This although its integrity was recently tarnished by allegations of the existence of a spy unit within the agency. Sars has, for years, carried out its mandate with excellence, especially under the stewardship of Pravin Gordhan, now the Finance Minister and the tax collector’s political head.
It is against this background we find the power squabble between Gordhan and Sars commissioner Tom Moyane troubling. The sour relationship was triggered by allegations about a controversial “rogue” investigating unit that was set up within Sars while Gordhan was the commissioner. Now, it is reported Moyane is defying the Finance Minister and forging ahead with a restructuring plan, even after Gordhan asked that it be put on hold.
Sars is one of a few state agencies that remain a model institution that still commands public respect and trust. The showdown between Gordhan and Moyane should not be allowed to inflict further damage to this vital fiscal institution. Everything possible must be done to restore Sars’ integrity to ensure it continues without hindrance to carry out its mandate of revenue collection.