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Sustainable Brands Announces Speaker Line-Up For Africa’s Brand Innovation Conference

Cape Town to host world-class brand and sustainability leaders from 14-17 May 2016 at City Hall.

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Sustainable Brands Cape Town announces its vibrant line-up of over 100 speakers who will lead the discussions into HOW to innovate your brand for sustainability NOW.

South Africa’s leading sustainability practitioners as well as select international business leaders will host interactive discussion groups, breakout sessions, plenary presentations and networking activities for the business delegates, creative minds and the country’s future leaders who will be in attendance at SB’16 CAPE TOWN.

Related: 10 Dynamic Black Entrepreneurs

Broadly based the speakers will address how to:

  • innovate for regeneration through better business strategy and reporting
  • examine the macro trends and drivers of emerging markets
  • navigate behaviour change via effective communication
  • reinvent supply chains, and
  • enable sound enterprise development.

KoAnn Skrzyniarz, CEO and Founder of Sustainable Brands, will host the opening plenary of the conference and set the scene for four days of extraordinary learning, networking and sharing amongst the top thought leaders and their peers.

The speakers and topics include:

  • Mohamed Samir, President: India, Middle East and Africa, Proctor and Gamble – “P&G’s best brand stories from Africa where growth and social development have become inseparable” 
  • Seapei Mafoyane, CEO, Shanduka Black Umbrellas – “Enterprise development and how innovation and entrepreneurship are key to social and economic transformation”
  • Jason Drew, African Innovations Foundation Prize winner and mastermind behind the award-winning AgriProtein business that is transforming the animal feed market by using organic waste to generate protein-rich feed for livestock – “The Environmental Capitalist – how innovation is transforming energy and food security”
  • Saint-Francis Tohlang, South Africa’s leading young business mind and trends analyst – “New pathways to development and how brands can emulate human qualities in creatively contributing to social and environmental solutions that will lead to new developmental pathways in emerging markets”
  • Dr David North, Former UK Head: Corporate Affairs, TESCO, and now Group Executive: Strategy and Corporate Affairs, Pick n Pay – “How the food retailing industry has adapted to meet the new demands of managing food security and supply chains”
  • David Schwartz, sustainability entrepreneur, designer and researcher from the United States, will share case studies from his personal international experiences with Fortune 500 organisations, NGOs and social enterprises – “Examining how design and development can influence entrepreneurs, policymakers and all others dedicated to the pursuit of social impact” 

Related: 10 Things Successful SA Entrepreneurs Do Differently

The details and topics of more speakers at Sustainable Brands Cape Town follow below:

Procter-and-Gamble

Procter and Gamble are headline sponsors of the event being held in association with the NBI – South Africa’s National Business Initiative, MCI South Africa and the CHANGE AGENT COLLECTIVE. Other brands that will be participating on the platform include Santam, Dimension Data, Nike, Barloworld, Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation, PETCO, Trialogue, BASF, Frys and Nedbank.

Rashid Toefy, MD, MCI South Africa, says: “We are incredibly excited to bring this event to the African continent. Sustainability is a key development area in South Africa and a field in which our country has shown global leadership. It is also quite significant that the event will take place in Cape Town, a city that has been at the forefront of innovation in terms of sustainability.” During his tenure as CEO of the Cape Town International Convention Centre, Toefy was instrumental in ensuring that the centre was one the world’s leading sustainable convention centres.

“This conference will be the business networking event of 2016,” states Joanne Yawitch, CEO, NBI. Deon Robbertze, Programme Director, Sustainable Brands Cape Town, and Director, CHANGE AGENT COLLECTIVE, notes: “The programme for this first event on the African continent has been carefully curated to showcase and inspire how sustainability-led innovation is the core focus of brands that are leading a new economy based on transparency, innovation and purpose.”

The programme will also offer lively debates, showcase products and solutions in the Activation Hub and offer intriguing Inspiration Tours. 

Contact Taryn Brookes at taryn.brooks@mci-group.co.za to discuss alternatives for companies wishing to participate in the conference, conversations and debates around a series of topics in The Activation Hub.

