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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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Bitcoin Family Of Coins – Who Will Win?

Off the back of 6 sold out live events, and after successfully hosting the biggest #Cryptocurrency event ever held in South Africa, the Matt Brown Show is holding a one-time exclusive learning and networking event in Johannesburg on Wednesday, 7 March (6pm – 8pm) we’ll be launching a deep dive series into alternative cryptocurrencies.

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The interest around cryptocurrencies, with Bitcoin being the most famous, has continued to capture headlines worldwide whilst regulators around the world are still struggling to formulate a plan to deal with it.

The Matt Brown Show #cryptokungfu is kicking off its first edition of a deep dive series will be looking at the bitcoin family of coins, what makes the coins different, their utility and the opportunities for traders and investors.

The Matt Brown Show has built a listenership and captive audience in over 100 countries around the world. #CryptoJHB was the first podcast event to trend in the #1 hashtag position on Twitter in the history of South African media.

Related: 11 Things You Need To Know About Bitcoin

The Matt Brown Show Johannesburg event taking place on Wednesday, 7 March 2018 from 18:00pm to 20:00pm, now being hosted at the Mesh Club in Rosebank will tap into THREE of the world’s leading experts for this first edition of a deep dive series focused masterclass.

The Masterclass will feature Tone Vays (via video conference) and Adam Meister from the United States, both regarded as world’s leading Bitcoin experts. Lorien Gamaroff, founder/CEO of Bankymoon, blockchain and cryptocurrency consultant will provide the local market perspective as a South African.

The masterclass has been engineered to provide a more focussed and intimate discussion on the landscape, which is one of the reasons the event was moved to the mesh club. To provide a more exclusive and engaging atmosphere for the attendees.

Matt Brown says, “these 3 experts have the uncanny ability to read the cryptocurrency market and are considered part of the top 100 most influential people in blockchain/cryptocurrency space in the world”.

“So we need to look beyond the recent surge in bitcoin investors across Africa, businesses have also started to embrace the cryptocurrency. It no longer a fad but a reality of the world we live in today” says Brown.

South Africa continues to lead the way, with businesses now starting to accept bitcoin payments.

Gamaroff says, “The global financial system is crumbling. People are seeking alternatives to fiat money. Cryptocurrencies will be their hedges against the cataclysm that is coming.”

Related: Embracing Technology For Business

“The reality is that Bitcoin is here to stay and, with many seeing a good return on their investment in cryptocurrencies, they now want to use this digital cash to invest in their future” says Brown

“Today, South Africans are using the ease of online trading to make money that they can then reinvest in a future beyond the world of forex. Which is why we continue to see the demand for events like this, being attended by a mixture of cryptocurrency enthusiasts and/or people simply interested in learning more about this space.” Concludes Brown.

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The Workspace And MiWay Announce Entrepreneur Competition

To celebrate their collaboration at Village Road, The Workspace and MiWay are launching a competition for South Africa’s entrepreneurs that will see the winner/s given a major advantage to further grow their business.

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Space solutions and coworking specialist, The Workspace, and insurance company, MiWay, recently joined forces at The Workspace’s premises in Village Road, Selby where they have launched an entrepreneurial hub and business development programme in the Johannesburg CBD.

The competition is open to entrepreneurs based in South Africa who have valid identification documents, who run a business with four or less employees and are making an impact in their industry.

“We have always believed in assisting entrepreneurs and small business owners who are members of The Workspace community in whatever way we can. This entrepreneur competition takes it to the next level, giving a voice to our belief in entrepreneurship and its ability to create jobs,” says Mari Schourie, CEO of The Workspace.

Related: 6 Resources For Start-ups Looking For Funding

Morné Stoltz, head of Business Insurance at MiWay, says both companies are committed to upliftment initiatives and economic development. “The entrepreneur competition is a call to action to those vibrant entrepreneurs out there. Start-ups always need a bit of a hand-up and the winner of this one will have a serious advantage once the competition has gone through its paces,” he said.

Schourie and Stoltz agree they’re looking for an entrepreneur who has reinvented the way business is done in his/her industry. “Someone who has been innovative in the product or service being offered to the market,” says Schourie.

“We are looking for an entrepreneur who has or is busy creating a special environment where employees can flourish, and in the process, potentially creating more jobs,” Stoltz adds. “An entrepreneur who makes an impression on the judges due to aspects such as the business’ social impact, attitude, positive entrepreneurial outlook and a good business mind”.

Related: 4 Tips To Secure Funding For Your Start-up

The prize on offer – worth over R230 000 – will help set-up the winning entrepreneur for a period of 12 months, giving them a boost to help build their business.

