Today’s story on the IOL.co.za web site is great news for Scientology and South African Scientologists:
A tax exemption has been awarded to the SA Church of Scientology by the SA Revenue Services (SARS), the Church said on Tuesday.
“We are ecstatic, this is a memorable and historic day for us as it provides us with an even better opportunity to serve our community and scientologists,” said President of the Church, Ryan Hogarth.
He said that SARS issued the Church with a certificate on Monday approving its status as a ‘Public Benefit Organisation’.
“This was after 42 years and 26 applications to the South African Revenue Service,” Hogarth said.
He said the approval followed similar recognition in countries such as Sweden, Germany, Spain, and New Zealand, as well the European Court of Human Rights.”
My two cents: Although South Africa was one of the earliest Scientology communities, it obviously couldn’t get recognized as a religion under the oppressive apartheid government. But since the rebirth of the new South Africa the Church has been working closely with civic and government groups as well as the private sector to help people all over the country, especially with their Volunteer Ministers program.
Several years ago Mr. David Miscavige dedicated the new Scientology church in Johannesburg and that launched a major expansion for the Church in that country and throughout Southern Africa.