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Spreadsheet Ranger

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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)
  15. Mmmm, I can get 7.01% at (bank A) <- will name names when its done. Bank A is not my favorite. I am with Capitec so no options but to go with a different bank for the bond, but I am thinking maybe after 2 years I move to Bank B including my banking.
  16. Hello guys, Have any of you transferred your bond to a different bank yet? What was the process like? What are the costs involved?
  17. I'm just warming this thread up for when the inevitable hits. @BitcoinZAR hope you have your safety belt on. Goes without saying (stocked up on BTC), but now it's time for the fun bits. I picked up some $TOMO beginning of the year, already an amazing return, but I am going to ride this baby out. (In 2017 I did not sell enough, not making that mistake again in this run) I mean this #DeFi narrative playing now - it's all hype, but it will be an apocalyptic pump, the sad part is people will lose a ton of money again like 2017, so my word of advise is, "don't buy the top, sell it" in other words, if you go into this run with no crypto, keep it that way otherwise you'll get burned, hard. However if you come into this run with bags... many opportunities taking shape now. My moon bags for this run are: $SC $TOMO $CVC $SYS $XRP $ETH $DGB $ZRX $REP $CELR
  18. Tito Titus Mboweni, MP Minister of Finance… Today, I hereby table for the consideration of the House: The Division of Revenue Amendment Bill Adjustments Appropriation Bill Supplementary Budget Review Disaster Management Tax Relief Bill Disaster Management Tax Relief Administration Bill 1. INTRODUCTION Madam Speaker, We are in the midst of a fast-evolving pandemic. In South Africa and around the world, we have made the decision to protect each other. We have quickly adapted. We all now wear masks. We wash our hands more often. We maintain a safe social distance. As a result, millions have stayed safe. We remain deeply concerned about the path of the virus. But, in common with several other countries that adopted a stringent, early lockdown, we have “flattened the curve” and saved lives. As the wise farmer will tell you, when the tempest is raging you must protect your plants from damage. Our Aloe Ferox, like our people, is protected. Mr President, you are the wise farmer, caring for this Aloe Ferox. The storm is not over. But, if we follow the health guidelines and make the right decisions to prepare for a new global reality then, soon enough, the days will grow calmer and our national Aloe Ferox shall go into the new day healthy and strong. Liduma lidlule! The storm shall pass! 1.1. THE PURPOSE OF THE SUPPLEMENTARY BUDGET Honourable members, The Public Finance Management Act, read together with the Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act, empowers me, as the Minister of Finance, to table an adjustments budget when necessary. The historic nature of this pandemic and economic downturn has made it necessary to table such an adjustment. we will table a second adjustments budget in October together with the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement. This Budget does two things. First, it brings an Adjustments Appropriation Bill and a Division of Revenue Amendment Bill to the House. It also formalises the two tax bills to give effect to our response. These Bills ask Parliament to approve the response package for COVID-19. Second, Mr President, it lays a path for the direction you gave us on 21 April to: “not merely return our economy to where it was before the coronavirus, but to forge a new economy in a new global reality” This Supplementary Budget sets out a roadmap to stabilise debt, improve how we spend our money, and grow the economy. All of our energies and resources have been focused on the COVID-19 pandemic. We have quickly adopted temporary countercyclical fiscal and monetary policy measures. After the storm ends, we must work just as quickly to emerge with a sustainable fiscus. We have many strengths. Our young and ambitious people. Our institutions, a robust and vibrant democracy, independent judiciary and our commitment to social progress. And our economic strengths: a diverse industrial base, the free-floating rand, low and stable inflation, and deep domestic capital markets that allow us to borrow mainly in rand. But debt is our weakness. We have accumulated far too much debt; this downturn will add more. This year, out of every rand that you pay in tax, 21 cents goes to paying the interest on our past debts. This indebtedness condemns us to ever higher interest rates. If we reduce debt, we will reduce interest rates for everyone and we will unleash investment and growth. So today, with an eye on the future, we set out a strategy to build a bridge to recovery. Our Herculean task is to close the mouth of the Hippopotamus! It is eating our children’s inheritance, and we must stop it now! Our Herculean task is to stabilise debt. 2. IN-YEAR ADJUSTMENTS THE ECONOMIC OUTLOOK Let me begin by outlining our updated fiscal and economic forecasts for the current fiscal year. COVID-19 has turned the global economy upside