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Advisory firm to Treasury recommends new taxes for South Africa – including an amusement tax

Local government is facing an increasing deficit and will likely have to turn to new revenue streams to cover the shortfall, suggests a new report released by the Financial and Fiscal Commission (FFC), adding that South African municipalities are in a ‘debt dilemma’. The Financial and Fiscal Commission (FFC) is a body set up by the constitution to advise the ... Read More »

South Africa business sentiment stays at 2-yr low as GDP shrinks

South African business confidence stayed locked at the lowest level in two years in the second quarter as a slump in economic output raises the risk of a second recession in successive years. A quarterly gauge measuring sentiment was unchanged at 28 for the three months through June, FirstRand Ltd’s Rand Merchant Bank unit and Stellenbosch University’s Bureau for Economic ... Read More »

SA gold slump continues as annual production falls by 19.5%

South Africa’s embattled gold sector faced more bad news on Thursday. According to Stats SA, annual gold production shrank by 19.5% in April, its 19th straight monthly decrease. Annual production fell by 18.3% in March and 21.1% in February. According to Stats SA, annual iron ore production was down 11.9%, while chromium ore fell by 7.2%. Total mining production decreased ... Read More »

Warders bust smuggling drugs into Drakenstein Prison

Two prison warders have been arrested with drugs allegedly meant to be smuggled into Drakenstein Prison. The 27-year-old female officer and her 29-year-old male partner were nabbed after they were found with 50 mandrax tablets and 42 grams of dagga just outside a Wellington. The two were apprehended by officers attached to the Crime Prevention Unit, while they were parked ... Read More »

Supposed PIC dealmaker’s attempts to extort R45m from SA Home Loans

Businessman Kholofelo Maponya is legally challenging the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and SA Home Loans for R45 million in origination transaction fees linked to a deal that he didn’t initiate after failed attempts to questionably extract the money from the two entities. Maponya has been trying to wrestle the transaction fees out of SA Home Loans since 2016. They relate ... Read More »

How much South Africans could lose due to the new expat tax

Some South African tax residents working abroad, often referred to as “expats”, are grumbling about changes to the Income Tax Act, 1962 (the Act) which comes into effect on 1 March 2020. According to Joon Chong, a partner at Webber Wentzel, expats who may have previously benefitted from not paying employees’ tax in either South Africa or the foreign country ... Read More »

South Africa’s economy may be nearing the end of its slump: economist

After years of slow grow South Africa may be over the worst, and could start seeing growth by 2021/22 according to leading economist Mike Schüssler. Schüssler, owner of economic consultancy, said the first quarter will likely be a disaster with corruption and SOEs taking some time longer to sort out. In industries such as mining, Schüssler expected a continuing ... Read More »

State spooks undermined Sars to favour tobacco smugglers, claims former top spy

Arthur Fraser claims the taxman was the target of coordinated intelligence operations aimed at derailing investigations into tobacco smuggling. The SA Revenue Service (Sars) was the target of coordinated intelligence operations aimed at derailing its investigation into tobacco smuggling and the local tobacco industry, the country’s former top spy Arthur Fraser has claimed. Fraser’s astounding allegation in response to Dr ... Read More »

SA ‘resilient to shocks’ but credit profile likely to erode – Moody’s

Credit rating agency Moody’s says while SA’s credit profile is “resilient to shocks” that support its investment-grade rating, the country’s credit profile is likely to continue to erode. South Africa faces weak long-term growth despite its favourable government debt structure, it said. Moody’s is the only international credit rating agency that has not downgraded SA to junk, keeping SA at ... Read More »

Bitcoin climbs above $7 000 as cryptocurrency rally extends

Bitcoin climbed to the highest since September, briefly surpassing $7 000, as a rally in cryptocurrencies gathered pace in trading over the weekend. Bitcoin advanced 11% from Friday to $6 957.73 as of 09:01 Tokyo time, having earlier hit $7 585, according to Bitstamp pricing. The largest cryptocurrency is on a tear after trading closer to $5 000 at the ... Read More »