All information on the Entrepreneur Competition is available on The Workspace website, including criteria, terms and conditions, and of course, the prizes.

For queries, please email events@theworkspace.co.za

Download the competition criteria here.

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Budget 2018/9: 3 Key Tax Areas To Look Out For In The Speech

High political drama in the opening weeks of Parliament aside, most South African business and personal taxpayers are expecting tax hikes across the board from the Finance Minister’s Budget Speech on 21 February.

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As we approach #Budget2018 day, Rob Cooper (tax expert and Director of Legislation at Sage, and chairman of the Payroll Authors Group of South Africa)has a few thoughts about what the Minister could clarify in his statement.

Government already faces a yawning budget deficit, aggravated by the need to find billions of rand to fund a new and unbudgeted-for commitment to free tertiary education.

While some spending cuts could help to release funds, we can expect a one to two percentage point increase in VAT, steep hikes to fuel levies and sin taxes, higher capital gains taxes, and perhaps even personal income tax hikes for high income earners.  We’re also likely to get more info on new taxes such as the carbon tax.

Personal taxpayers, with the exception of low-income earners, should probably not expect the Finance Minister to adjust personal income tax brackets and rebates to fully cater for the effect of inflation. In other words, even if your salary is worth less as a result of inflation, you should probably not be hoping for your effective tax rate to come down to compensate.

Here are three other things I’m looking out for in this year’s budget, each of which will have a major effect for employees and employers alike:

1. National Health Insurance

One of the big will-he-or-won’t-he questions the Finance Minister faces this year is whether to do away with the modest tax credit taxpayers receive for their medical aid payments. Government is eyeing an estimated R25 billion in funds from scrapping these tax credits, to be used to fund the incoming National Health Insurance scheme.

Many of us expected Minister Malusi Gigaba to announce this move in his Mid-Term Budget Speech in October 2017, but he held back. The move is likely to be contentious since a National Treasury analysis shows that 56% of the total credits claimed in 2014-2015 accrued to around 1.9 million taxpayers with a taxable income below R300,000.

In other words, the medical aid credit makes decent healthcare affordable to millions of people who might not otherwise be able to afford it. Taking it away could have dire consequences for the health of millions of lower income South Africans and put even more strain on an already pressurised public healthcare system.

Related: Budget Speech: The Impact on SMEs

2. Travel reimbursements and allowances

Travel reimbursements have long been a pain point for many employers and employees. Up to 28 February 2018, a portion of an employee’s travel costs was treated as remuneration when:

  • The per-kilometre rate used to calculate the travel reimbursement was greater than the SARS-prescribed rate per kilometre.
  • An employee is reimbursed for more than 12,000 business kilometres are reimbursed during the tax year.
  • The reimbursement value was greater than the prescribed maximum number of business km (12 000 km for 2018) multiplied by the prescribed rate per kilometre (R3,55 for 2018).

The result was that skills development levies and UIF contributions were added to something that should be considered as an operational cost rather than a payroll cost. This in turn increased the employer’s cost of employment. These levies and contributions were not assessed at the end of the tax year, so employers could not claim a refund.

We have long argued this regulation should be changed to be fairer to employers and employees alike. As a first step in the right direction, SARS has announced a simplification of the travel allowance and the travel reimbursement provisions, with effect from 1 March 2018.

Under this change, only the portion of the value of the travel expenses reimbursed at a rate above the ‘prescribed’ rate per kilometre will be treated as remuneration.  However, in future, we would like to see SARS handle travel reimbursements in the same way as it treats subsistence allowances for employees when they travel.

The excess portion of the subsistence allowance will be taxed on assessment, but it is not remuneration for the purposes of Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE), skills development levies and UIF.

3. Employment Tax Incentive

I’m a fan of the Employment Tax Incentive (ETI) as an innovation geared towards addressing South Africa’s youth unemployment crisis, and the decision to extend the programme until the end of the 2019 tax year is welcome. However, administration of the scheme has always been complex for SARS and employers alike, a factor that has made some companies hesitate to take advantage of it.

Though SARS and the National Treasury have tweaked the ETI over the years, I would welcome further simplification of the definitions and calculations. That said, I don’t expect much news about the ETI this year, apart from alignment with the National Minimum Wage expected to be introduced from 1 May 2018.

Follow us on @SageGroupZA on 21 Feb for LIVE expert insights from the annual Budget Speech.

For more information about Sage’s annual tax seminars, please visit: http://go.sage.com/NPS_18Q1_C4L_ZA_EVCU_HR0310_20thAnnualPayrollTaxSeminarLP

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