down. In the February Budget, we expected that the global economy would expand by 3.3 per cent in 2020. We now expect a global contraction of 5.2 per cent this year. This will bring about the broadest collapse in per capita incomes since 1870. Throughout the world, tens of millions of workers have lost their jobs. South African unemployment increased by one percentage point, reaching 30.1 per cent in the first three months of this year. The South African economy is now expected to contract by 7.2 per cent in 2020. This is the largest contraction in nearly 90 years. Inflation will likely register 3 per cent in 2020, in line with the outcome of this morning. Commodity price increases and a weaker oil price have softened the blow, but as a small open economy reliant on exports we have been hit hard by both the collapse in global demand and the restrictions to economic activity. 2.2. FISCAL, MONETARY AND OTHER MEASURES South Africa has responded to this economic shock with an unprecedented set of measures. Never before has government worked together so closely with the private sector, labour, community and the central bank. With one goal, it is clear we can achieve anything. Government’s COVID-19 economic support package directs R500 billion straight at the problem. This is one of the largest economic response packages in the developing world. The South African Reserve Bank has cut interest rates and made it easier for banks to lend money. The Reserve Bank has supported liquidity in the domestic bond market. The Bank has stated that it stands ready to take additional action, should the need arise. More than 2 million customers have received around R30 billion in relief from their commercial banks. Insurers and medical aids have provided premium holidays. Landlords have provided rental relief. All in 100 days. 2.2.1. REVISED FISCAL FRAMEWORK FOR 2020/21 Turning to the emerging fiscal framework for 2021/22. Honourable members, projected total consolidated budget spending, including debt service costs, will exceed R2 trillion for the first time ever. Gross tax revenue collected during the first two months of 2020/21 was R142 billion, compared to our initial forecast for the same period of R177.3 billion. Put another way – we are already R35.3 billion behind on our 2020/21 target. As a consequence, gross tax revenue for the 2020/21 fiscal year is revised down from R1.43 trillion to R1.12 trillion. That means that we expect to miss our tax target for this year by over R300 billion. Part of this revision is because the measures announced earlier this year give taxpayers outright relief of R26 billion and delays in tax collection of approximately R44 billion. These proposals are contained in the Disaster Management Tax Relief Bill and the Disaster Management Tax Relief Administration Bill that I table today. Taken together the measures and adjustments we present translate into a consolidated budget deficit of R761.7 billion, or 15.7 per cent of GDP in 2020/21. This is compared to the deficit of R370.5 billion, or 6.8 per cent of GDP projected in February. This increase is mainly due to the revised revenue projections and pay-outs from the Unemployment Insurance Fund. The narrower measure, known as the main budget deficit, is projected to be 14.6 per cent of GDP. Our early projection is that gross national debt will be close to R4 trillion, or 81.8 per cent of GDP by the end of this fiscal year. This is compared to an estimate of R3.56 trillion or 65.6 per cent of GDP projected in February. Without external support, these borrowings will almost entirely consume all of our annual domestic saving, leaving no scope for investment or borrowing by anyone else. For this reason, we need to access new sources of funding. Government intends to borrow about US$7 billion from international finance institutions to support the pandemic response. We must make no mistake, these are still borrowings. They are not a source of revenue. They must be paid back. 2.2.2. HEALTH AND FRONTLINE SERVICES The Supplementary Budget proposes R21.5 billion for COVID-19-related health care spending. It also proposes a further allocation of R12.6 billion to services at the frontline of our response to the pandemic. Allocations have been informed by epidemiological modelling, a national health sector COVID-19 cost model and our experiences over the past 100 days. This money partly supports increased screening and testing, allowing us to open up more and more of the economy. We have successfully increased our COVID-19 bed capacity to above 27 000; identified 400 quarantine sites with a capacity of around 36 000 beds across the country and deployed nearly 50 000 community health care workers to screen millions of South Africans. We have tested over 1.3 million people. Provinces will add at least R5 billion for the education catch-up plan, social welfare support for communities and provision of quarantine sites by Public Works departments and responses in other sectors. we salute all the brave health care and essential service workers who are leading this fight. Tariffs have been agreed with private hospitals to supplement public sector capacity. The Solidarity Fund has augmented government’s efforts to procure medical and personal protective equipment. We thank all those who have made much needed contributions to the Fund. These examples show that working together with the private sector with a common purpose we can get stuff done. We will use these lessons to re-energise public-private partnerships. 