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GDP growth surprises in South Africa

CAPE TOWN: South Africa’s real GDP growth rate accelerated at a 3.1% quarter-on-quarter SAAR during the fourth quarter of 2017, higher than the market consensus of 1.8% SAAR. This contributed to headline GDP growth of 1.3% in 2017 from 0.6% in 2016. Revised GDP numbers for the previous three quarters of 2017 produced by the South Africa Statistical Service, StatsSA, ... Read More »

Pound to South African rand exchange rate rallies after brexit transitional deal agreement

CAPE TOWN: Pound to South African Rand exchange rate steadily rose from an opening level of 16.3919 on Monday to close higher around 16.7017 on Friday. The only UK event of note was Tuesday’s spring statement, which saw Chancellor Philip Hammond make cautiously optimistic predictions about future UK economic growth. There were a number of critics of the Chancellor’s outlook, ... Read More »

African EU states focus anti-trafficking efforts at source

CAPE TOWN: In ministerial-level talks, they agreed to “attack underlying causes of irregular migration,” according to a joint statement.   The countries also vowed to strengthen national laws to prosecute traffickers and improve coordination among police and judiciary in fighting human smuggling. The one-day “conference on coordination of the struggle against traffickers of migrants” took place against a backdrop of renewed ... Read More »

South African firm to invest $1b to expand trade in Africa

CAPE TOWN: African Export-Import Bank (AFREXIMBANK) said it was launching a $1 billion financing programme with the Export Credit Insurance Corporation (ECIC) of South Africa to promote trade expansion and investments in Africa. A statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday said a memorandum of understanding was signed between the two partners in Cairo, Egypt on Monday to launch the ... Read More »

SA man trapped at Tambo with US dollars hidden in sweet containers

CAPE TOWN: The South African man was about to depart for Dubai when he was intercepted and taken to the search area where Customs officers scanned his luggage, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) said in a statement on Wednesday. Currency in US dollars, valued at R4 595 344, was found hidden in sweet containers, milk powder tins and soap ... Read More »

African countries agree to launch continental free trade area

CAPE TOWN: Agreement has been reached to establish the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which is envisaged to offer opportunities to create large economies of scale, says the South African Department of Trade and Industry (dti). Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies and his deputy, Bulelani Magwanishe, attended the African Union (AU) Ministers of Trade (AMOT) meeting held in ... Read More »

South Africa scrutinizes US aluminium steel tariffs

CAPE TOWN: South African government is studying United States President Donald Trump’s proclamation to impose a 10% tariff on aluminium and 25% tariff on steel articles, and its implications for South African exports. The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) says it has taken note of the 8 March proclamations signed by President Trump to impose a 10% ad valorem ... Read More »

South Africa lawyers plan to sue food company over listeria

CAPE TOWN: : Victims of the world’s worst listeriosis outbreak in South Africa will be invited to sue the owner of the factory named as the source, a human rights lawyer said on Sunday (Mar 11). Attorney Richard Spoor confirmed that his firm would file a class action suit against Tiger Brands whose facility was last weekend officially revealed to ... Read More »

Big change to tax free savings accounts in South Africa

CAPE TOWN: National Budget indicating an impact on long-term savings  positive or negative  a National Treasury regulation that kicked in on 1 March 2018 provides South Africans with added flexibility when it comes to Tax-free Savings Accounts (TFSAs). This is according to René Grobler, head of cash investments at Investec Bank, who said that as of 1 March 2018, South Africans ... Read More »

Panama Papers help S Africa disclosure scheme hit ZAR3.3bn

CAPE TOWN: The South African Revenue Service (Sars) said that taxpayers have already paid over ZAR2.7bn and it expects another ZAR580m to be paid by the end of March. The taxman added that the ZAR3.3bn includes agreements for payment as a result of information uncovered in the Panama Papers. Data leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca in April 2016 saw ... Read More »

South Africa business confidence retreats from 2-1/2 year high

CAPE TOWN:  South African business confidence pulled back in February after hitting a 2-1/2 year high in January as exports, imports and retail sales fell, but prudent economic policies could help boost sentiment going forward, a survey showed on Wednesday. The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (SACCI) monthly business confidence index (BCI) fell to 98.9 in February from ... Read More »

South Africa meat recall grows over listeria fears

CAPE TOWN:  South Africa raced on Monday to withdraw meat products made at a factory found to be the origin of the world’s worst-ever listeria outbreak that has killed 180. Mozambique’s agriculture ministry announced it would immediately ban imports of South African chilled meats, which have been at the centre of the outbreak, in an effort to prevent listeria spreading. ... Read More »

2 customs officials in court for alleged corruption

CAPE TOWN: Two customs officials are expected to appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Monday for allegedly demanding a bribe from a businessman who wanted to evade tax obligations. They were arrested following a “sting operation” involving the Hawks’ serious corruption investigation unit in Durban, Crime Intelligence members, and the special task force last week Thursday. Hawks spokesperson Captain ... Read More »

Treasury at upper limits of taxing South Africans

CAPE TOWN: In addition, there’s an increase in the grants to low income level people in SA as well. That’s the official message out there from the ministry. I think it is a bit more complicated than that. The zero-rated food items have been more or less static since the inception of VAT about 28 years ago. So, whether zero-rated ... Read More »

South Africa’s cabinet considering expanding zero-rated VAT basket

CAPE TOWN:  South Africa’s cabinet may expand the basket of zero-rated value-added tax (VAT) items after it was hiked by 1 percentage point in last week’s budget, the minister of communications said on Thursday. Treasury said last Wednesday VAT would be raised for the first time in 25 years as part of efforts to cut the budget deficit, stabilize debt ... Read More »

South Africa’s cheapest medical aid schemes and hospital plans in 2018

CAPE TOWN: The latest budget speech tabled for 2018 came with many of the expected tax hikes and budgetary changed – but one expected change did not make the cut, much to the relief of almost nine million South Africans on medical aids in the country. Many analysts expected the budget to do away with medical aid tax credits, which ... Read More »

S. African poultry producers seek protection against dumping

CAPE TOWN: The stakeholders in the poultry industry on Tuesday held a special forum in Johannesburg and recommended that imports be reduced by 50 percent and local producers asking for protection against dumping. The forum was attended by representatives from government, poultry producers, research institutions and civil society lobby groups in the poultry sector. It was revealed during the forum ... Read More »

South Africa analysis tax proposals in 2018/19 national budget

CAPE TOWN: The government’s tax proposals to fill the gap in revenue, announced in the Budget last week, have generated a lot of comment. The left has been extremely critical of the increase in VAT, from 14% to 15%, arguing that VAT is regressive, and it places an undue burden on the poor. The right, however, has applauded the tax ... Read More »

South Africa’s ANC seeks to shield poor from sales tax

CANBERRA: South Africa’s ruling African National Congress said the government must consider additional measures to protect the poor from the effect of higher sales tax, possibly by increasing the number of exempt items. Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba announced plans to raise the rate of value-added tax to 15 percent from 14 percent in the Feb. 21 budget, a decision criticized ... Read More »

Fruit and nut exports rose across the board for South Africa in 2017

CAPE TOWN: South African fruit and nut exports rose 18% year-on-year in 2017 to reach US$3.4 billion, outstripping the growth rate for shipment volume by eight percentage points. Leading the way were oranges which accounted for more than a third of the volume and just over a fifth of the value, with exports up 26% at US$760 million. Next in ... Read More »