The search for a new SARS commissioner is on

Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni has appointed a panel to interview candidates for the position.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni (pictured) has appointed a seven-member panel to interview and recommend to President Cyril Ramaphosa a shortlist of candidates for the position of Commissioner of the SA Revenue Service (SARS). 

According to the terms of section 6 of the SARS Act, the president is responsible for the appointment of the SARS commissioner. 

The panel will be chaired by former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel. The other members of the panel are: 

  • High court judge and Competition Appeal Court president Dennis Davis
  • Eskom board member and businesswoman Sindi Mabaso-Koyana
  • National Treasury deputy director-general Ismail Momoniat
  • Businesswoman Thandi Orleyn
  • Former Nampak human resource group executive Fezekile Tshiqi
  • Independent consultant Angela Bester

The panel has already commenced its work and is expected to complete the process in the next few weeks. 

Former SARS commissioner Tom Moyane was removed by Ramaphosa in November 2018, following a recommendation in the interim Nugent report.

After having placed an advertisement in a Sunday newspaper last December, inviting applicants for the position, and the careful consideration of these applicants, Mboweni is overseeing the initial steps of the appointment process and will submit the panel’s recommendations to Ramaphosa for consideration. 

"The Commissioner will be required to formulate, lead and direct the business strategy for SARS in order to deliver on its mandate," the advertisement stated.

The advertisement described the successful applicant as “an individual who reflects the highest professional standards...with high levels of professionalism, integrity, accountability” and they will be expected to “ensure superior quality service”. The ideal candidate will also have to be honest, behave with integrity and be able to leverage diversity. 

The closing date for applications was 18 January 2019.

The process for the appointment took into account the recommendations made by the Commission of Inquiry into Tax Administration and Governance by SARS, which was chaired by Judge Robert Nugent

The Nugent commission recommended the appointment of people to a selection panel who “...should be apolitical and not answerable to any constituency, and should be persons of high standing who are able to inspire confidence across the tax-paying spectrum” and proposed criteria against which shortlisted candidates should be evaluated for suitability.