Samsung South Africa launches R280m EEIP programme

Samsung announced its R280 million Equity Equivalent Investment Programme (EEIP), projected to have a measurable impact on job creation and a contribution of nearly R1 billion to the South African economy at large. EEIP is an initiative of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) where multinational companies that are unable to sell equity in South Africa are invited ... Read More »

Occidental to sell Anadarko Africa assets for $8.8 billion

Occidental Petroleum has agreed to sell Anadarko Petroleum assets in four African nations to Total SA for $8.8bn (about R127bn at current exchange rates), contingent on the Houston-based oil producer’s long-running effort to buy Anadarko. The assets that would be sold are in Algeria, Ghana, Mozambique and South Africa, Occidental said in a statement Sunday. They would represent about 6% ... Read More »

SA budget deficit seen wider than Treasury forecasts

South Africa’s budget deficit for the most recent fiscal year could be worse than the government had forecast. The total shortfall for the year that ended on March 31 was R232.9bn, the Pretoria-based National Treasury said on Tuesday in its monthly budget update. That exceeds the government’s February projections of a R224.5bngap for the main budget and R210.2bn for the ... Read More »

What to Look for in a Profitable South African Franchise Business Opportunity

Franchising gives ambitious aspirant entrepreneurs and international investors an opportunity to invest in their own business with the guidance and support of a successful business enterprise. South African soil is ripe for franchisees, according to the Franchise Association of South Africa’s chairman, Tony da Fonseca. “The sector already contributes 13,3% to the country’s GDP, generating an estimated R721 billion through ... Read More »

‘Training is key to building SA’s black farming community’

Johannesburg – Access to finance, training and entrepreneurship is critical to building South Africa’s black farming community, agricultural services company AFGRI’s subsidiary Lemang Agricultural Services has said. Lemang was specifically created to train, develop and mentor new era farmers and focuses on developing black farmers towards becoming full-scale commercial producers through financial assistance. “With food security becoming an increasing concern ... Read More »

Rand trades stronger despite business sentiment slump

The South African currency continued to strengthen during the European session on Wednesday, dropping just below the R14/$ threshold according to NKC Research. This is despite the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry reporting that business sentiment slumped to the lowest level in seven months in March. However, the local unit was buoyed by a further easing in US-China ... Read More »

‘Air Cocaine’ pilots sentenced to six years in drug smuggling trial

Two former air force pilots have been sentenced to six years in prison by a French court after 26 suitcases stashed with cocaine were found on board their plane in the Dominican Republic. The Frenchmen, Pascal Fauret and Bruno Odos, fled the country following the raid and were rearrested in France. A further five people have also been handed sentences ... Read More »

SA bonds back in favour after re-weighting, Moody’s

Partly driving demand was a re-weighting of the JPMorgan Government Bond Emerging Markets index on Friday, with South African debt assigned a higher weighting, according to Michelle Wohlberg, a trader at FirstRand Bank in Johannesburg. Also Friday, the country retained its investment-grade rating as Moody’s Investors Service deferred a review, further supporting appetite at a time when a risk-on mood ... Read More »

SA banks can hold out against a downgrade

South Africa’s banking system is robust enough to withstand a credit ratings downgrade, South African Reserve Bank (SARB) governor Lesetja Kganyago stressed on Thursday, as the country awaits a pending ratings review from agency Moody’s. Kganyago was speaking at a press briefing following the latest meeting of the central bank’s monetary policy committee, which decided to keep the bank’s repo ... Read More »

SA faces hefty $124bn energy ‘transition risk’

South Africa faces a “transition risk” of $124 billion between now and 2035 if it carries on with business as usual while the rest of the world cuts greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement. More than half of this would be borne by the government. This is one of the findings in a major report by the ... Read More »