SAIT Appoints New Deputy Chief Executive
30 January 2011
Posted by: Author: TaxTalk
SAIT Appoints New Deputy Chief Executive
Alton Netshivhungululu, a former senior SARS official, was recently appointed as the deputy chief executive of the SAIT.
TaxTalk chats with Alton to discover his vision for the institute.
Your career with SARS started on a very low level, and you progressed to the position of assistant general manager (direct taxes). How did you achieve this?
When I joined SARS, it was as an admin clerk in Limpopo, in the inland revenue division (at this time,I had only a Standard 10 education).This was my first job straight from school. I progressed through the ranks of SARS; became a tax assessor; tax auditor; chief tax officer;junior manager of the inland revenue (former Venda in Limpopo) with a team of 20 staff members under my supervision. This eventually grew to a team of 70.I then progressed to second in charge at SARS, Limpopo, in the position of chief taxation officer. In 1996, I was appointed director of the head office tax structure development and relocated to Pretoria to take up this position and a chief director of direct taxes in 1999.The position later became assistant general manager of direct taxes in the legal and policy division.I was also very involved in introducing tax base broadening at SARS and was also instrumental in introducing the advanced tax ruling (ATR).
You also received the highest level in training(internally) while at SARS.Do you see yourself as privileged to have had this opportunity?
Yes I do, although there was a lot of hard work involved. In those days there was no phrase such as ‘fast tracking’. I was just appropriately qualified and experienced after fulfilling the highest level of training (Income Tax 111) with a BCom, MBA and higher diploma in taxation.SARS actually released me to study for an MBA at the University of Stellenbosch which I completed on record time in 1996. I didn’t have a formal mentor, although I did receive indirect mentoring during my career; in particular, from Wilbert Netshifhefhe at SARS, Limpopo and Kosie Louw at head office in Pretoria.I also served as the chairperson of the Tax Appeal Committee for approximately eight years until 2006 and represented SARS in the Commonwealth Association for Tax Administrators (CATA) for five years as a CATA Management Committee member.The 2002 CATA conference in Cape Town (South Africa) was organised under my leadership.
You left SARS in 2009 and started your own business. How did this lead you to where you find yourself now as the deputy chief executive of SAIT?
When I left SARS, I started my own business as a tax practitioner and joined the SAIT,where I was accorded the title of Master Tax Practitioner due to my experience in tax and my qualifications. I recall a conversation with Pravin Gordhan on which institute I should join and here commended the SAIT.Your appointment serves as succession planning for the current chief executive,Stiaan Klue, and to lead the transformation programme of the SAIT.
What is your vision and strategy for SAIT?
The transformation process for SAIT is not just about colour, it is intended to add value, to grow the organisation and to shape ideas around tax not only in South Africa, but into Africa and internationally.We want to encourage compliance and to encourage tax practitioners to keep up to date with new legislation, bearing in mind that tax practitioners stand between the taxpayer and SARS. Our goal would be that all tax practitioners should have to be members of an institute such as the SAIT. We would encourage education of our future generation of taxpayers and encourage young people to take up a career in taxation. This is in line with our values: integrity, excellence and education.Apart from taxation, Alton has a great passion for community work, in particular the upliftment of street children and the care of the elderly.
TaxTalk would like to wish Alton success in his position as deputy chief executive of the SAIT and we look forward to regular contributions from him in the magazine.
Source: By TaxTalk