Moyane hits back at Gordhan on capacity at SARS

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Pretoria - South African Revenue Services (SARS) boss, Tom Moyane said there is no “capacity” issue in the organisation, as alluded to by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in the National Budget speech.

At a briefing on Friday, Moyane said that his team was competent.

“To those who might be listening and looking to us, there is nothing falling apart in this organisation, we are stronger by the day and we are resilient and we will do what is correct,” said Moyane.

READ: Moyane admits: My relationship with Gordhan is strained

In his National Budget Speech on Wednesday Gordhan had expressed concerns over revenue collection. “SARS must continue to develop the skills and capacity needed to enforce legislation and strengthen its efforts to curb tax avoidance and evasion,” he said.

Gordhan said it was important to strengthen SARS’ capacity and to enhance its relationship with taxpayers for the country’s fiscal health. He also said he has been meeting regularly with SARS’ top management about the skills capability and stability in the institutions. “There will be more meetings in the next few weeks.”

READ: Gordhan aims to soothe tensions with SARS

But Moyane hit back on Friday, and said: “Tom Moyane is the commissioner of SARS, with a team of able and capable men and we will continue to make the country great. We will collect all revenue and we will only do it in an atmosphere of cordiality and respect.”

Referring to reports in media that SARS had lost a number of senior staff, and therefore its institutional strength, Moyane said it was not an issue.

“This issue of losing people narrative is losing traction… to count the number of people who left SARS was five or six,” he said. “They left on their own volition and does not indicate a lack of skills and capacity in the organisation.”

READ: Don't personalise Treasury/SARS issue - Gordhan

Moyane added that the only capacity he has to create is for “black and new blood”.

“It does not auger well to be on [the] band wagon to say people have left and there is no capacity,” he said.  “We are doing much better than in the past we have upped the ante and producing figures people can be excited about.”

Moyane added that if there was a lack of skills and capacity, things would be falling apart. “The centre is holding.”

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