Treasury reveals extent of collapse in relationship with Sars

Director General Dondo Mogajane and his deputy Ismail Momoniat testified today at the Nugent Commission of Inquiry in Pretoria.

FILE: National Treasury's Director-General Dondo Mogajane. Picture: YouTube screengrab

PRETORIA – Treasury has revealed the extent of the collapse in the relationship with the South African Revenue Service (Sars) under the leadership of Commissioner Tom Moyane and the effect this had on drafting the budget.

Director-General Dondo Mogajane and his deputy Ismail Momoniat testified on Wednesday at the Nugent commission of inquiry in Pretoria.

Retired Judge Robert Nugent is investigating tax administration and governance at sars since 2014.

Momoniat says that the first signs of trouble at Sars was the high turnover of senior managers.

"You could see that people were leaving or mysteriously it just got dismantled. There was no discussion between Treasury and Sars about what's happening there. You got a sense that the leadership at Sars, and I mean the commissioner, were really unaware of the extent to which these changes what it meant on the ground."

Mogajane says the relationship with Sars management deteriorated.

"In recent years, preparations for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 budgets involved less or no participation from the commissioner in the way that we are accustomed to. It is in these years, that clearly we began to see challenges in the way we engaged, as the Treasury, in so far as our relationship was and works."