ABOUT US

Our Vision: A prosperous country, free from the abuse of
authority and governed with the efficient use of tax revenue.

BOARD

WAYNE DUVENAGE
Chief Executive Officer – Executive

PAUL PAUWN
Governance & Policy – Executive

BEN THERON
Chief Operation Officer – Executive

ADV. STEFANIE FICK
Head Legal Affairs – Executive

FERRIAL ADAM
Chairperson – Non-Executive

PHUMLANI MAJOZI
Non-Executive

SIMI PILLAY VAN GRAAN
Non-Executive

WYNA MODISAPODI
Non-Executive

EXCO

WAYNE DUVENAGE
Chief Executive Officer – Executive

PAUL PAUWN
Governance & Policy – Executive

BEN THERON
Chief Operation Officer – Executive

ADV. STEFANIE FICK
Head Legal Affairs – Executive

JULIUS KLEYNHANS
Organisation Development

GOVERNANCE OUTA’s GOVERNANCE & GROWTH JOURNEY: 2012 TO 2017

OUTA has come a long way since its inception in early 2012, having been formed as a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) by a handful of business associations to interdict and challenge the e-toll decision. It’s early constitution had three directors and an advisory committee, with literally two of the directors (Duvenage and Pauwen) doing all the work on a non-salaried basis for the first two years. Virtually all funds raised, initially from business, were used to settle the expensive legal challenge that set out to halt the e-toll scheme. With no offices and no salaries to pay, the few out of pocket expenses were managed by the appointed secretarial and auditing service company.

From 2013 to 2015, with the advent of the e-toll launch, two additional part-time team members were contracted to assist with communications and writing. All this while, OUTA continued to be governed by its constitution, holding regular board meetings and receiving input from its advisory committee.

It was during the final quarter of 2015 when OUTA changed gear and began to transform into a larger movement that would tackle matters of general Government corruption and maladministration of tax-payer’s money, and over the next two years, OUTA grew rapidly from a four person team to 38 full-time staff. Naturally, along with this significant expansion over a short period of time, manpower structures and the introduction of policies and procedures were required to keep pace with the changing demands, roles and responsibilities of its people.

In mid-2017, OUTA contracted an external tax and compliance specialist and revised its constitution to that of a formal Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI), ensuring that the organisation kept pace with compliance of NPO’s and Companies Act regulations, whilst also addressing the need to allow for additional directors to cater for OUTA’s plans to grow into a larger and broader based Non-Profit organization.

Such rapid expansion for any organisation naturally comes with its strains and OUTA was no exception, giving rise to new tiers of management and changes within its leadership structures. The appointment of new non-executive directors, as well as a Chief Operations Officer to manage the multiple project based structure helped to introduce a new level of efficiency within OUTA, enabling fast paced project management and case compilation processes that would enable OUTA to work at the fast pace that its Executive Committee and Board required. which also helped to
elevate OUTA as a leading civil action organisation in South Africa.

By Q4 2017, following the rapid expansion and heightened focus on Governance, the need to separate the functions of Chairperson and CEO gave rise to the Chairperson role being assigned to a Non-Executive Director (Ferrial Adam), with Duvenage heading up the executive duties as the CEO.

Six of OUTA’s management team recently attended a King IV Codes of Good Governance master class training program, as part of its attention to governance journey. In addition, OUTA’s board has decided to expand its number to eight directors, four of which will be non-executive and four executive positions, with the Chairperson role remaining in the arena of the Non-Executive Director appointments, to be introduced by Q1 2018. Following an amendment to the appointment of directors in Q4 2017, the organisation has also engaged with the Institute of Directors (IoDSA) to conduct an audit and advisory assessment of its governance processes, to ensure that OUTA remains on track with its commitment to high standards of governance.

Governance revision is an ongoing process and one that doesn’t come with an ‘on-off switch’, but instead, requires hard work and focus,” says Wayne Duvenage, OUTA’s CEO. “Attending to policies, procedures and governance processes in a rapidly expanding organisation takes a lot of effort, as does attending to the changing manpower needs and ongoing structure changes, all of which stretches our people and brings about growth opportunities for some, along with churn and new talent to take the organisation to greater heights. It’s all part of the exciting journey that has seen OUTA assume a leading and well respected civil action organisation in South Africa today.

OUTA is a registered Non-Profit Organisation with policies, governance and operations overseen by an Executive Committee and a Board of Directors.

We are 100% funded by the people and businesses within the republic. We have no agreement with or income from political parties and we receive no financial support from international sources or funding institutions. OUTA is crowd-funded by thousands of ordinary people and businesses, each of which donates a small and affordable amount monthly.

It is no secret our Government tends to bully those who challenge them. As such, we prefer to not expose the extent of our support – financial or otherwise – on a public platform and we will not share details of our donors.

ANNUAL REPORT FROM 2017

Annual Report 2015-2016

ANNUAL REPORT FROM 2016

ANNUAL REPORT FROM 2015

ANNUAL REPORT FROM 2014

ANNUAL REPORT FROM 2013

OUR VISION

A prosperous country, free from the abuse of authority and governed with the efficient use of tax revenue.

OUR MISSION

To be a trusted vehicle for positive change, promoting and advancing the South African Constitution and other democratic processes by:

  • Challenging the taxation policy and the regulatory environment (as a whole or part), as and when deemed as being irrational, unfit or ineffective for their intended purpose
  • Questioning and challenging the squandering, maladministration and corrupt use of taxes, using our clear and effective methodology, and then to hold those responsible for the maladministration and / or corruption, to account for their behaviour and actions.

