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JOHANNESBURG — Well-dressed Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba is great at issuing press statements and quirky tweets, but he has a long way to go in convincing South Africans that he truly has the well-being of the country’s finances at heart. In true Gigaba style, he went large earlier this week and announced an inquiry into the under-collection of tax by SARS. He said he had the blessing of Number One and that SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane would gladly cooperate. Of course, revelations in Jacques Pauw’s blockbuster book, ‘The President’s Keepers’, indicate that a big part of the reasons for SARS’ malfunction rests with its top management team… – Gareth van Zyl
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) calls on Minister Malusi Gigaba to be serious about addressing the performance and revenue shortfalls at SARS, by starting with disciplinary action against SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane over his conduct and his seemingly incompetent leadership of this vital institution.
“In our opinion, Tom Moyane is central to the breakdown in performance at SARS,” says Wayne Duvenage, OUTA’s CEO. “Under Moyane’s reign, SARS has lost a vast amount of its talent and expertise, due largely to his false accusations and purging of people like Ivan Pillay, Johann van Loggerenberg and others.”
If the Minister was serious about the performance and governance shortcomings of SARS, he would engage with civil society and the ex-SARS leadership, plus investigative journalists like Jacques Pauw, to get all the evidence he needs to both suspend Moyane and to address the many serious issues facing SARS.
Minister Gigaba also urgently needs to inquire into the tax affairs of his boss, the President, who is expected to set the example of tax compliance. “Unfortunately, we know that will never happen, so the scene will be set for a farcical inquiry that will attempt to paint the picture of trying to address the problems at SARS, whilst the real problems remain in place,” says Duvenage.
US activist Tyree Scott once said that you can’t leave the people who created the problems in charge of the solutions. So, while Moyane and other politically connected appointees remain part of the leadership at SARS, they will fail to attend to the real issues undermining the institution.
What Minister Gigaba should do is introduce an independent judicial inquiry into the other side of the tax problem facing South Africa: the excessive maladministration and corrupt spending of taxpayers’ money by government departments and state-owned entities.
— Barney Mthombothi (@mthombothi) November 7, 2017
“Investigating and taking meaningful action against those who perpetrate wasteful expenditure and corrupt use of tax revenues would mean there wouldn’t be a shortfall for SARS to contend with in the first place and the tax revenues would reach their intended destination to drive growth and prosperity,” says Duvenage.
“The immoral conduct of Government’s tax spending is one aspect contributing to a declining tax morality and tax avoidance in South Africa and the authorities have themselves to blame for the mess they now find themselves in.”
- OUTA is a proudly South African non-profit civil action organisation, comprising of and supported by people who are passionate about holding government accountable and improving the prosperity of South Africa.
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