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Tsogo Sun’s Entrepreneur Of The Year Finalists Announced

This year’s Tsogo Sun Entrepreneur of the Year Award finalists run businesses in a range of market sectors – find out more about the winners below.

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With South Africa’s entrepreneurial activity being rated as low for a developing nation and only a quarter of that of other sub-Saharan countries, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, support for entrepreneurs by the nation’s private and public sectors is essential for economic growth.

Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs has been committed to entrepreneurial development for more than a decade, revealing countless small business successes, providing practical support through a 12-month development programme, and recognising excellent entrepreneurial performance through the prestigious annual Tsogo Sun Entrepreneur of the Year Awards for the programme’s top performers.

This year’s Tsogo Sun Entrepreneur of the Year Award finalists run businesses in a range of market sectors, and include Carol Senosi, owner of cleaning services business, Lefa Cleaning Services in Gauteng; Nqobile Nkosi, whose business, NQ Jewellery Design, operates from Soweto; Lucille Cremen, who owns Cresco Tours in Gauteng; Zinzi Masina, owner of La Emme Guesthouse; and Meisie Nkosi, owner of Bella Bonni Guesthouse, both situated in eMalahleni in Mpumalanga.

Nqobile Nkosi, Tumi Manong, Rebone Sesoke, Meisie Nkosi, Zinzi Masina, Candy Tothill, Lucille Cremen, Hayley Moore and Carol Senosi

Nqobile Nkosi, Tumi Manong, Rebone Sesoke, Meisie Nkosi, Zinzi Masina, Candy Tothill, Lucille Cremen, Hayley Moore and Carol Senosi

Related: The Most Powerful Advice Entrepreneurs Ignore

Says Marcel von Aulock, Tsogo Sun CEO, “To meet the national requirements for job creation in South Africa, we need to cultivate an environment that is conducive to establishing and developing small businesses. Tsogo Sun contributes towards this social and economic imperative through our empowerment programmes such as the Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs, which assists emerging enterprises to grow and thrive so that they can become active participants in the economy.”

He adds that the Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs programme forms part of the group’s sustainability and growth strategy, with particular emphasis on delivering value to small and medium sized businesses in the communities where Tsogo Sun is present.

“The programme harnesses decades of our group’s experience and expertise and makes this available to entrepreneurs in all industries across the country to support them in their efforts to become successful. Over the years, the programme has become an important part of our supply chain and many of the registered entrepreneurs have become suppliers to the group.”

Entries to the 2016 Tsogo Sun Entrepreneur of the Year Award were open to 152 Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs who have benefitted or are benefitting from the 12-month development programme.  Says Candy Tothill, Tsogo Sun’s GM of Corporate Affairs, “Entrants were required to complete a comprehensive entry form to be considered for the Awards.

“These were shortlisted using a stringent evaluation method that included assessing performance in the programme, financial performance, customer knowledge, marketing, innovation efforts, job creation, contributions to the greater community, potential for growth, and overall sustainability.”

Related: 7 Steps To Launching Your Own Business

The finalists will be interviewed by a panel of nine judges, who include Tsogo Sun executives, change agents, thought leaders, and past Entrepreneur of the Year winners. The 2016 Judges are: Marcel von Aulock, CEO of Tsogo Sun; Vusi Dlamini, Group HR Director of Tsogo Sun; Laurelle McDonald, Corporate Finance Manager of Tsogo Sun; Ravi Nadasen, Tsogo Sun Operations Director; Ella Bella Leite, Founder of Generation Earth; Adriaan Groenewald, CEO and Co-founder of Leadership Platform; Carol Sanderson, 2014 winner and owner of Casambo Exclusive Guest Lodge; Emmah Makatu, 2013 winner and owner of Zwinoni Lodge; and Salome Tshungu, 2012 winner and owner of The Orchards.

TS Entrepreneurs - finalists, left to right Meisie Nkosi, Zinzi Masina, Lucille Cremen, Carol Senosi and Nqobile

TS Entrepreneurs – finalists, left to right Meisie Nkosi, Zinzi Masina, Lucille Cremen, Carol Senosi and Nqobile

Adriaan Groenewald, judge and CEO and Co-founder of Leadership Platform, comments, “Growing new entrepreneurs is one of the greatest ways to empower individuals. It is the best way for us to grow the SA economy. We all know this, but do we all actually do something about it? Tsogo Sun does. I have personally interviewed several Tsogo Sun entrepreneurs and have been highly impressed by their comments on how the programme assists them. We are honoured to be involved with this initiative in some form.”

Tsogo Sun hosted the five finalists at Montecasino for a three-day leadership workshop, during which they were announced to the media on 25 August. Tothill says, “Panel interviews with the judges are being undertaken during the leadership workshop on 26 August to assess each of the finalists using a system that enables our judges to score results against the same set of criteria.  While there can be only one winner, being a finalist in these awards puts the entrepreneurs on a bright path towards an even more successful future for their businesses.”

The Tsogo Sun Entrepreneur of the Year Award winner will be announced at the Annual Awards Dinner on 20 October at the Riverside Sun, during the annual conference that will place from 18 to 21 October. At the Awards Ceremony, the Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, will give the keynote address.

Prizes for the winner include R30 000 from Tsogo Sun, a business bursary from Tsheto Leadership Academy and a professional business image experience from tweak&STYLE, while also providing a platform for the winner to promote their business and contribute to the development of other SMMEs in South Africa. In addition, the winner will be the Ambassador for Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs for the year.

Related: 9 Answers You Need About Yourself Before Starting Your Own Business

Vusi Dlamini, Tsogo Sun’s Group HR Director, says the company is proud of what Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs is achieving. “Entrepreneurial development is critical for the growth of the South African economy, particularly in these challenging economic times. The value of the Tsogo Sun Entrepreneurs programme is immense.

“Apart from showcasing the good work that’s being done by the entrepreneurs themselves, it assists participants with skills development and exposure to the markets that Tsogo Sun serves; it helps them build self-confidence and finally, it breeds success. It is definitely an invaluable programme that empowers entrepreneurs to hold their own in the business world.”

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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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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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