SARS Communication Suckiness

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I’m so frustrated with SARS (South African Revenue Service). They sent me an e-mail to notify me that I’ve received communication from them that require my attention. I click on the link which takes me to their website, enter my username and password, and it takes me to a page where I have to download the contents of the documentation in a PDF file. So, I do so.

When I opened the file with my PDF viewer, and it displayed that I require the latest version of Adobe Reader. This was already a bit frustrating, having to do so much work and still not being able to read my message. At least Adobe reader is packaged in Medibuntu, so I add the repositories and install it. 20 minutes worth of downloads later, I open the PDF. Yet again, it displayed “You need the latest version of Adobe reader to open this file”. Grrr.

I head over to, saw a link that says “Adobe Reader download”, where it also said “Latest Version”, and downloaded it. Turns out it is also Version 8.1.2, the same version available from Medibuntu, and it also doesn’t want to open the document.

After trying all different kinds of things, I’m still unable to open the PDF. Thanks Adobe, for implementing such horrible technologies in our government, and thank you SARS, for absolutely not caring about free software users, even when our government has a mandate to move over to free software itself.

Then again, it’s not like any government ever had a good reputation for keeping its promises. I don’t know how I expected ours to be any different.

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5 Responses to “SARS Communication Suckiness”

  1. Mackenzie Says:

    *What* told you to get the latest Adobe? Evince? I’ve never heard of it telling anyone to do that.

  2. Clifford W. Hansen Says:

    I second the rant… I’ve had the same issue, and btw wait till it’s time to submit your tax return, filling in and submitting the form is almost impossible…

    @jonathan [OT] thought about enabling openid for comments?

  3. Coolio Says:

    dude send them a “How to….” I did that with a rental company that I could not get an invoice from as their poor systems required human intervention. The “deducting money from your credit card” process however is completed way before you hit the runway on your return flight. I made a suggestion and their IT guys applied some creativity and within 2hrs I could 3 weeks of invoices. It is not SARS it is the “template developers”

  4. Garry Says:

    Oh dear, i stumbled on this thread while searching for help on how to open the sars pdf in ubuntu. This is Africa, we should be a few years behind,using tried and tested copies of pirated applications.

    Or Ubuntu

  5. jonathan Says:

    @Mackenzie Sorry, only saw your comment now. It wasn’t evince that complained, it was the Adobe Firefox plugin.

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