The event begins on 15 May and continues to 17 May 2016. Registration is now open and space is limited. Engagement opportunities are still available for speakers and companies looking to explore HOW SB’16 CAPE TOWN can benefit their brand NOW.

Further information, including a programme overview for the conference, can be found at http://events.sustainablebrands.com/sb16ct/.

MORE SB’16 CAPE TOWN SPEAKERS AND TOPICS: 

  • Dr Anthony Turton, hydrology expert and conflict resolution specialist – “The Coming Age of water – the impacts of the water crises on mining and the economy”
  • Chris Coulter, President, Globescan – “The latest research into developing road maps for regeneration”
  • Cormac Cullinan, environmental advocate and author of Wild Law – Wild Law – a discussion on issues relating to environmental governance and the shifting landscape of compliance in relation to policy”
  • Christelle Marais, Procurement and Sustainability Specialist for Africa, SAB Miller – “Better Business – insights into how SAB Miller is developing and implementing responsible sourcing and building authentic relationships within supply chains”
  • Carla Tavares, Programme Marketing Manager, The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC International) – “How certification can develop trusted brand recognition and verifiable supply chains”
  • Dr Jaisheila Rajput, value chain specialist and CEO, TOMA – NOW (Tomorrow Matters Now) – “Mapping and developing value chains – looking at how companies that have their house in order can look forward to sustained growth and adapt to new market challenges and opportunities”
  • Andrea Ferry, sustainability consultant – “The role of organisational change agents and how their influence enables brands to shift direction to face the new challenges within the economy and brand development”
  • Claire Janisch, biomimicry expert – “How to develop strategies for abundance by exploring life’s principles and emulating nature’s success strategies from the perspective of the pioneer species within mature ecosystems”
  • Dr Geoff Kendall, CEO and Co-founder, Future Fit – “Entrepreneurship and innovation”
  • David Katz, Founder, The Plastic Bank – “Recycling and its impacts on innovation and poverty alleviation”
  • Davide Stronati, Head: Strategy, Mott Macdonald (global engineering, management and development consultants) – “Strategy and leadership across countries in the developing world”
  • Ingun Berget, Former CEO, Amer Sports Norway (with brands like Salomon, Atomic, Suunto and Wilson in the portfolio) and now CEO, BRIGHT, a company that aims to be a global brand in innovation and social responsibility with their range of solar lights – “Renewable energy and how it impacts the innovation and entrepreneur landscapes”
  • Jakob Trollback, Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Trollback and Company – “The Global Goals for Sustainable Development – the new language being created to communicate organisational change including targets, outcomes and representation of data”
  • Jeff King, Senior Director for Sustainability, CSR and Social Innovation, The Hershey Company – “Hershey’s Energise Learning programme in Ghana”: This project, in partnership with the Ghana School Feeding Programme and non-profit organisation Project Peanut Butter, is developing and distributing a highly-fortified groundnut nutritional supplement called “Vivi” to help improve education performance, increase school attendance, and boost domestic food production and farmer food security.
  • Joanne Yawitch, CEO, The National Business Initiative – “Socio-economic sustainability and governance”
  • Jonathon Hanks, CEO and Founder, Incite – “Leadership, shared value and transparency and its implications for new business leaders tackling the ever-changing business landscape”
  • Justin Smith, Group Head: Sustainability, Woolworths – “A Perfect Storm: Food Security, Affordability and Drought as South Africa is in the grips of a water and food crisis” 
  • Kevin James, CEO and Founder, Global Carbon Exchange Africa – “Corporate approaches to the economic, social and environmental imperatives and how risk and opportunity are flipsides of the same coin” (How to address such issues to ensure that the risks become opportunities, will be presented in a practical, measurable and economically feasible way.)
  • Lisa Parkes – Project Manager, Cape Craft and Design Institute – “The Appreciative Enquiry model utilised in The Better Living Challenge (BLC), a five-year project that implements design solutions and the commercialisation of these solutions for low-income housing to improve living conditions”

Related: South African Entrepreneurs Blazing a Trail Overseas

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Entrepreneur Today

3 Stealthy Tax Hikes Payroll Managers And Employees Need To Take Note Of

By Rob Cooper, tax expert at Sage, and chairman of the Payroll Authors Group of South Africa

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“Dammed if you do and dammed if you don’t.” 

