Sars pays R19m in severance packages since 2007

Cape Town - Since 2007, the South African Revenue Service (Sars) has paid a total of R19.33m in severance packages to former employees of which close to R9m was just in 2015, it said in response to a parliamentary question.

DA MP David Maynier, asked Sars in a written question whether it had reached any severance agreements in the years since 2006 and requested that it elaborate on the settlement amounts.

According to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, 13 severance packages were paid to former employees in the following financial years:

- 2007/08: R3.15m
- 2008/09: R1.67m
- 2009/10: R435 134
- 2010/11: R3.047m
- 2013/14: R375 048
- 2014/15: R1.681m  
- 2015/16: R8.968m

Sars, however could not disclose the names of the employees to whom the severance packages had been paid, as well as the reasons for the settlements, due to confidentiality provisions of the agreements, as well as protection of personal information governed by the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act.

The amounts were disclosed in Sars’ financial statements of the years in which the payouts had taken place.

In the perceived war between President Jacob Zuma and Gordhan, the Hawks is accusing Gordhan of contravening the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), alleging that he had broken the law when granting an early retirement package of R1.2m to Sars’ former deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay.

Gordhan’s lawyers responded that he could not have contravened the PMFA, as it applied to national and provincial departments of state, while Sars was a public entity – not a department of state.

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