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Video, Transforming how we do business

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Here’s How Video Is Transforming Corporate Communications In South Africa

As the corporate world in South Africa continues to grow, organisations must implement an effective communications strategy in order to remain successful.

The impact of technology and the digital era has served as a catalyst for the period of dynamic change the South African corporate world has undergone in recent years, which has enabled businesses to flourish. As the corporate world in South Africa continues to grow, organisations must implement an effective communications strategy in order to remain successful. With younger generations entering the workforce, video has become a key addition to any company’s internal communications strategy to provide an effective way of delivering high-quality information and training, as well as fostering collaboration and engagement.

Enter Internet Protocol Video

The combination of the rise of the internet, the leaps and bounds of mobile technology and improving infrastructure in South Africa has seen an increased demand for video, which essentially means the ability to deliver live and recorded TV or video to any connected device, via an organisation’s existing IP network.

Businesses are recognising the numerous benefits of video, which include enabling staff to keep up-to-date with company news in real time through live news and corporate updates delivered to communal area screens, as well as to each member of staff’s PC and mobile device. It also facilitates staff training by archiving learning materials and corporate updates for on-demand playback, which employees can view at their convenience.

The growing demand for IP video solutions, particularly in sectors such as banking and healthcare, led us to open our local Exterity office in Johannesburg; to better understand the needs of the local market and provide a better service to our customers. We’ve built up a thorough understanding of the region, which has enabled us to identify three key ways we think IP video will help shape corporate communications in Sub-Saharan Africa over the coming years:

 

 

1) Enable real-time decision-making for financial traders

Banking is big business in South Africa. The past ten years have seen the region grow into a significant player in emerging markets financial services.It is forecast to maintain this momentum, which will primarily be driven by economic growth, the demand for financial services and the rapid uptake of mobile technology. In order for this high-growth sector to remain competitive, employees must be able to react quickly to fluctuating markets. Video provides bankers with an invaluable tool to receive breaking news at their desks and act in real time to ensure that their investment strategy adapts to an ever-changing market.

The Bank of China (Hong Kong), the world’s fifth-largest bank with over 13,000 staff is a perfect example of how video can be used in the financial industry. It deployed an IP video system to deliver several financial news channels directly to bankers’ desks, empowering staff to evaluate transaction risks and keep track of the latest financial trends and regulations in real time. Information impacting the whole group is also distributed to screens in public areas, enabling the bank to maintain the highest standards of service and uphold its prestigious reputation.

2) Ensuring business strategies adapt to new trends in healthcare

A major area of growth and heavily dependent on new trends, sub-Saharan Africa’s private healthcare industry is worth an estimated $21 billion today, and this figure is expected to double over the next decade. Video has the potential to play a significant role in improving in-patient technology solutions as well as enabling the provider pharmaceutical industries to stay up-to-date with the latest medical news and research.

Pharmaceutical giant Sanofi uses IP video to share the latest medical news and internal guidelines with staff across its 20 R&D sites and three separate business units across Paris (France), where it controls its global communications. As the healthcare industry in South Africa continues to grow, it will become even more crucial for staff to be able to access breaking medical news quickly and IP video can help companies achieve this.

 

3) Attracting the next generation of talent

Sub-Saharan Africa has been dubbed “the continent of young people” due to the fact that, in many Southern African states, half of the population is under 25 years of age. Many Millennials and Generation Z’s in South Africa cannot remember, or do not know, what it was like to live in a world before everything from banking to watching films could be done via a smartphone. As this tech-savvy generation becomes the dominant age bracket in the workplace, it will expect employers to be equally digitally savvy and embrace the flexibility technology can offer employees.

Increasingly, businesses are adapting to the strong mobile culture by extending the availability of relevant digital content to mobile devices, enabling employees to view information at their convenience, stay up-to-date with corporate information, wherever they are. This is key for businesses looking to attract and retain the next generation of talent.

The future of the world’s youngest continent

The South African market is expected to continue rapidly growing over the coming years as more organisations invest in the region and more young people enter the workplace. The key to any thriving business is ensuring employee productivity is high and that members of staff are engaged with company culture. We anticipate that more businesses will make IP video an integral part of their internal communications strategy in order to achieve precisely this.

Source: Colin Farquhar  CEO at Exterity

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Financial Emigration – What it is and does it apply to me?

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Simply put, financial emigration is the amendment of your status with the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) from “Resident” to “Non-resident”.

This status effects on how the exchange control regulations are applied to you but does not affect your citizenship. Until you formally financially emigrate you are still considered to be a “Resident”. This has resulted in many people, having left South Africa for other countries many years ago, still being considered as a Resident by the SARB because they have not completed the formal process of financially emigrating.

There has been much consternation since an amendment to the Income Tax Act was proposed in 2017 regarding the exemption of foreign income for calculating income tax. As this amendment
came into effect on 1 March 2020 the interest surrounding this amendment has increased fairly dramatically in the run up to the change.

At issue is the application of Section 10 (1)(o)(ii) of the Income Tax Act and the determination of where the taxpayer is considered to be resident – on 1 January 2001 South Africa changed the basis of its tax system from sourced to residence based.

Current Position

Section 10 (1)(o)(ii) provides that a South African tax resident’s employment income that relates to services physically rendered outside of South Africa is exempt from tax, providing that individual is rendering services for or on behalf of their employer outside South Africa:

  • For a period exceeding 183 full calendar days, in aggregate, during any 12-month period (commencing or ending during a year of assessment) and
  •  In the same 12-month period, must be outside South Africa for a continuous period exceeding 60 full calendar days.

Where the above situation applies to an individual, all remuneration earned in relation to the foreign employment will be exempt.

This situation applies to many “ex-pat” South Africans who are currently working abroad.

