This is what workers get paid at SARS – including millions paid to suspended execs

The South African Revenue Service has published its annual report for the 2019 financial year, detailing the pay packages for its top executives.

For 2019, the taxman paid out R36.9 million to its top 17 executives (permanent, acting and suspended), including former commissioner Tom Moyane and former acting commissioner Mark Kingon, who served in the interim ahead of Edward Kieswetter’s permanent appointment from 1 May.

Moyane received total pay of R2.5 million for the seven months he served as commissioner, while Kingon was paid R3 million for his time as acting commissioner.

However, the highest salary paid out at SARS was to former chief officer of governance, international relations, strategy and communications, Hlengani Mathebula, who received total pay of R4.24 million.

Mathebula is one of several SARS executives who have quit the revenue service in recent months under a dark cloud.

He was one of five suspended executives who were singled out in a clean-up campaign at the tax office, following Kieswetter’s appointment and subsequent investigations into governance failures at SARS under Moyane.

Other suspended senior executives included IT head Mmamathe Makhekhe-Mokhuane; group executive of employee relations Luther Lebelo; chief officer for human capital and development Teboho Mokoena; and Refiloe Mokoena, chief officer for legal counsel.

Makhekhe-Mokhuane and Lebelo announced their resignations this week.

In a brief statement on Wednesday, SARS said the move is part of Commissioner Edward Kieswetter’s commitment to rebuilding internal and public confidence in the revenue collector.

“Following interactions and information exchanged between SARS and Ms Makhekhe-Mokhuane and Mr Lebelo, respectively, it has been concluded that the two should, and have agreed to end the employment relationship with immediate effect,” said the revenue service.

The agreement between the revenue service and Makhekhe-Mokhuane and Lebelo will see SARS not proceeding with any further action against them

They were paid R3.6 million and R690,000, for the 2019 financial year, respectively.

Chief Officer for Human Capital and Development Teboho Mokoena has also left the revenue service, and was paid R2.8 million.

The fifth suspended executive, Refiloe Mokoena, was paid R3.5 million.

This brings the total paid out to suspended (and now former) executives to R14.8 million (% of the total paid to all executives).

The table below outlines executive salaries for 2019:

The average salary at SARS

According to SARS’ report, the average top-level executive earns R3.6 million – seven times higher than the average salary paid out overall (R530,489).

Outside of the commissioner’s office, the highest-paid employees at SARS are workers in governance, international relations, strategy and communications, where the average salary is R930,000 a year.

This is followed by legal council, where the average salary is R850,000 a year.

Update: corrected the name of current commissioner Edward Kieswetter, and attributed the correct salary to former commissioner Tom Moyane.


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This is what workers get paid at SARS – including millions paid to suspended execs