The adage summarises the difficult decisions government and the Finance Minister faced when balancing the country’s books, rescuing state-owned enterprises, and reviving the growth of our economy. Given the economic pressure that most taxpayers are facing, government ideally needed to achieve all of that without direct increases to personal income tax in the most recent Budget Speech.

Personal income tax has comprised at least a third of South Africa’s total tax revenue in recent tax years, despite growing unemployment. The 2019 Budget, presented in February, forecasts that personal income tax will account for nearly 39% of tax collected during the upcoming (2019/20) tax year. Given that we are in an election year and that the tax base is fragile, it’s not surprising that the Finance Minister and the National Treasury avoided direct increases to the statutory tax tables used to calculate PAYE for employees in the budget.

Nonetheless, government has made inflation work in its favour to impose some tax increases by stealth. Here are three ways government is raising more revenue without direct tax increases:

1. Bracket creep

The statutory tax tables used by payrolls and employers have not been changed for 2019/20, nor have the brackets been adjusted for inflation. This effectively amounts to an indirect tax increase that will yield a revenue saving of approximately R12.8 billion for government’s coffers.

It is not unusual for government to use ‘bracket creep’ to effectively raise more revenue. But unlike previous tax years, even low- and middle-income earners are not getting much relief. Rebates and the tax threshold are being increased by small amounts to allow some relief, but many people this year will feel the pain as inflationary salary increases push them into a higher tax bracket.

2. Medical aid credit not adjusted for inflation 

As proposed in the 2018 Budget, the Finance Minister did not apply an inflationary increase to the Medical Tax Credit, which allowed him to raise an extra R1 billion in revenue for the year. Surprisingly, these funds will be allocated to general tax revenue rather than ring-fenced for healthcare. In previous tax years, revenue generated from below-inflation increases on medical scheme credits was used to fund National Health Insurance (NHI) pilot projects.

There is still no clarity on how the NHI is going to be funded except for a general statement that the funding model is a problem for the National Treasury to solve, and that the principles of cross-subsidisation will apply. One wonders if any real progress will be made soon, given the fiscal constraints government faces.

3. Business travel deduction left untouched

The Budget leaves the per-kilometre cost rates used to determine tax deductions for business travel untouched. By not increasing travel rates to account for inflation, government effectively increases income tax collection at the cost of the taxpayer. This will be a blow for people who need to claim from their employers for business travel in their personal vehicles. This change has slipped through largely unnoticed and the budget does not provide numbers for the expected increase in tax revenue.

Closing words

Amid political turmoil and uncertainty, the Finance Minister presented a balanced budget for 2019/20 that offers hope for the future along with some tough love. With government taking steps to accelerate economic growth and improve revenue collection, we should hopefully see a steady improvement in government finances, which will translate into less pressure on the taxpayer in future years.

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Entrepreneur Today

SMEs: Staying On The Right Side Of The Taxman

Remaining SARS compliant can be a constant challenge for small- to medium-enterprises (SMEs), especially when they are trying to focus on growing their businesses and streamlining their operations.

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EasyBiz Managing Director, Gary Epstein, says submitting taxes can be a seamless process that does not have to take up more time than is necessary. “If business owners understand what is required of them and they put a few processes into place to deal with their tax submissions properly, their lives will be so much easier.”

What are the top three considerations for SMEs when submitting tax returns?

“Firstly,” says Epstein, “SARS returns must be accurate and submitted in terms of the relevant Act. Secondly, returns should be submitted and paid on time to avoid unnecessary penalties and interest, and thirdly, business owners must follow up on queries issued by SARS. “Do not ignore these queries, act on them as soon as possible”.

What are the major SARS submission deadlines for SMEs?

Epstein points out that small business owners need to adhere to various tax deadlines, each with their own particular dates for submission. “It is important that business owners diarise the dates (and set advance reminders for themselves) and/or enlist the services of an accountant or financial adviser to help them keep abreast of requirements.”

Value-added tax (VAT)

VAT payments need to be submitted in the VAT period allocated to the business, according to various categories and ending on the last day of a calendar month. This may mean making payments once a month, once every two months, once every six months or annually, depending on the category.