The original intention of this exemption was to avoid double taxation on this income. SARS; however, has stated that while this was the intention, it was not meant to provide a mechanism
through which South Africans could avoid paying tax i.e. where work is performed in countries that have zero or low tax rates.

To prevent this SARS has amended Section 10 (1)(o)(ii).

Future Application

The initial amendment was to limit the amount of exempt income to R1 million but in the budget speech on 26 February 2020 this amount was increased to R1.25 million.

When determining this foreign income, the taxpayer must include the value all benefits received as part of their foreign employment such as accommodation, flights back to South Africa or elsewhere,school fees etc. In this scenario it is conceivable that the foreign income could fairly easily exceed the R1.25 million threshold.

Any amounts in excess the R1.25 million threshold would be subject to income tax in South Africa.

Options

Affected South Africans may still avoid having to pay South African income tax if

  • There is a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) in the foreign country where they employed to provide services which applies or
  • They can claim a foreign tax credit in respect of taxes paid in the foreign country on their foreign sourced income now subject to income tax in South Africa (this may not help South
    Africans in no or low tax jurisdictions such as Dubai).

Financial Emigration

While applying a DTA may be an option, the application of the DTA only applies for a particular tax year. This then requires the taxpayer to make a separate application every year – a potentially costly and time-consuming exercise.

The process of financial emigration, whilst more onerous, is a longer-term solution. If required, this status may be reversed at a future time but there are implications if this is this is done with 5 years of the SARB approving the emigration.

While Financial Emigration is an option for individuals who do not intend to return to South Africa, there are costs involved with the process. It is recommended that you speak to a Tax Practitioner regarding the implications of financial emigration to establish if this is the preferred option for you.

Written by: Derek Pettitt, Tax Practitioner and Registered Financial Planner

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Saving for your child’s education

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A parent wants to ensure the best future for their child. One of the best ways to give your child a head start in life is to help them get quality education.

A lot of South Africans. However, are not saving up for their child’s education. This is mainly due to the challenging economic situation in our country and living expenses. The cost of education rises faster than inflation unfortunately. If education seems expensive now, in the future, it will be even harder to cover all the costs.

If you have or are going to have a child soon, here are a few tips for saving for your child’s education:

1. Start Now

Start saving for your child’s education as soon as possible- if you can, before your child is born. The sooner you start saving, the faster your money will grow and the less you must save monthly.

2. Consider taking ownership of the investment

While it may seem like a good idea to invest money in your child’s name, you may want to keep it in your own name. If the money is in their name, once your child turns 18, they can spend the money however they want- and they may not have their priorities set on education at that stage of their life.

3. Do your homework when it comes to fees

Although private education in South Africa is excellent, the cost to send your child to a prestigious school can be crippling. Decide early on what type of school you’re going to send your child so that you can save accordingly. Remember a goal without a plan is just a wish.

4. Find the best method to pay for fees

Some schools offer a discount if fees are paid upfront for the year instead of monthly or quarterly. This may be a good offer to take up if the discount is a significant amount. On the other hand, you may want to consider whether you should rather invest the money and pay the school fees in monthly instalments. Often, debt is the deciding factor for parents. If you must take out short-term debt, such as credit card and retail card debt, it may cost you more than the rebates offered by the school. There is no such thing as good debt though.

In conclusion start now and have a set plan. Our kids are our future leaders and you want the best for their future.

Written by: Andre Becker, Ubuntu Capital Momentum Financial Planner

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How can a Financial Planner help me?

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When you are sick you go to a doctor right? When your plumbing acts up you call a plumber right? Who would you call then if you need help with your Finances? A financial planner, right?

And here’s why:

Do you need the services of a financial planner?

How do you know if you could benefit from the services of a financial planner?

You may not have the expertise, the time or the desire to actively plan and manage certain financial aspects of your life. You may want help getting started. You may benefit from an objective, third-party perspective on what are often emotional and difficult decisions. And in today’s hectic world, it can be beneficial just to have a financial expert looking over your shoulder to double-check your planning efforts and make sure you stay focused and follow through with your financial plans.

Like most people, you have hopes and dreams and life goals for yourself and your family. These might include buying a home or business…planning for life’s unforeseen events…estate planning…saving for an education for your children…taking a dream vacation…reducing taxes…retiring comfortably. Financial planning is the process of wisely managing your finances so that you can achieve
your dreams and goals, while at the same time helping you negotiate the financial barriers that inevitably arise in every stage of life.

I again ask the question; do you need a financial planner?

A Financial planner can help you do the following:

  • Set realistic financial and personal goals (to become financially and personally organised)
  • Set up a valid executable Will, living Will and medical power of attorney
  • Assess your current financial health by examining your assets, liabilities, income, insurance, investments and estate plan
  • Develop a realistic, comprehensive plan to meet your financial goals by addressing financial weaknesses and building on financial strengths
  • Plan for life’s unforeseen events and be ready should they occur (Life cover, Funeral cover etc)
  • Put your plan into action and monitor its progress
  • Help you stay on track so you can meet your financial goals
  • Saving enough for retirement, or rolling over a pension or just saving for a specific goal
  • Handling the inheritance of a large sum of money (easy come easy go). Unless its managed properly
  • Preparing for a marriage or divorce
  • Planning for the birth or adoption of a child
  • Facing a financial crisis such as a serious illness (Critical illness and Disability cover)
  • Caring for aging parents or a disabled child
  • Coping financially with the death of a spouse or close family member
  • Funding education
  • Buying, selling or passing on a family business
  • Protecting a key person valuable to your business

In essence making sure should life unexpected events occur that you are READY to take them head on.

Written by: Andre Becker, Ubuntu Capital Momentum Financial Planner

Get in touch with Andre by filling out the below form:


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