President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed Edward Kieswetter as the new Commissioner for South African Revenue Service (SARS) with effect from 1 May 2019 for a term of five years.
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The process for the appointment of the SARS Commissioner is informed by the South African Revenue Service Act and was guided by the recommendations 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”.
The independent selection panel was chaired by former Minister of Finance Trevor Manuel and composed of the following members: • Ms. Angela Bester • Justice Dennis Davis • Ms. Sindi Mabaso-Koyana • Mr. Ismail Momoniat • Ms. Thandi Orleyn • Mr. Fezekile Tshiqi
The position was advertised on 16 December 2018 and applications closed on 18 January 2019.
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The following six (6) candidates were shortlisted and invited to the final interviews: • Mr Nathaniel Mabetwa • Ms Sunita Manik • Mr Edward Kieswetter • Mr Mark Kingon • Mr Gene Ravele • Ms Nazrien Kader
The Minister of Finance submitted the panel’s report and his recommendation to the President on Monday, 25th March 2019. The President has accepted the Minister’s recommendation.
The National Treasury is confident that the process undertaken has integrity and all necessary disclosures were made and no conflicts of interest have been identified throughout this process.
Mr 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.
During his tenure at SARS, Mr Kieswetter established the Large Business Centre and High Net Worth Individual Unit, leading to both compliance and revenue collection improvements. As Group Chief Executive of Alexander Forbes Group Holdings he achieved a significant turnaround of the group, with particular attention to governance, integrity and restoring the group’s reputation.
President Ramaphosa said: “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.”