[LISTEN] New Sars Commissioner Edward Kieswetter on restoring public confidence

On Wednesday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed Edward Kieswetter as the commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (Sars) on the recommendation of a panel led by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni.

He is a former CEO of the Alexander Forbes Group.

The new commissioner spoke to Lester Kiewit on Tonight with Lester about the task ahead.

I am under no illusion that its a huge task awaiting us, but I have to say to be called to do such an important role is a huge privilege and an honour.

Edward Kieswetter, New Sars Commissioner

It comes with mixed feelings about the inordinate task that lies ahead, as well as the privilege to be able to do this in a challenging time for our young democracy.

Edward Kieswetter, New Sars Commissioner

Kieswetter paid tribute to the work done by the acting commissioner, Mark Klingon helping get Sars on its feet.

Mark is effectively a Sars lifer and has played an amazing role under very difficult circumstances to fill that void.

Edward Kieswetter, New Sars Commissioner

He says building Sars requires building a competent leadership team and Klingon will undoubtedly form an important part of the team.

Building Sars is certainly not a one-man job.

Edward Kieswetter, New Sars Commissioner

He also praised the honest and hardworking staff that work for Sars

Sadly, so much has gone wrong, and for me, the work starts and ends with people.

Edward Kieswetter, New Sars Commissioner

He says the first task is to engage with staff clearly and honestly and restore confidence and pride where it has been lost.

To build an internal coherence is the first order of business, and then to reach out to the public at large.

Edward Kieswetter, New Sars Commissioner

Building a trustworthy and credible institution that functions with integrity is key, he says.

I'm reaching at to the South African public, particularly those that pay their taxes.

Edward Kieswetter, New Sars Commissioner

He talks about the need to curb illicit economies that have gained a foothold.

Listen to what Kieswetter has to say about the tasks ahead at Sars:


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