The commission of inquiry into governance and administration at the SA Revenue Service (Sars), chaired by retired judge Robert Nugent, heard evidence last week that Sars’ restructuring was at the heart of the destruction of its large business centre and other key divisions such as enforcement and compliance. The overhaul of Sars’ operating model was conducted by consultancy Bain & Co, at a cost of R160m. Bain spent months putting together a diagnostic report on how to reorganise the complex, 14,000-strong organisation. The evidence before the commission thus far is clear: the restructuring was essentially aimed at fixing what was by no means broken. Finance minister Nhlanhla Nene will explain this week whether he did indeed approve the far-reaching overhaul, which severely dented Sars’ capacity and contributed to a R100bn hole in revenue collection. Bain, too, was to begin giving evidence in the matter on Thursday. The critical question evidence leaders appear to be seeking an answe...

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