The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has emphasised its commitment to addressing waned internal confidence and staff morale, as well as restoring public trust and confidence.
The revenue collector made the commitment in a statement issued on Wednesday as SARS celebrates its 22nd anniversary.
“We want to once again emphasise our commitment to provide a taxpayer experience that is characterised by the highest level of professionalism and ethics throughout the country and abroad,” said SARS.
SARS said the appointment of Edward Kieswetter as Commissioner ushered in a new beginning for SARS.
“Since his arrival in May 2019, he has been single-mindedly focused on addressing the internal confidence and morale of employees, as well as restoring the trust and confidence that the public has in us,” the revenue collector said.
Along with this is the process of addressing the organisational deficiencies and skills shortages within SARS, which is integral to the much needed rebuilding of the organisation.
SARS said this work will require relentless effort over the next few years to ensure that the organisation transforms into a smart, modern revenue and customs administration, with unquestionable integrity that is trusted and admired.
“We are blessed with thousands of honest men and women, who bring their positive contribution to this rebuilding process,” the revenue collector said.
SARS said it will continue to invest in its already advanced and efficient systems to continually enhance the experience of taxpayers, as it administers its mandate to collect taxes, facilitate trade and manage imports and exports across its borders.
The anniversary celebrations take place against a backdrop of the current tax season, which has seen an increase in the number of compliant taxpayers.
“We would like to thank taxpayers for their willingness to comply, as well as their patience with us in areas where we at times do not live up to the level of service standards we set for ourselves,” said SARS.
The revenue collector said it will continue to work tirelessly to address the inefficiencies as part of rebuilding and modernising SARS.
The current economic climate, along with its internal challenges, makes the work of revenue collection so much harder, SARS said, adding that the low economic growth, growing unemployment due to retrenchments and suppressed levels of consumption inevitably result in lower profits, and consequently declining tax revenues.
“But we remain optimistic that efforts by our government to stimulate the economy, as well as the work to rebuild tax morality and compliance, will yield positive results. With this in mind, Mr Kieswetter is determined that SARS remains resolute, focused and single-minded about pursuing its revenue collection mandate for South Africa,” said SARS.
SARS said it fully appreciates the responsibility entrusted to it by the Constitution and is aware of the implications that lower revenue collections have on the efforts of government to deliver on its mandate.
“We remain mindful that we serve a higher purpose that enables government with the financial resources to provide goods and services towards a well-functioning democracy. Our work has a human face, and benefits especially the most vulnerable in society, to improve the quality of their life, as well as to ensure the wellbeing of all South Africans,” said SARS.
The 2019 national celebrations pay tribute to the efforts that have been made by government, Parliament, along with SARS leadership and employees to establish a revenue collection that will be respected amongst its peers as one of the best in the world.
“The 22 years celebrations also pay tribute to the role played by all patriots and former employees in establishing and strengthening SARS to be one of the strongest and efficient State-owned institutions in the country,” SARS said. – SAnews.gov.za