2.2.3. PROTECTING THE MOST VULNERABLE Madam Speaker, Over 18 million South Africans have received a temporary COVID-19 grant. The roll out of the short-term Special Relief of Distress grant will temporarily support those without an income. An additional 1.5 million people have received these already. To support vulnerable households an additional allocation of R25.5 billion to the Social Development department is proposed, for a total relief package of R41 billion. All these measures will come to an end in October. We have implemented health and hygiene measures in 7 000 early childhood development centres, and appointed about additional 1 800 social workers. 2.2.4. DRIVING JOB CREATION The figures from yesterday show that unemployment is our single greatest challenge. The Economic Support Package sets aside R100 billion for a multi-year, comprehensive response to our jobs emergency. The President’s job creation and protection initiative will be rolled out over the medium-term. It will include a repurposed public employment programme and a Presidential Youth Employment Intervention. In this year, an amount of R6.1bn is already allocated, and a further R19.6 billion has been set aside mainly for this purpose. 2.2.5. UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE As of mid-June, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) has provided R23 billion in COVID-19 relief to over 4.7 million workers affected by the pandemic. This has required a huge upgrade and repurposing of the UIF system to deal with the increase in mostly online applications, and to build in protections against fraud. We thank all involved for the upgrade, there were many individuals from the private and NGO sector who volunteered their time to assist the UIF. There are still challenges but we are confident that the team is working tirelessly to iron them out. 2.2.6. CHANGES TO THE DIVISION OF REVENUE Honourable members, the division of revenue presented in the 2020 Budget is revised as follows: the national share for 2020/21 increases from R758 billion to R790 billion, the provincial share decreases from R649 billion to R645 billion and the local government share increases from R133 billion to R140 billion. Local government is at the heart of our response to the pandemic. Accordingly, an additional R11 billion is allocated to local government through the equitable share. A further R9 billion will be reprioritised within allocated conditional grants to fund additional water and sanitation provision and the sanitisation of public transport. Municipalities will adjust their budgets to take into account the sharp decline in revenue as a result of the pandemic. We urge communities to hold councils accountable for the spending of COVID-19 funds. National Treasury will also monitor the spending through monthly and quarterly reports. 2.2.7. COVID-19 LOAN GUARANTEE SCHEME Madam Speaker, after a slow start, including all the detailed and technical legal preparations, the loan guarantee scheme is expanding rapidly. In its first month, the scheme lent over R10 billion. Many more applications are being processed, and lending is expected to rise significantly. Now that we have moved to an advanced Level 3, most of the economy is “open for business”. We must help businesses to get moving! The loan guarantee scheme also includes a business restart option, for businesses who need support to get up and going after the lockdown. We are also finalising amendments to the repayment holiday and turnover limit, and relaxing terms and conditions to support lending. The South African Reserve Bank and the commercial banks are finalising the revised legal arrangements and will make announcements shortly. Work is also continuing to expand the scheme to non-bank lenders. 3. BUILDING A BRIDGE TO THE FUTURE Madam Speaker, I now turn to the second part of this Supplementary Budget, which is to lay before the House the blueprint of the bridge we are building to the MTBPS, and our future. 3.1. THE PATH FORWARD The gospel according to the Apostle Matthew, chapter 7 verses 13 and 14, springs to mind: Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. We are faced, as a nation with a choice between these two gates. Even as South Africa responds to the current health and economic crisis, a fiscal reckoning looms. The public finances are dangerously overstretched. The wide gate is a passive country that lets circumstances overwhelm it. If we remain passive, economic growth will stagnate. Our debt will spiral inexorably upwards and debt-service costs will crowd out public spending on education and other policy priorities. We already spend as much on debt-service cost as we do on Health in this financial year. Eventually the gains of the democratic era would be lost. The wide gate opens to a path of bankruptcy. A sovereign debt crisis1 is when a country can no longer pay back the interest or principal on its borrowings. We are still some way from