Provisional taxes

Provisional tax should be submitted at the end of August (first provisional) and at the end of February (second provisional) – for February year-end companies.

Employee taxes

In addition to submitting an annual reconciliation (EMP501) for the period 1 March to end of February for Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE), Skills Development Levy (SDL) and Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), employee tax, in the form of an EMP201 return, needs to be submitted by the seventh of every month.

When can SMEs get extensions and is it worth it?

Epstein says SMEs can apply for various extensions, but these are subject to the Income Tax Act and Tax Administration Act.

“It is best for SMEs to consult their tax professionals to get advice regarding extensions for their businesses.”

What is SARS not flexible about?

SARS is not flexible when it comes to late returns and late payments.

“I cannot stress enough how important it is for SME owners to ensure their tax returns are submitted on time. In this way, they will avoid the inconvenience and expense of additional fines and interest,” notes Epstein.

What skills do SMEs need in their organisations to be able to submit to SARS efficiently?

Business owners often don’t have the time or expertise to deal with tax submissions throughout the year. If the business cannot afford to employ a full-time accountant or financial services expert, it would do well to outsource its tax requirements to a registered tax practitioner.

“I would recommend that even if they are not submitting the tax returns themselves, business owners should have a broad understanding of the tax regulations and what is expected of them. There is a lot of helpful information on the various Acts and tax requirements on SARS’ website,” says Epstein.

How does the right software help SMEs remain SARS compliant?

SME’s (and their accountants’) jobs can be made easier by using reliable accounting software to calculate accurate VAT reports. These reports are only as accurate as the data entered into them, which means care needs to be taken when inputting data into the accounting programme. Epstein says a good accounting software package must be reliable, easy to use and functional.

“SMEs need to check that the software has thorough reporting capabilities and can interface with other software solutions. Of course, it is also important to find out whether the software is locally supported by the vendor or not.”

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Entrepreneur Today

4 Dangers Of Business Under-insurance

A common short-term insurance peril that many SMEs face when submitting a claim following an insured event is the risk of being underinsured.

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Malesela Maupa, Head of Products and Insurer Relationships at FNB Insurance Brokers says, many small business owners mistakenly believe that by merely having a short-term insurance policy in place they are adequately protected against unforeseen events.

“This is technically correct provided that the business is covered for the full replacement value of the items insured. However, in circumstances where the sum insured does not cover the full replacement value or material loss of the item insured, the business is underinsured,” explains Maupa, as he unpacks the dangers of business underinsurance:

1. Financial loss

The most common risk is financial loss on the part of the business. If the business is underinsured or the indemnity period understated, the short-term insurance policy will only pay out the sum insured for the stated indemnity period as stated in the schedule, with the business owner having to provide for the shortfall. This often leads to cash flow challenges, impacting profit margins or rendering it difficult for the business to recover following the financial loss.

2. Reputational damage

Should an underinsured business not have sufficient funds to replace a key business activity or critical component following a loss, this may impact its ability to fulfil its contractual obligations, leading to a loss of business or market share, and irreparable reputational damage in the worst-case scenario.

3. Legal action

A small business also faces the risk of customers or clients taking legal action against it, should it fail to deliver on goods and services following a loss or be unable to honour its financial commitments that they committed to prior to the loss.

4. Survival of the business

A catastrophic event such as fire, which could result in the loss of stock or company equipment and documentation, could threaten the survival of a small business that is not yet fully established, if the business assets are not adequately insured.

Working with an experienced short-term insurance broker or insurer is essential when taking up short-term insurance to ensure that business contents are covered for their full replacement value.

Furthermore, depending on the nature of the business or item insured, the policy should be reviewed on a regular basis to avoid underinsurance as the value of items often change overtime due to fluctuations in economic activity. Where it’s necessary, evaluation certificates need to be kept up to date.

“Lastly, SMEs should ensure that the sum insured does not exceed the replacement value, which would lead to over insurance. Should a business submit a claim following a loss, the insurer would only pay out the replacement value, regardless of the higher sum insured,” concludes Maupa.

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