Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) set for the 4th of November 2021
Newly appointed Minister of Finance, Mr Enoch Godongwana. Will table the MTBPS on the 4th of November at 14h00. The MTBPS sets out the policy framework for the Budget that is presented every February, updates National Treasury’s economic forecasts, adjusts the budgets of government departments and makes emergency changes to spending.
The minister faces a tough challenge to balance the books. South Africa was facing an uphill battle prior to the pandemic and has pretty much exhausted all avenues of emergency funding to help the man in the street survive.
At the recent National Investment Dialogue, the Minister presented a speech titled “Investment Challenges and Opportunities in South Africa and The Continent“ To give you some insight as to his thinking, we summarise his speech below:
At the center of our country’s economic reconstruction and recovery plan is the goal of building a new, fast growing, more inclusive economy; propelled by greater levels of public and private sector investment.
The plan envisages new investments in energy; water and sanitation; roads and bridges; human settlements, health, and education; digital infrastructure and public transport. We also need investment particularly domestic investment.
Critical to that conducive environment are the necessary structural reforms that we must implement.
First among these is the reform of our electricity supply industry. Since 2008 we have spent most of our time trying to fix ESKOM, without fixing electricity supply. It is my considered opinion that the electricity supply industry must be completely overhauled, and we must reduce our dependency on Eskom
The second issue is what we are dealing with in so far as the issue of the spectrum. It is a matter which has been a problem because for more than 12 years, we have had 11 Ministers each with his or her own policy and undermining the need for auctioning spectrum and making cheap data available to the economy
The third area is to follow global trends on greening our economy, and again we should not anchor this on Eskom’s reforms. There must be a national effort to green this economy
Fourthly is the need to improve our logistics capacity
Fifthly is the need to pay attention to the generally the cost of doing business in South Africa
The regulatory burden has got to be changed!
The minister is certainly making the right noises. It will be interesting to hear what he has to say on the 4 th of November. We will keep you informed on his speech and other developments in this regard.
Remote vs Onsite Working – Our New Normal
Since the introduction of remote working due to the lockdowns across the globe, many South African employees have become accustomed to working in this “new normal” and are also indeed preferring it to more traditional, onsite workdays.
So much so that a significant number have said they would rather change jobs than going back to being required to work onsite exclusively. Though there are many benefits in having a flexible work force, going back to the office might be better suited for your employees. In this article we will discuss the different benefits provided by both remote and onsite working.
Improved flexibility – by far one of the biggest benefits for remote working is the ability to work from anywhere. This can make employees a lot more productive while also providing better quality of life, as they are not necessarily bound to the same working environment day in and day out.
Reduced overhead – though your business might need to invest in additional software for employees to effectively work remotely, you will cut down a lot of other overhead costs. You will no longer need to provide for commuting costs, you will be able to downscale your offices, reduced costs for office (stationary, electricity, water, etc.).
Better work-life balance – employees will be able to better balance their lives. Working remotely helps employees be around their families, significant others and/or pets more often.
Set working environment – often lines can be blurred when working from home and distractions can arise. Having a set office to work from can help employees to concentrate and separate their living space from their working space.
Team building – when working onsite, employees can feel more connected and build a better sense of community. This brings about a better sense of purpose from your employees as they will be surrounded by people with a common set of goals and a unified mission.
More effective communication – though communication is easier with just the click of a button, in-person communication can be more effective. Many social cues are missed in online communication, leading to misunderstandings occurring more often. When meeting in person, it can be easier for individuals to get their message across more accurately leading to a better, more uniform understanding.
Both options have their own benefits which can prove valuable to your business. To get the best of both worlds, one can offer a hybrid working system where employees come together in office for a few set days a week and then work remotely for the rest. Though this does diminish some of the benefits offered by both remote and onsite working, it can realize benefits on both sides of the spectrum and offer an even more effective working environment than solely working remotely or onsite.
Director’s Role Amidst the COVID 19 Pandemic
The director’s role has without a doubt become more onerous amidst the Covid 19 pandemic. However, the Companies Act makes provision for operating in a virtual world, which includes, inter alia:
A signature or an initial on a document may be made by or on behalf of a person by the use of an electronic signature or an advanced electronic signature
Proxy forms, annual financial statements, prospectuses, and annual reports may be lawfully created, signed, retained, and sent electronically
Meetings of shareholders and directors respectively may be conducted entirely by electronic communication.
The definition of “present at a meeting” includes a “virtual presence” or representation by electronic proxy
Directors and officers are required to be cognisant of corporate legislation pertaining to their office and have a duty to ensure that the company complies with all other applicable laws, industry, or sector specific legislation.
Directors are required to ensure that managers and employees are aware of the legislation, and that all within the company are committed to act honestly, with integrity, and a high level of competence and knowledge. Adherence to nonbinding rules, codes and standards of good corporate governance is considered to be key to the effective management and control
of a company.
Should you require advice in this regard please do not hesitate to contact us for professional assistance.
Interim Dispute Process and Dispute Resolution for PAYE penalties
Penalties for late filing of Pay As You Earn (PAYE) returns was introduced this year. SARS is in the process of enhancing their Dispute Resolution process to allow for this penalty to be disputed separately from a PAYE late payment penalty.
To use the interim process to submit a Request for Remission, Notice of Objection or Notice of Appeal, please follow these steps:
Step 1: Check on eFiling that the penalty amount for which you wish to request remission, object, or appeal against is blocked and cannot be submitted. If eFiling blocks you then proceed to Step 2.
Step 2: Type or write a Request for Remission, and make sure that you include the reason for your request as well as the PAYE reconciliation period or transaction numbers of the penalties incurred or the EMP201 periods. Before you do all of this, please visit the Request for Remission of Administrative Non-compliance penalty webpageto understand the legislative requirements.
Step 3: If you already submitted a Request for Remission but you remain aggrieved by the outcome then use the ADR1 form in the case of an objection. If you already objected and the objection was dismissed, and you wish to appeal, then use the ADR2 form. The ADR1 and ADR2 forms can be downloaded here https://www.sars.gov.za/find-a-form/.
Step 4: Submit your Request for Remission, ADR1 or ADR2 to mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. You will receive a case number, which must be used in any future correspondence with SARS relating to this matter.
Step 5: Once SARS has considered the request for remission, objection or appeal, SARS will notify you by way of a letter addressed to your preferred channel of communication.
Should you require professional assistance in this regard please do not hesitate to contact our offices.
The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.
The technical storage or access is necessary for the legitimate purpose of storing preferences that are not requested by the subscriber or user.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.
The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes.