42, is the proud possession of South African Natie Kirsh, an entrepreneur who left the country in 1986 with virtually nothing.

Kirsh’s efforts have created huge value in and generated massive tax receipts for the US and the UK. With the ANC’s misguided new tax proposals on expats, you have to wonder how many mini-Kirshes are about to be driven away from SA’s already stretched tax base.

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