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Spreadsheet Ranger

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Spreadsheet Ranger last won the day on July 25 2020

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  1. Do any of you experience any issues with the DSTV app on the Samsung QLED TVs? It used to work (albeit finnicky), but now it seems that the DSTV app is completely broken. When I click on a channel it just goes black, no loading icon nothing.
  2. I will add a link here to the live feed when it happens on the day. As Finance Minister Tito Mboweni prepares to deliver his much-anticipated Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) on 28 October 2020, dinner table conversations again turn to politics, fiscal and tax policy and the like. Of course, everyone knows what should be done and by when, but few have the energy and the inclination to do it. The need for decisive, urgent action has never been more critical. In between demonstrating his 'master chef' skills, Minister Mboweni has given South Africans a taste of the lay of the land - best described as a 'rocky road'. Unfortunately for South Africans, there is nothing sweet to look forward to in the upcoming MTBPS. Meanwhile, back at the South African Revenue Service, Commissioner for SARS Edward Kieswetter has taken the opportunity to note the Catch-22 in which SARS finds itself, requiring just short of R1 billion, instantly, to operate efficiently again. One does not need to be a rocket scientist to figure out this equation: Skilled people + enforcement = effective tax collection & more revenue towards state coffers However: 1 000 critical forensic/audit/specialist vacancies + inadequate data + unsuitable technology = dire straits Latest GDP projections for 2020 by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) suggest that South Africa will top the list at -11.5% (well below the expected global average of -4.5%). A MTBPS does not usually delve into taxes. This is usually the preserve of the main Budget Speech in February. This time around, however, the MTBPS may very well be all about taxes. Commentators like Michael Jordaan (Founder/Investor of businesses such as Bank Zero and Rain) noted recently that out of 196 countries on the world stage, only 15 have higher marginal personal tax rates than South Africa (at 45%). It's worthwhile to note that Personal Income Taxes (PIT) continue to be the largest contributor to overall tax collections, comprising 38.3% in 2018/19 (38.1% in 2017/18). Our corporate tax rate of 28% benchmarked against the world average of 24%, is considered too high to effectively compete for foreign direct investment. SARS revenue collection stats prove that corporate income tax collections are on a steady decline (16.6% in 2018/19 from 18.1 in 2017/18). Defining the real 'tax gap' – what SARS collects in taxes versus what it ought to be collecting – remains elusive. There is great concern around the backdrop against which Minister Mboweni will deliver his statement, primarily: the unprecedented drop expected in 2020/21 tax revenue estimates compared to the prior Budget, primarily because of the impact of Covid-19; the sustained (temporary) shrinkage in the tax base as businesses continue to close and jobs are lost through large scale retrenchments, as well as the possibility of an uptick in the emigration of professionals and so-called 'high net worth' families abroad. There is also significant pressure on SARS to do more, at speed, to improve tax collection through enforcement and effective administration, which is seen as core to achieving fiscal stabilisation. In addition, taxpayers are expecting SARS to actively pursue defaulters to collect the cash (including South Africans who are suspected of tax fraud in the likes of the Mauritius and Panama leaks). The question is: can Minister Mboweni afford not to capitalise SARS to whatever extent is necessary, to enable SARS to perform its mandate? Notwithstanding passive resistance, taxpayers are bracing for new taxes on the horizon: A three-year temporary tax (aka the 'solidarity tax') on high net worth individuals (a 'surcharge' on taxpayers falling into the marginal tax bracket) and companies with turnover above a certain threshold; A more permanent 'wealth tax' or 'inheritance tax' (subject to recommendations from the Davis Tax Committee) - in the context of a current estate duty/donations tax/land tax regime - coming into effect as early as 2021; A possible digital tax based on the blueprint released by the OECD recently. Perhaps a more palatable approach to lessen the pain South Africans are bracing for, is to simultaneously give due consideration to the reduction of tax rates, where it makes sense to, and to incentivise South Africa Inc. to employ, employ, employ and ultimately grow. Few will disagree that a complete overhaul of government incentives is long overdue. As an armchair budget observer, I have plans on 28 October 2020. I cannot say I'm looking forward to it. However, the show must go on! Nazrien Kader is a tax specialist with over 25 years of experience within the corporate sector. She is currently Head of Tax at Old Mutual. Views expressed are her own. Source: Fin24
  3. Cape Town's mayoral committee on Tuesday supported a decision to lift water restrictions and to move to the lowest tariff from 1 November. The municipality said that the decision was based on three key considerations: the National Department of Water and Sanitation's lifting of its restrictions applicable to the Western Cape water supply system. projections that indicate dams are unlikely to drop below 50% by next winter. anticipated water usage this summer. The city said that the tariff had already been approved by council in terms of the city's 2020/21 budget. Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato: "This lowest tariff will offer residents some financial relief while ensuring that we can still provide reliable water services and invest in new water sources. Tariffs are set to cover the cost of providing water and sanitation."