that. But if we do not act now, we will shortly get there. The results are devastating. Interest rates sky-rocket. Spending has to stop. Inflation takes hold and people grow much poorer. This is what happened to Germany in the 1920s, to Argentina and to Zimbabwe in the early 2000s, and to Greece in the past few years. Argentina had its ships attached. Greek civil servants and pensioners had their salaries and pensions slashed. In short it is doom and despair. We have been there before: in its closing days, the Apartheid government had to declare a debt standstill. We firmly reject this gate! The narrow gate on the other hand opens to a path of prosperity. Through this gate, we reduce our reliance on borrowing. We feed the hungry. We look after the sick. We educate our people. We build for the future. We spend with wisdom, and we jail those who loot. The narrow gate is an active approach – a nation that takes active steps to rapidly stabilise debt and grow the economy. By doing this we will create jobs, reduce the cost of doing business and build a competitive economy. 3.2. DEBT STABILISATION THROUGH ZERO-BASED BUDGETING Cabinet, under the leadership and guidance of the President, has found the narrow gate. Government shall go through it. Government will narrow the deficit and stabilise debt at 87.4 percent of GDP in 2023/24. Cabinet has also adopted a target of a primary surplus by 2023/24. This is about the same time that our Aloe Ferox will flower for the first time. As any farmer will tell you – patience and focus are required! The Medium Term Expenditure Framework process will be guided by the principles of zero-based budgeting which will be applied as a series of overlapping evaluation exercises targeted at large programmes. Our current system of Public Expenditure Reviews is a step towards zero-based budgeting. This means that we will try to reduce all expenditure that we thought we can no longer afford. After all, we are not as rich as we were ten years ago. The upcoming MTEF will pilot this approach. In the review accompanying this budget we set out our initial proposed fiscal path for the period ahead. We need to find spending adjustments of about R230 billion over the next two years. Tax measures of R40 billion over the next 4 years will also be required. We will announce details to these tax proposals in the 2021 Budget. Honourable members you have already appropriated R16.4 billion to service SAA’s guaranteed debt. Any additional money for SAA will follow the principle of zero-based budgeting approach. The recent proposal by the business rescue practitioners will be put into the budget process and evaluated against our other priorities. Government will also be allocating R3 billion to recapitalise the Land Bank. This Bank holds 29 per cent of South Africa’s agricultural debt. The National Treasury is supporting the Land Bank find a solution to its default and craft a long-term restructuring plan. Details on this recapitalisation are provided in the Supplementary Budget Review. 3.3. ALIGNING SPENDING TO THE STRUCTURAL REFORM AGENDA A firm policy basis has been laid by Towards an Economic Strategy for South Africa, which was considered by Cabinet and accepted last year. While some of the measures have been delayed by the virus, we are now ready. Deputy Minister Masondo will coordinate implementation as the head of the Vulindlela office. One of these is to shift away from the electricity supply system that was introduced in 1923, when George V, the Queen’s grandfather, was the King of what was known as the Union of South Africa. The last few years have shown the inefficiency of this archaic system. Provisional allocations to Eskom were made on the understanding that Government’s Electricity Roadmap would be implemented.2 Progress is slow. The principle of zero-based budgeting is that we must see demonstrable value for money: Eskom will need to show progress in meeting the milestones as laid down in the Roadmap. This is non-negotiable. Progress on the other reforms will be given in the MTBPS. 3.4. FAIR AND FISCALLY SUSTAINABLE PUBLIC SECTOR COMPENSATION This year nearly half of consolidated revenue will go to pay civil servants. I value the important work public servants do, but we are guaranteed a painful reckoning if we continue in this way. Minister Senzo Mchunu is negotiating with our partners in the labour movement to find a balanced solution that sets compensation at an appropriate, affordable and fair level. We wish him well. 3.5. PUTTING INFRASTRUCTURE AT THE CENTRE OF GROWTH Finally, Honourable members, building a bridge to a post-lockdown future will require that we build high-quality physical bridges, roads, railways, ports and other infrastructures. Infrastructure will be the fly wheel by which we grow the economy. Just as we have toiled together to manage the pandemic, let us harness this same unity of purpose and build the infrastructure our nation needs. Our efforts to reduce consumption expenditure will also change the composition of spending in the direction of investment. Yesterday, the Presidency hosted a successful Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium, drawing in sector specialists, technical and financial structuring