Sars confirms Kieswetter’s term as commissioner is extended by 2 years

Sars Commissioner Edward Kieswetter. File photo: Oupa Mokoena/ Independent Newspapers

Sars Commissioner Edward Kieswetter. File photo: Oupa Mokoena/ Independent Newspapers

Published Feb 27, 2024


The South African Revenue Service (Sars) on Tuesday confirmed that President Cyril Ramaphosa had requested Sars Commissioner Edward Kieswetter to stay beyond his current term, which was meant to expire on April 30.

Both parties had agreed to the extension of his term as Commissioner for a period of two years.

The tax authority said the decision was premised on the understanding that the extended term would afford Sars the opportunity to further embed the entity’s strategic intent and transformation on which the organisation embarked in 2019.

“The country as a whole can attest that measurable progress has been made to position Sars as a credible tax and customs authority that plays a pivotal role in helping the government to build a capable state for the social and economic development of all South Africans, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

Kieswetter said, “This effort must be intensified and sustained.”

Earlier in the day the Presidency confirmed that Kieswetter will continue to be in charge of Sars.

IOL reported that Ramaphosa had first announced a few weeks ago that he was keeping Kieswetter longer to allow for stability in the revenue service.

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana had also raised this issue during his briefing on the Budget.

Sars said Kieswetter’s term extension also provided the necessary time to continue the existing investment to strengthen the Sars leadership bench and prepare for an orderly leadership transition in the organisation over the next two years.

Kieswetter said, “I can assure all South Africans that, with your support, Sars will spare no effort and continue to work hard to ensure that the vision of a smart, modern Sars with unquestionable integrity, admired by all, is achieved. Sars remains inspired by the transformative and higher purpose of serving all South Africans.”

The appointment comes hot on the heels of the Budget tabled earlier this month, which saw Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana’s Budget keep personal tax rates static.

At the time Kieswetter said Sars was committed to Godongwana’s strategy for fiscal consolidation over the medium term through improved administration and taxpayer compliance.

“A well-functioning tax administration within a growing economy is the most sustainable path towards improving the country’s fiscal integrity,” said Kieswetter said after the minister delivered his Budget speech in Parliament.

Kieswetter said at the time that, to maintain tax revenues at the current level or to increase them, it was essential to improve fiscal integrity, in particular to reduce debt service costs. Improved taxpayer and trader compliance underpin fiscal sustainability and consolidation.

He said taxpayers must meet their obligations to register, file and pay their tax. “Those who fail to comply place an unfair burden on honest, compliant taxpayers and must face the consequences of breaking the law.”