Edward Kieswetter to leave SARS when his term expires

Edward Kieswetter said that he would definitely not agree to a second term as commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and that he would retire in a year.

Speaking at a budget review panel discussion hosted by PwC, the SARS commissioner said he has “one year, one month, and a few days left before I retire – again”. 

He cited “selfish interest – like everyone else” as the reason for the decision to step back from his duties when his term expires.

“I took a personal decision, at great cost, five years ago that I would come back and make a meaningful impact in an area where I could make a change – I would like to invite more South Africans to do that.”

Kieswetter joined SARS as chief operating officer and deputy commissioner from 2004 to 2009.

He rejoined SARS in 2019 as commissioner after a successful stint as group chief executive of Alexander Forbes Group Holdings.

Kieswetter is widely regarded as having turned around SARS to be one of the best-performing government agencies in the country.

As commissioner, he has increased tax revenue in a low-growth period through improved tax compliance measures. 


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