Edward Kieswetter named new SARS commissioner

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Former SA Revenue Service (SARS) deputy commissioner Edward Kieswetter has been appointed as the new Commissioner for SARS.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Wednesday that Kieswetter will lead the revenue service for the next five years starting on 1 May.

The National Treasury was confident that the selection process that was undertaken has integrity and all necessary disclosures were made and no conflicts of interest have been identified throughout this process.

This was in line with the recommendation of the Commission of Inquiry into Tax Administration and Governance by SARS chaired by retired Judge Robert Nugent.

Among other things, the Nugent Commission recommended that the “candidate or candidates for appointment should submit to a private interview by a panel of four or more members selected by the President,” that the panel should make recommendations to the President and that the recommendations of the panel “should be made public”. 

Treasury said Kieswetter emerged as the strongest candidate, based on his past experience as deputy commissioner for SARS between 2004 and 2009, and his subsequent track record of transformative leadership and his experience of turning around a large institution. 

Kieswetter, who has a master’s degree in commerce in SA and international tax law, has worked at Alexander Forbes from 2010 to 2016 and he is a member of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation.

“We have every confidence that Mr Kieswetter has the experience, integrity and skills required to turn SARS around by restoring revenue collection, redirecting operations toward innovation, developing future leaders for the organisation, and restoring SARS’ credibility and integrity,” President Ramaphosa said.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said he looks forward to seeing SARS re-established as a respected tax collector and improved revenue collection outcomes.

“I expect him to act without fear or favour, to restore and defend the integrity of SARS and to uphold taxpayer rights when carrying out his duties as the Commissioner, by implementing the recommendations of the Nugent Commission and restoring SARS to a world-class organisation,” Mboweni said. – SAnews.gov.za