Sars boss Edward Kieswetter is bringing back former staff and restoring execs

Kieno Kammies speaks to Sars commissioner Edward Kieswetter about how his tenure has been so far and about the start of the 2019 eFiling system which opened on 1 July.

He says he made sure in his first two months he spent a lot of time visiting the Sars offices and has met with 80% of staff.

Having the lived experience of what many of our staff had to endure in 2014, gives you a ringside seat to the extent of the damage done to Sars.

Edward Kieswetter, Sars Commissioner

He says he has met with executives who were marginalised and pushed aside.

I have had one-on-one interviews and made sure they are restored and returned to meaningful work.

Edward Kieswetter, Sars Commissioner

I've reached out to staff who have left and many have indicated they would like to come back.

Edward Kieswetter, Sars Commissioner

Sars is reviewing all the significant procurement issues, including the so-called 'operating model review'.

This was in many ways the trigger to create the destabilising effect at Sars.

Edward Kieswetter, Sars Commissioner

It's a multi-faced, multi-dimensional complex challenge and it is going to take hard work and many months if not years.

Edward Kieswetter, Sars Commissioner

Kieswetter outlines the process of working with the NPA, Hawks and Saps to bring those involved in wrongdoing to book.

We respond because there is a tax risk, but very often where this arises it is from fraudulent activity.

Edward Kieswetter, Sars Commissioner

He says all South Africans need to work together to help Sars fulfill its mandate and alleviate the financial burden to society.

It requires 3 things, he says:

  • Sars works hard to inform taxpayers of their obligations
  • Sars works hard to make it easy and simple for honest taxpayers to comply.

Online filing and the app called MobiApp on both Android and IOS make it very easy he says and runs through the filing process.

The new income threshold implemented means that the category of taxpayers does not have to submit a tax return.

Listen to the interview below:


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