Hilary Joffe Columnist

Could the corporate governance that goes with the Reserve Bank's controversial private shareholding structure be just the model we need for the South African Revenue Service (Sars)? The Nugent commission of inquiry into Sars has made headlines more for the evidence of dysfunction and dodgy dealing during the tenure of suspended commissioner Tom Moyane than for the learned debate in the public hearings about governance. But a key part of the commission's brief is to make recommendations on Sars's operating model. In effect, the question is how to Moyane-proof the tax authority in future. That would involve fixing the appointment process that kept him in place despite the finance minister's efforts to remove him as he did ever-deeper damage to Sars. And it would require putting in place speed bumps that would check the power of a bad commissioner in future. The Davis committee on tax studied governance and made recommendations that were debated at the Nugent commission recently. The c...

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