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Young, Unemployed, And Interested In Digital Problem Solving? Now’s Your Chance To Accelerate Your Tech Career With CapaCiTi

Java Launch: The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) recently launched the latest of their Tech Skills and Job-Readiness Programmes for previously disadvantaged South African youth interested in a future coding or software development career.

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Young, unemployed South Africans that are passionate about a career in digital are invited to apply before 10 September 2018 to the Java Launch CapaCiTi training and placement programme set to kick off in Johannesburg and Cape Town late September.

CapaCiTi, a full-time tech career accelerator for ambitious youth, earlier this year significantly scaled up its programme delivery to support even more talented young tech enthusiasts. For those who are crazy about technology and ready to work hard – these programmes are a powerful platform to secure your digital career.

The CapaCiTi programmes are to be run at its brand-new tech student campus in Salt River, Cape Town, and at the CapaCiTi training hub at Resolution Circle in Milpark, Johannesburg. CapaCiTi students have direct access to CiTi’s vibrant technology and entrepreneurship ecosystem to access further opportunities and form valuable connections with other tech professionals and leaders through events and mentorship opportunities.

The goal is to equip 3000 talented young South Africans with industry-demanded technology and business skills, placing graduates into internships and permanent jobs in South Africa’s leading companies. The Java Launch programme is the most recent high impact programme available to youth in Cape Town and Joburg. The programme is open to previously disadvantaged, unemployed youth.

Related: 10 Young Entrepreneurs Under 30 Share Their Start-Up Secrets

The Java Launch Programme

Young South African that are interested in solving problems, curious about how things work, are interested in and passionate about mathematics and science, and excited about the applications and growth of tech, will succeed on the Java Launch programme.

The Java Launch CapaCiTi programme teaches students to code with Java, but also the broader technical and business knowledge you’ll need to succeed in today’s workplace. During the programme students will learn the fundamentals of Java, one of the most in-demand and foundational programming languages both within South Africa and internationally.

Participants in the programme will learn:

  • Java fundamentals (Intro to Java/Variables, Expressions and Statements/Control/Loops)
  • Java Data Structures and Error Handling (1D arrays, 2D arrays/Types of errors/Exception handling)
  • Java OOP and Advanced Programming (Classes and Objects/Classes and Methods/OOP principles/Complex topics.

This programme will prepare participants for careers as Junior Software Developers, Software Testers, Software Analysts and Software Engineers; but also as a great foundation for many other digital career avenues.

Application Criteria

All candidates must be 18-35 years old, previously disadvantaged, South African citizens and currently unemployed. The Java Launch programme requires applicants to be in possession of a Matric certificate. Applicants for the Java Launch programme are asked to complete an assessment to qualify for an application interview – this interview tests for problem solving and logic so those with an aptitude for STEM subjects (science, mathematics, engineering, technology) are most likely to succeed.

Pay it forward

While there are no training costs for students on the programmes, graduates will be required to pay forward their training costs only when they are settled into their new permanent job post programme. This pay-back then goes directly towards training of further young South Africans in the programme, thereby contributing to further SA youths’ digital career opportunities.

The pay-it-forward cost for the Java Launch programme is R16 000 for the skills training and coaching and an additional R9 000 travel allowance.

Once a participant in the programme is settled in their first job, they will need to pay back the training costs in affordable installments every month, relative to their earnings. In the years following graduation, CapaCiTi continues to support its alumni to support their career progression.

What to expect?

Individuals are mentored by a network of skilled coaches and receive training in important business skills such as collaboration, critical and creative thinking, presentation and personal branding. Each programme, including the Java Launch, is coupled with a 6-month internship so that candidates have an immediate chance to apply and grow their skills. On completion of the internship, candidate interviews are facilitated by CapaCiTi to ensure graduates are placed in permanent jobs.

Over the past seven years, CapaCiTi has trained over 1000 young South Africans, placing 82% of candidates, 40% being female, in technology positions at 130 partner host companies such as Media24, Woolworths, Shoprite, BCX and Absa.

Related: Funding And Resources For Young SA Entrepreneurs

“I’ve been totally blown away by CapaCiTi. The programme helped me achieve my goal, get my dream job, and start my career in Tech. I had graduated in 2012 with a Diploma in Programming from another institution and struggled to get a job in IT for over 4 years prior to joining CapaCiTi,” states Xavier Mehl who completed the CapaCiTi Software Development Programme in 2016.

CapaCiTi programmes not only provide meaningful opportunity for young South Africans to participate in the digital economy but allow companies to access job-ready young talent to diversify their teams and reduce recruitment and retention challenges. In today’s industry, smart and extensive digital technology is no longer an addition but a requisite and data-driven companies who adopt and adapt tech will survive the surge in digital disruption across all sectors.

Are you a young, unemployed South African that fits the criteria and is passionate about a future career in technology? Then APPLY ONLINE NOW for the Java Launch Programme.

Candidates need to be 18 – 35 years old, previously disadvantaged, a South African citizen and in possession of a Matric certificate.

Start #yourdigitalfuture by applying at: www.citi.org.za/capaciti-apply for the September Java Launch programme.

Connect with CapaCiTi on Facebook and Twitter.

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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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