Sars e-filing system faces looming crash

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Tom Moyane, is seen during a press briefing held at the Sars offices where he disclosed to the media that SARS official, Jonas Makwakwa, had resigned with immediate effect, 14 March 2018, Pretoria. Photo: Jacques Nelles

The testimony of South African Revenue Service (Sars) executives at the Nugent commission this week revealed that the tax agency’s digital infrastructure has become inadequate and outdated as a result of Tom Moyane halting its modernisation programme shortly after he took over as commissioner back in 2014.

Business Day reports that it would cost about R1 billion to fix Sars’s IT infrastructure to avoid the potential crash of the e-filing system among a number of other looming problems.

IT strategy executive Andre Rabie confirmed the crisis, stating: “At this point in time, our infrastructure both from [a] desktop perspective and more importantly our core, which is the technology [that] makes all of this engine work, is behind from an infrastructure perspective.”

According to Rabie and other executives, Moyane’s appointment of consultancy firm Gartner to assess Sars’ IT system and strategy in addition to Gartner’s report and recommendations in the restructuring are the root causes of the problem.

Gartner’s role in Sars’ decline will form the focus at the Nugent commission this week.

Kaunda Selisho / The Citizen