  4. The US government was suing Google Tuesday in what would be the biggest antitrust case in decades and a major test for the technology sector. A judicial source familiar with the matter confirmed the case was being filed, after the Wall Street Journal and New York Times reported that the Justice Department suit will accuse the California tech giant of illegal monopoly behavior to preserve its dominance in internet search and advertising. The move comes after months of investigations by federal and state antitrust enforcers seeking to check the power of the massive technology firm and parallel probes into other giants such as Amazon, Facebook and Apple. It was not immediately clear what remedy the government was seeking in the suit, which could take years to resolve. But it could force changes in business practices or break off segments of the Google empire. Google and other Big Tech firms have been under pressure from both the political left and right in recent years. Progressives have claimed the massive firms have stifled competition and worsened economic inequality. A recent House of Representatives report suggested Google and others should be broken up to preserve competition. Conservatives have accused the internet giants of political bias, although evidence has been scant. A longtime Big Tech critic, Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, said the case would be "the most important antitrust suit in a generation," and welcomed the Justice Department move. The main unit of holding firm Alphabet, Google operates the dominant search engine used in most of the world and a variety of related services such as maps, email, advertising and shopping. It also operates the Android mobile operating system used on the majority of smartphones worldwide. Google has been hit with big fines in the European Union for unfair competition, and has challenged those cases. The company has consistently denied claims of monopoly abuse. News reports said 11 states, all led by Republican attorneys general, were joining the US lawsuit, suggesting a political split on the case just two weeks before the November election. Michael Carrier, a Rutgers University law professor specializing in antitrust issues, said the case could seek to force Google to remove some of its software from Android phones, and in that sense would be similar to the Microsoft case of the 1990s where customers were forced to use proprietary programs. But Carrier said the filing just two weeks before the election without states controlled by Democrats "raises the possibility that political concerns are playing a role here." Source: Bloomberg News & News 24
  5. The fixing of defects at Eskom's Medupi Power Station, which has been hobbled by delays and design flaws, is expected to be concluded by year end, Chief Executive Andre de Ruyter said on Tuesday. Eskom reported that technical and structural defects had been identified on the flagship 4 800 MW facility, which was was touted as the answer to country's power supply constraints. Some units of the firm's other mega power station, Kusile, have also been defective. De Ruyter said Eskom had identified the design defects at Medupi and Kusile and was currently implementing the necessary modifications, and that work per unit takes about R300 million. "By the end of this calendar year, Medupi should be done and we start the same process at Kusile," De Ruyter said in his address at the annual Directors Event. Eskom had previously blamed the deficiencies on boilers supplied by Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Africa, but that company blamed the faults on local contractors. The construction of the two coal-fired power stations, which started over 10 years ago, has been marred by breakdowns at some of its units, contributing to intermittent load shedding. De Ruyter, who took over as CEO at the beginning of the year, is driving the latest turnaround strategy of the state-owned power utility, which is focused on streamlining operations, infrastructure maintenance and stabilising the debt-hit balance sheet. He stressed that operational stability was the foundation for turning around the business, which has in recent years been increasingly reliant on government for support. Eskom's debt is currently sitting at R488 billion, with the bulk guaranteed by National Treasury. The company hopes to cut debt to R200 billion or below. The construction of Medupi, which was previously expected to cost R145 billion, has also contributed to Eskom's debt worries. Kusile's bill was put at R161 billion earlier this year; however, the fixing of defects is set to push the expenditure even higher. While Eskom is dealing with defects on its new build, the maintenance of the company's aging coal fleet is also going ahead, in a bid to address the threat of load shedding and alleviate supply constraints which have hobbled economic growth and hit households. In his address, De Ruyter further stated that renewable energy will be at the centre of Eskom's additional generation plans when the state-owned power producer eventually retires some of its aging plant in the coming years. The right determination granted by Mineral Resources and Energy minister Gwede Mantashe enables Eskom to procure 11.8GW of additional electricity in future; and solar, wind and gas would be explored. One of the main benefits of renewables is the shorter timeline from construction to bringing power online, compared to coal and nuclear plants, which take much longer to build - a luxury the country can ill afford, given current capacity challenges and increasing barriers to the funding of new coal projects. Source: News24
  6. Okey, I get that bit, but where did you put the money or are you just spending it on everyday stuff now instead? I am going to approach this as a 50% Black Friday fund in case a big ticket item like a bed or Fridge or something is on special.
