The dispute between Sasol and the South African Revenue Service (SARS) over outstanding tax liabilities and penalties of 12.8bn rand ($985mn) relates to the company’s international procurement of crude between 2005 and 2014. The controversy has intensified amid growing concerns over SARS’ politicization and increasingly precarious economic position.
One of the first actions Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan took on his reappointment to the Treasury in December 2015 was to order a halt to the organizational restructuring being implemented under SARS Commissioner Tom Moyane. SARS is yet another state institution mired in internal battles mirroring the power struggle within the ANC. Gordhan’s return