The Minister of Finance, Enoch Godongwana, has appointed Yanga Mputa as the Tax Ombud effective from 1 July 2023 for a period of five years.
Mputa is South Africa’s first female Tax Ombud.She takes over from Professor Thabo Legwaila, who has been acting in the role since October 2022, after the term of the first Tax Ombud, Judge Bernard Ngoepe, ended on 30 September 2023.
Minister Godongwana thanked Judge Ngoepe for his outstanding leadership in establishing the Office of the Tax Ombud and ensuring that it improved the South African tax administration system by providing a free and fair avenue for resolving taxpayers’ complaints against the South African Revenue Service (SARS).
“I also want to thank Professor Legwaila for acting for the period 6 October 2022 to 6 April 2023, and wish him all the best as he returns to his position as CEO of the Office of the Tax Ombud.”
Godongwana encouraged the incoming Tax Ombud to act in the public interest and to ensure that SARS treats all taxpayers fairly.
The role of a Tax Ombud serves as a crucial mechanism for ensuring fairness, accountability, and transparency in the tax system by acting as an independent and impartial arbitrator between taxpayers and the tax authority.
“By providing a readily accessible avenue for recourse to both individuals and businesses, the Tax Ombud contributes greatly to maintaining public trust in the tax system, something we cannot take for granted.
“The Office of the Tax Ombud also promotes compliance while safeguarding the rights of taxpayers, aiding our goal as the government of an equitable and efficient tax administration,” Godongwana said.
“I have full faith in Ms Mputa’s ability to take up this challenge and continue the good work the Tax Ombud has already achieved, even though she will be greatly missed at the National Treasury,” the Minister said.
An Admitted Attorney of the High Court of South Africa, Mputa holds BProc and LLB degrees from the former University of Transkei, an LLM degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, an MCom in International Tax from North-West University (Potchefstroom), and a Postgraduate Diploma in Tax Law from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Mputa joined the National Treasury in 2014 as Chief Director: Legal Tax Design. Prior to this, she was a Tax Specialist at the South African Revenue Service from 2009.
According to the Ministry of Finance, in her current role at the National Treasury, she has “played a sterling role in the development of our annual tax legislation, as she oversaw the designing and drafting of all tax legislation, including the negotiating of tax treaties”.
Her work involved working closely with the two finance committees of Parliament to finalise the tax legislation together with other National Treasury and SARS colleagues.
She also served as the South African representative on the OECD/G20 Steering Group of the Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) since January 2017.