SA Revenue Service closing in on gold smuggling – report


SOUTH African gold refiner Rappa Resources has been ordered to hand over documents to the country’s revenue service regarding a potential R4bn tax liability.

According to BusinessLive on Wednesday, this is an attempt to tighten the net around gold smuggling in the country which is said to be rampant.

The South African Revenue Service (Sars) obtained a court order which will give it access to documents including the names of Rappa’s suppliers from 2019 to 2020 as well as its bank statements. The service will also scrutinise declarations made by Rappa to the South African diamond and precious metals regulator regarding goods procured from suppliers.

Of special interest to Sars is Rappa’s links to two other companies Gold Kid and Northern Spark which are linked to Andries Greyvenstein, flagged as a key cog in moving gold and illicit funds out of SA in an Al Jazeera exposé last year, said BusinessLive.

Gold Fields is a supplier to Rappa Resources. It told BusinessLive it was keeping a close eye on the dispute before taking a decision on its dealings with the company. “Since 2017 they [have bought] subeconomic gold by-products from us, which they further treat and refine,” said the company.

“We understand … the investigation hasn’t been finalised yet. Once it is, we will conduct a vendor verification assessment on Rappa, as we do with all our business partners,” Sven Lunsche, spokesperson for Gold Fields said.

BusinessLive said it was yet to receive a response from Harmony Gold and AngloGold Ashanti. The latter was still producing gold in South Africa over the period Sars is examining Rappa Resources documents.

But Sibanye-Stillwater, which produces about 700,000 ounces of gold a year from South Africa, distanced itself from the controversial refinery.

“We don’t do business with Rappa Resources,” head of investor relations James Wellsted told the publication. “We are the largest shareholder in the Rand Refinery and all our metal is refined there and generally sold by the Rand Refinery … Why on earth would we do business with a company like Rappa?”