(1) Pretoria, Thursday 1 December 2016 – With dismay, the South African Revenue Service (“SARS”) has noted today’s media reports where the SARS’ leadership is unjustifiably accused of lack of accountability.
(2) The SARS wishes to express its deepest concern and disturbance at this turn of events that cast aspersions and blemishes on the character and integrity of its leadership.
(3) In addressing the unfounded allegations pertaining to the alleged lack of accountability by the SARS’ leadership, it is important to take the following undisputable facts into account:
a. Since the current Finance Minister took office during December 2015, the SARS’ leadership has received 29 parliamentary questions through the office of the Finance Minister. All Parliamentary questions were responded to timeously and no single deadline was ever missed;
b. Since the current Finance Minister took office, the SARS’ leadership has appeared before the Standing Committee on Finance and SCOPA 5 times. At all material times, the SARS’ leadership has never missed a single Parliamentary Committee meetings;
c. The SARS leadership has met the current Finance Minister 8 times since he took office to discuss issues of mutual interest. In this regard, the SARS’ record of meetings attest that the current Finance Minister has never at any point expressed lack of confidence and/or lack of accountability in the leadership of the SARS; and
d. Finally, the SARS’ submissions to the current Finance Minister and/ or Parliamentary Committees are always honest, truthful, correct and factual. To date and as a matter of fact, the SARS’ leadership has no record from the Ministry requesting it to verify the factual and correctness of the information provided.
The SARS’ leadership finds no inspiration to engage the current Finance Minister via the media and believes that the established channels of communication are sufficient for a normal and efficient functioning of this crucial state organ and to act in accordance with the principle and spirit of co-operative governance as envisaged in chapter 3 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.
The leadership of SARS is committed to a professional working relationship with the current Finance Minister and his team. The SARS’ leadership is devoted to an open, transparent and accountable governance in its dealings with all organs of state including the Ministry of Finance and taxpayers.