It has become easier to do business in Africa for a variety of reasons, ranging from more transparent regulation, infrastructural development and stable labour outlooks. Set this against South Africa’s business input costs, salary growth, skills shortages and labour woes and it becomes clear that South Africa ‘s competitive edge is not perhaps as secure as in the past.

Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy is expected to increase 5.6% this year while 18 countries in the region will show growth of at least 6%, according to IMF forecasts. South Africa is struggling to keep pace, with only 2.8% growth expected. This intense competition on the continent means that there is no room for complacency around service delivery even in the most robust of organisations.

A CRS team visited Dubai this month, catching up with some of our key clients (3M, Pfizer and Mediclinic). Dubai’s economy is picking up again so it was an excellent trip for CRS and a great reminder that South African companies such as ourselves can still thrive in the continent, despite the abovementioned outlook. We’re also proud to announce that we now process payrolls in 27 countries.

I urge you to take stock of your business and address any gaps or weaknesses that your African (and even international) counterparts may use to their advantage. Things change quickly in Africa. Yes, it has unique challenges but in every challenge lies an opportunity.

Until next time,

James McKerrell

Tax and legislation

South Africa

à WSP and ATR Deadline—June 2013

Remember to submit your Workskills Plan and Annual training reports. You will lose out on the 20% mandatory grant repayment and it will be too late if you decide you need points at a later stage.

Points can ONLY be awarded for Skills development on your scorecard if you complete and submit your WSP (Workskills Plan) and ATR (Annual Training Report) in June 2013. Call us if you don’t know where to start or how to go about it.

Namibia

à Proposed VAT Levy— effective 1 September 2013

The Ministry of Education published the proposal for the imposition of the long awaited skills levy, effective 1 September 2013. Click here for more information.

à Proposed Tax Tables 2013/2014—effective 1 March 2013

The proposed tax amendment announced by the Minister of Finance during the 2013/14 Budget Speech was approved by National Assembly last week. The Income Tax, Stamp Duty and Transfer Duty Amendment Bills include the proposed tax rates, duties payable and the effective dates.

Once the Amendment Acts are published per the Government Gazette, the Acts will be officially promulgated. The second schedule was updated with the new table and is effective 1 April 2013. Click here for more information.

à Ministry of Finance—notification to all taxpayers, 13 April 2013

The Ministry of Finance notified all taxpayers who are not in good standing with the Receiver of Revenue to rectify their accounts. All outstanding returns and balances on any of their tax accounts (Value Added Tax, Income Tax, Withholding Tax on Services and Employees Tax) to  be submitted  and/or settle the outstanding balances.

Taxpayers have 90 days to comply with this request before drastic measures are taken against those in default. The notification period started as from 1 April 2013 until end of June 2013.

The announcement also served to inform all taxpayers who did not update their contact details, postal addresses, e-mail address, contact numbers (mobile & others) and banking details with the Receiver of Revenue to do so without delay.

Lesotho

à New Tax Tables 2013/2014 – effective 1 April 2013

The tax table changes recommended in the 2013/2014 budget speech was enacted in Legal notice 27 of 2013 which was published under Government Gazette notice 15 on the 20th of March 2013.

The second schedule was updated with the new table and is effective 1 April 2013. Click here for more information.

Swaziland

New Tax tables 2013/2014: PART II.  Click here for more information.

Presenteeism and Absenteeism—striking the right balance 

Getting the balance right between encouraging people to stay at home when they’re really poorly – and encouraging them to soldier on if it’s only a slight sniffle can be a real challenge.  Hitting the right note is particularly important for small businesses where just one person off sick can have a real impact on the company’s ability to keep the wheels turning and meet the demands of clients.

Click here to read more.

Training 

We continue to offer a selection of training on the CRS modules. Please click here for the dates and venues.

Don’t forget that we can also tailor legislative training to specific organisational needs. To find out more, chat to Nicolette in our Gauteng office or mail her on nicoletten@crs.co.za.