The South African Revenue Service (SARS) says it is faced with a difficult task to re-prioritise its needs and rebuild its ability to improve its revenue collection.

The coronavirus pandemic, the associated lockdowns and the global slowdown have severely affected SARS revenue collection.

In his budget statement on Wednesday, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said this year South Africa would have the largest tax shortfall on record.

Budget 2021 delivered by Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni:

He said SARS expected to collect R1.21 trillion in taxes during 2020-2021, about R213 billion less than the 2020 budget expectations.

SARS commissioner Edward Kieswetter says they have to address serious challenges if they are to reverse their low revenue collection.

“Because of our historic imbalance, we still have a significant portion of our revenue going into so-called social services and addressing areas of concession rather than areas of investment. So it takes time to shift, so that we can invest more in the economy, create more productive capacity, create more jobs and that demands a growing economy and subsequent revenue,” says Kieswetter.

The video below is Kieswetter’s full interview on Morning Live: