Almost six months into his project to fix the SA Revenue Service (Sars), Edward Kieswetter says the revenue shortfall this fiscal year could be "a little worse" than what has been already reported, underlining the government’s challenge to get its finances in shape and avert further downgrades.

An economy that the SA Reserve Bank expects to grow just 0.6% in 2019 and a gap in the tax agency’s collection capabilities after a decade of state capture that almost destroyed the economy means it will be "extremely tough" for the agency to meet its targets, the Sars commissioner told Business Day on Wednesday.

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