DA decries SARS 'brain drain' after departure of 506 employees this year

07 December 2017 - 12:06 By Linda Ensor
SARS offices. File photo.
SARS offices. File photo.
Image: Reuben Goldberg

A total of 506 employees left the South African Revenue Service (SARS) this year‚ Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said in a written reply to a parliamentary question.

Replying to Democratic Alliance deputy finance spokesman Alf Lees‚ Gigaba said 128 of these staff members had university degrees and 58 came from the audit division.

The average age of those who left was 43.38‚ with on average 14.78 years of service‚ 344 resigned‚ 83 retired and the services of 40 were terminated.

The reply did not provide figures for previous years‚ so it was not possible to determine whether the departures represented an exodus.

But Lees said the reply revealed "the sheer extent of the brain drain" at SARS.

"SARS has experienced institutional decay under its commissioner‚ Tom Moyane‚ and the reply confirms this. It also indicates the likelihood of continued institutional weakening‚" Lees said.

"Considering the critical role SARS plays in the South African economy‚ serious intervention cannot be delayed any further. The flight of experienced professionals from SARS means the revenue service may fail to attract critical skills and ultimately become yet another failed public entity.

"South Africa is facing a tax revenue shortfall of R50.8 billion and a further weakening of key institutions like SARS could possibly worsen the situation‚ leaving the 9.4 million unemployed South Africans with little hope under the failing ANC government."

- BusinessLIVE