  7. Cell C has published its interim results for the six months ended June 2020, reflecting a R7.5-billion net loss after tax. The company said this loss was mainly as a result of once-off costs and adjustments, and also reflects impairments to the value of R5 billion. R5 billion worth of Cell C’s network and right-of-use assets were impaired due to the new MTN network arrangement. The company’s reported EBITDA is lower than the same period last year at R1.2 billion, and EBIT was declared at a loss of R.53 billion compared to a profit of R90 million in the first half of 2019. Cell C said that excluding once-off recapitalisation and restructure costs, EBIT for H1 2020 would have been at R162 million – an improvement of 80%. “We remain focused on restructuring the balance sheet and optimising the business for long-term competitiveness,” said Cell C CFO Zaf Mohamed. “We have a legacy debt challenge in our balance sheet, rather than an income statement one which will be addressed with the recapitalisation.” Cell C CEO Douglas Craigie Stevenson said the company is on track with regards to its turnaround plan. He said he expects operating margins to improve over the medium term as Cell C transitions to its new business model. Source: MyBroadband
  8. How did the interest rates killed it? (What magic am I missing)
  9. So far, off to a bad start. Been trying the whole day. I've tried every half hour or so, no luck. After adding it to Capitec entering my credentials, I get the following error message in the Capitec app: EasyEquities is currently unavailable, please try again later or contact support on: 010 141 2210 or [email protected] Not great, certainly won't be logging back in, feels like my time is being wasted, so a hard pass from me. Now I hope FNB's share offering is attractive since they also launched a low cost investing platform that is actually integrated with their banking.
  10. Is there any additional cost to using EasyEquities through Capitec vs using it directly? (what is the commercials between EasyE and Capitec so to speak) @jonobruton
  11. I received an e-mail now from Tymebank, that they enabled online shopping. Stay home and let your Mzansi and international shopping come to you. Use your TymeBank account to skip amaqueue, earn Smart Shopper Points everywhere you shop and DOUBLE Smart Shopper points when you shop with PnP Online. So try it out, get shopping online and be in front of the line. You’ve got this! The TymeBank team. How to shop online with TymeBank You can now shop online with your TymeBank card, you can shop online internationally and locally. Online shopping checklist Activate your card – add money to it by EFT or at any PnP or Boxer tillpoint. Scan your thumbprint and verify your address at a TymeBank kiosk. When you’re shopping, keep your card close by, you will need to share some of the details printed on it. Check your cellphone for an OTP (One Time PIN). Make sure it is 100% correct. Switch off your e-commerce control button once you’re done and wait for your goodies to arrive. (Remember to slide the button back on the next time you shop). How to shop safely online with TymeBank Don’t share your card number and expiry date in emails, blogs posts, SMSs or chat forums. Don’t trust websites you don’t know. Be aware of scam offers. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Use secure websites that begin with https and have a closed padlock in the URL bar. Don’t click on a link that asks you to confirm your banking or personal details. Got an OTP but not shopping online? Report it ASAP on 0860 999 119
  12. Curious if this is good or bad, my Credit Cost Multiple is 2.41 (my credit score is 675, which is good, but a credit cost multiple of 2.41 feels bad?)
  13. Wow. That is very reassuring. Question, I want to pay off the bond sooner than the actual time, my question is how does the logistics of that actually work? Can I just EFT them more money than what is needed, like right now with Rawson, my rent is R9k but I paid R10k every month just to get myself accustomed to higher prices so that extra R1k just sits with Rawson and earns some interest. Can I do the same with the bank, if my Bond Repayment is R10k can I just EFT R11k instead and they will know what to do with it or is this something you need to arrange with them? In essence, I want to pay extra into my bond every month.
  14. I probably should've now that you mention it, it's the first time I am buying so the agents said they have a business they work with (bond originator) and I figured let me give it a shot they came back with 6.95 to 7.05% and I figured, meh it's better than I expected so its good. In hindsight I probably should've tried myself first, but if I am being honest, the whole process is so confusing it was nice with everyone holding my hand along the way (Even if for a little premium) I think when I buy property number two (if life goes well), then I will try to do the bond negotiation thing myself and then SA homeloans, Ooba or Better Bond (they have good youtube ads)
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