South African companies must not adjust their payroll UIF contribution calculations this month following the news that the Minister of Labour has increased UIF benefits with effect from 1 April 2017. They instead must wait for the Minister of Finance to gazette the new contribution limits.
The Minister of Labour announced on 17 March that the limit has been increased to R212 539 a year, R17 712 per month, and R4 087 a week. However, this change does not affect the calculation of the contribution value. Under the Unemployment Insurance Contributions Act, the contribution value will only be adjusted when the Minister of Finance publishes the new limits
“For now, the contribution and benefit levels are out of lockstep, and companies should not base their payroll UIF contribution calculation on the new benefit limits,” says Rob Cooper, tax expert and Director of Legislation at Sage – one of South Africa’s leading providers of HR and payroll solutions.
“Developers of computerised payroll systems should not, at this stage, have changed the contribution level. Unfortunately, the legislation around the UIF is poorly understood in the marketplace, which has led to some confusion.”
Cooper says that he has drawn this issue to the attention of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) because it needs to be addressed urgently. Unless a notice in terms of the Contributions Act is published with the same limit value and effective date, the contribution and benefit limits will remain desynchronised.
Rob Cooper is a tax expert and Director of Legislation at Sage. Rob is currently conducting the 2017 Annual Payroll Tax Seminars in different cities around South Africa, where he discusses the 2017 Budget proposals.
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Off The Beaten Track
What Tourism Month means in South Africa and how Mango Airlines is focusing on local opportunities.
This September, being Tourism Month, we have so much to talk about in South Africa, and so many people to engage with, both domestically and abroad. We are privileged to be able to leverage a broad range of destinations – arguably world-class in nature, and they expand way beyond a beautiful mountain, and an ecosystem of game.
The vast majority of leisure tourists, however, remain attracted to the Mother City and various Safari destination, while business tourists tend to stick to hub cities for short durations of time before departing again.
“There is a golden opportunity to expand on the same offerings – while not detracting from them in any way. Our responsibility is to drive tourism into new areas, really emphasising the differentiators that are incredibly attractive to local and international tourists,” said Benediction Zubane, Head of Marketing at Mango Airlines.
“Often tourists visit one of the more well-known sites in an area, and are completely unaware of the other features and destinations close by. We’re seeing a lot of success in township tourism which goes to show how diversifying can really drive new tourism opportunities,” explained Zubane.
According to Statistics South Africa survey on Tourism and Migration, nearly 3.5 million international travellers visited South Africa in August 2017. Top numbers were tourists from USA, UK, Germany, France and The Netherlands, with African visitors primarily coming from SADC countries. Zubane added, “This means there is vast opportunity to begin engaging with travellers in new countries across the globe. We need to become our own best ambassador, talking-up our famous and lesser known destinations, proudly showcases our uniqueness. We should also be tourists in our own country and start exploring the wonders of the Rainbow Nation.”
Mango is passionate about helping its SMEs and entrepreneurial community to successfully overcome the unique challenges facing the tourism industry: “There has never been a more opportune time for small businesses and entrepreneurs to benefit positively from tourism in South Africa, and we hope to celebrate alongside our SME community as they fly high – both literally and figuratively,” he concludes.
FNB Receives 50 Million US-Dollars To Accelerate SME Development
First National Bank puts their focus on SME development in South Africa.
First National Bank (FNB) has received 50 million US-dollars from the DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft to deploy towards small and medium enterprise (SME) development in South Africa.
DEG is a development finance institution whose mission is to promote private-sector enterprises in developing and emerging-market countries as a contribution to sustainable growth and improved living conditions.
Mike Vacy-Lyle, CEO of FNB Business says: “The new line of funding contributes to our ongoing efforts to accelerate our contribution to SME development in South Africa. We believe that SMEs are key to stimulating sustainable economic growth and job creation. Our intervention in SME development is not only limited to funding, we also invest heavily to improve capacity and supplier development capabilities in small businesses.”
FNB continues to pioneer products and services that have taken the angst out of South Africa’s entrepreneurs, from providing free instant accounting services to online documents reservation services, and forming public-private partnerships to digitise the registration of businesses.
“Our message to entrepreneurs is that we remain committed to providing meaningful solutions to help them grow. We have exciting developments that will take us further in our journey, all aimed at advancing the SME agenda by taking the anguish out of doing business,” concludes Vacy-Lyle.
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