experts and policy departments that have considered 177 infrastructure projects across public and private sectors. In light of these and other important initiatives, the Government has already committed R100 billion over ten years toward the Infrastructure Fund. Together with the Development Bank of Southern Africa, we have identified projects that will be funded through the Budget Facility for Infrastructure. We have recently released a paper on Sustainable Finance, and we are working closely with the private sector to green our economy. But our enormous investment needs cannot be delivered by government alone. The private sector accounts for most of the investment spending in the economy. We must reduce long-term interest rates to allow business and households to drive faster economic growth. 4. CONCLUSION This is my presentation to the House and to South Africa, an extraordinary Supplementary Budget that saves lives, protects livelihoods and actively builds a bridge to a prosperous future. Madam Speaker, the Gospel tells us: Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Let me pay tribute to the South Africans who through their actions have protected the health and lives of their fellow citizens. They show resolve to go through the narrow road. Their government is ready to follow their lead. To quote the President, in his letter to the nation on Monday: Let us put shoulder to the wheel and turn this adversity into opportunity. Let us reimagine and repurpose our economy and put it firmly on a solid and sustainable path. In conclusion, Mr President and Deputy President, thank you for your leadership. Thank you to the Deputy Minister of Finance, the National Treasury Director General and his team for their insightful contributions! My thanks to the Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service, to the Governor of the South African Reserve Bank, to colleagues in the Cabinet and in the Ministers Committee on the Budget. My gratitude for the Parliamentary Committees who work tirelessly to process the legislation accompanying the Speech. Fellow South Africans, Matthew chapter 7 closes as follows: “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise person who built their house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. Let us listen, let us practice and let us build! I thank you.
  19. The good news for capitec users is that my app is free and does not overcharge. https://simcloud.co.za/ simcloud_presentation.pdf
  20. Covid-19 impact on car rental business is brutal. Motus is reducing car rental fleet by 40%, reducing workforce by 50%-60% and closing 20 branches.
  21. I suppose that plays a role hey, it's airtime. So main business is the Airtime API (more a B2B use case) and then secondary is the bulk list and automated recharges so also B2B, but I can imagine schools, churches etc will be the large users of this service. Basically trying to figure out if Gumtree is useful for targeting people and businesses that has prepaid airtime requirements. Also just made me think in general if gumtree advertising has a good ROI, because the platform feels cheaper to get your product accross than say Google Adwords or Twitter/Facebook Ads.
  22. I've mainly been advertising our business on Google Ads and Facebook Ads which is quite expensive, I understand the enhance targeting and I am sure if I spend more time to learn more about it I would get better value out of my money, but I'm just thinking of what other platforms there might be for a SA based business. Gumtree seems to do advertising and R250 to be on their home page sounds like a bargain. I wonder if they cap the impressions an advertiser can get, I mean there is only so much space on the home page and they have 10s of thousands of advertisers - so tying to figure out if a Gumtree paid for ad campaign is worth it.
  23. What issues do you currently have with FNB? Thanks for the deposit lesson, I am tempted to just go for the 100% now with how the economy is, but putting up a deposit might be safer I suppose. How exactly does a deposit work, in other words lets say I want to get a bond for R1 000 000 what difference does it make if I put down R200 000 as a deposit VS asking for a loan of R800 000 instead?
  24. I think the bond originator gets paid by the bank so there should not be any costs to the seller, which is good - I just want to make sure that free service is not at my expense in terms of getting the best interest rate. IE, would a bond originator really be able to negotiate better than me, I mean I can sit with the banker and tell him if you give me a better rate I will swing my bank account or car loan over to you as well - I am assuming that is how negotiations with a bank works, and working on that assumption the question becomes; What leverage does the bond originator have over me going to the bank directly to ensure the best interest rate is given? For anyone else more experience reading the above, I am clearly out of my depth here and might be thinking about this all wrong. @Bandit what is your credit score and what percentage interest did you get? How was the experience using betterbond, assuming I go with them - any tips?
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