OUR VALUES

  • Integrity and accountability
  • Responsible stewardship of our resources

Holding government accountable requires adequate resources to enable People, Systems and Litigation.

To remain effective, we employ skilled leaders, researchers, investigators, legal case-builders, project managers and marketers.

OUTA has adopted an efficient internal legal case-building approach which increases the ability to challenge poor governance and ensures an adequate litigation fund reserve – used to secure senior legal representation in court.

Our approach allows us to question and challenge tax policy, regulatory environment and the conduct of tax expenditure. The sections below provide more detail about these three elements within our methodology.

TAX POLICY

Governments are notorious for discovering ways to increase state revenue. Increasing tax revenue takes place in various forms:

  1. Improving efficiency in tax collection by collecting from all who qualify.
  2. Increasing rates and tariffs to keep pace with inflation or realignment of tax brackets to alter tax pressure in specific sectors or segments of society. Such practice becomes contentious and problematic as consecutive annual increases result in excessive rates, leading to public resistance. An example of this is ongoing and excessive increases in vehicle license fees – particularly in the trucking industry – and the fuel levy which has increased by over 140% over the past decade.
  3. Introduction of new taxes and fiscal policies to either change society’s behaviour (eg: Emissions Tax on new vehicles, sugar tax, carbon tax) or to increase taxes on society in specific areas.

TAX REGULATION

When introducing new or managing an existing tax, it is important to ensure the regulatory environment is both efficient and effectively applied. Government (at various levels) will suffer a crisis of legitimacy when introducing taxes which are unenforceable, uncollectible or unmanageable.

Society soon questions the rationale of such taxes and stop paying. Government’s inability to enforce payment eventually leads to an irrelevant tax.

Examples of such irrelevant taxes are traffic fines (which have become a tax/revenue at local government level), TV licenses, e-tolls and others.

CONDUCT

Conduct – addressing maladministration, waste and corrupt use of state revenues and expenditure – is the most active area of our work. Our five step methodology is illustrated below.

STEP 1. RESEARCH AND INVESTIGATE

Through focused and thorough research, we ensure an issue is authentic, significant and relevant.

STEP 2. ENGAGING THE POWERS

Engagement provides an opportunity for those implicated to respond, explain, rationalise or rectify.

STEP 3. EXPOSING THE POWERS

Should engagement fail, we will expose the matter and those implicated, to the public, media and authorities to create pressure and a rectification of the situation/behaviour.

STEP 4. MOBILISATION

Mobilising and other public activities further highlight the issue or problem and once again place pressure on the perpetrators to discontinue unacceptable behaviour and conduct. Mobilisation may be through various forms of communication, protests, marches, etc.

STEP 5. LITIGATION

The last resort is to use the law and our Constitution to correct the matter through available avenues of litigation, mediation and arbitration.

WORK FLOW

OUTA’s Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI) is the foundation for building a long-term public benefit non-profit organisation.

OUTA was incorporated as a non-profit company under the Companies Act on 3 April 2012 with registration number: 2012/064213/08. A standard form of Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI), was used for incorporation purposes and governance structure was captured in more detail in the form of a constitution under the same name.

OUTA was approved as a public benefit organisation (PBO) on 3 August 2013, with retrospective effect from 3 April 2012, based upon its public benefit activities listed in the MOI. Approved PBOs are required to, among other, ensure that all of its public benefit activities are carried for the benefit of, or must be widely accessible to, the general public at large, including any sector thereof (other than small and exclusive groups). To maintain its PBO status, OUTA is required to comply with the conditions for PBO approval, reflected under section 30. In doing so, OUTA’s MOI has been geared towards the public benefit and we have not restricted our activities to a small and exclusive group or members.

OUTA’s objectives have changed during 2016 to include the undo of tax abuse. In the process of updating SARS with the amended mandate, a meeting was scheduled with representatives from SARS during 2017. The purpose of the meeting was to ensure that our activities and our revenue generated through donor support are compliant with our tax exemption status and non-profit structure. It became evident during the meeting that reference to our ‘donor and supporters’ as members on our website, may not be consistent with the conditions for PBO approval. It is also does not reflect the OUTA’s governance structure, as set out in the MOI.

Why we Exist

Our purpose is to represent the interest of the public in general, bodies and groups related to civil society work that protects and advances the interests of the organisations objectives and its directorship.

Our objective is to serve the promotion, protection and advancement of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa in matters relating to policy, laws, or conduct that offend the rights, values and principles in the Constitution.

Who are our Key Stakeholders and Constituencies?

  • The general public
  • Individual and business taxpayers
  • Bodies and groups related to civil activism
  • The directorship
  • The donors and supporters of OUTA

How our Organisation Intends to Operate

Funding to do our work is generated through a public and business crowd funding model whereby parties and people who agree with our work and position, freely and voluntarily donate funds to OUTA, to enable its employment and operating costs, including litigation expenses, to be covered.

Oversight is provided through a Board of Directors which consist of Non-Executive and Executive Directors, along with an Executive Committee that manages the day to day operations of the organisation.

Supporters who donate funds to OUTA do so as a voluntary contribution towards OUTA as a civil society movement that aims to protect individual or collective rights. The organisation will grow or reduce its staff, operational structures and litigations provisions in line with its ability to fund these through projected revenues and cases it is able to manage.

OUTA has undergone tremendous growth since 2016, as a result of the need to tackle the growing problems related to corruption and maladministration throughout Government.  As a reult, its team, structures and Director appointments will evolve in its quest to meet the governance expectations of its leadership and supporters.

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