Kieswetter takes over from acting commissioner Mark Kingon, who has overseen the South African Revenue Service (SARS) for more than a year. As part of taking on the role, Kieswetter has resigned from the board of Shoprite, Africa’s biggest grocery chain.
An independent panel of policymakers selected Kieswetter for his formidable expertise and his track record as deputy SARS commissioner and chief tax officer. Others shortlisted for the role included Kingon himself, Nathaniel Mabetwa, Sunita Manik, Gene Ravele and Nazrien Kader.
SARS has not had a commissioner since tax chief Tom Moyane was suspended in March 2018. The new commissioner will have to rebuild trust in the service and help the government overcome the fiscal shortfall the country faces.