26 Aug SwissFin – SwissSure Newsletter August 2021
We welcome you to the winter edition of our Newsletter.
South Africa has moved to lockdown stage 3 and the vaccination drive of the Government has picked up momentum with over 3 Mio citizens being fully vaccinated so far. There are millions more of vaccines arriving in South Africa over the next few weeks. More great news came from the past Olympics, where the South African swimmer, Tatjana Schoenmaker, striked SA’s first Olympic gold and smashed the world record in the 200m breaststroke.
And lastly, President Ramaphosa has finally done the cabinet reshuffle, which was long overdue and another positive sign for our country.
Please take note that all our staff continue working from home and will do so until lockdown stage 1, whilst our office is not attended.
As usual, we have included information across the board regarding investments, short-term insurance, immigration and other related topics. This newsletter can also be viewed under https://www.swissfin.co.za/newsletters/swissfin-swisssure-newsletter-august-2021
Enjoy the reading, with best regards,
Your SwissFin / SwissSure Team
- Interest rates: Bank deposits, insurance plans, tax-free investment amounts and our foreign exchange rates
2. LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL NEWS
4. SWISSSURE – SHORT-TERM INSURANCE NEWS
- Clarification on hole-in-one cover
- How to book your MUA concierge
- Old Mutual Insure: Cover restrictions for business interruption with or without material damage
- QSure cyber security incident
- Renting out your car on a domestic policy is excluded
- Body Corporates and the executive managing agent (“EMA”)
- MUA: Changes to geyser maintenance benefit
- Bryte Hospitality policy: Excess waiver for policyholders over 55
6. HEALTH INSURANCE
- Domestic workers now need to be registered in South Africa
- AARTO Act introduction postponed to July 2022
- POPI Act implementation
- These WhatsApp messages can land you in jail
- Personnel changes at SwissSure
- We value your comment
Interest rates: Bank deposits, insurance plans, tax-free investment amounts and our foreign exchange rates >>
We offer the following rates as of August 2021:
Interest rates ››
- Our Money Market Fund
- 4.08 %
- 12 Months bank deposits
- 4.73 %
- 24 Months bank deposits
- 5.23 %
- 36 Months bank deposits
- 5.78 %
The minimum investment is R 100’000. Terms and conditions apply. The rates do fluctuate on a daily basis and the interest rate depends on the investment amount.
Insurance Plans: “Guaranteed income/growth plans” (5-year term), approx. 80% of income tax-free: ››
- Gross yield
- Taxes payable
Tax-free interest income – maximum investment amounts: ››
R 2,57 Mio. for taxpayers under the age of 65
R 3,89 Mio. for taxpayers between the age of 65 and 75
R 4,25 Mio. for taxpayers over the age of 75
These figures mean that you can invest these amounts in i.e. our money market or fixed deposit offerings and not pay any tax. Couples married in community of property can double these amounts!
Underlying assumptions: 4,0 % effective interest rate and no other income sources.
SwissSure Forex Rates ››
- Bank A
- Bank F
- Bank N
- Bank S
- Our Rate
The above table shows that our rates are very attractive compared to commercial banks. Over and above, we do not charge any fees when the funds are credited or transferred to another local account.
2. LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL NEWS
Repo rate unchanged ››
The annual rate of change in the consumer price index eased to 4.9% in June, down from 5.2% in the previous month.
The recent unrests, which caused supply disruptions, has already prompted some commodities to rise and will have a lasting impact on GDP growth and inflation.
At the last meeting of the Reserve Bank on 22 July 2021, policymakers said that they expect inflation to average 4.2% for this year, before climbing to 4.4% next year and 4.5% in 2023.
The Repo rate was therefore left unchanged at 3.5%, still the lowest in 5 decades, and the prime lending rate stands currently at 7%.
Investec’s Prime Money Call account ››
The bank is offering a new account which is linked to the prime rate.
The rate is very competitive and these are the key features:
- You have immediate access to the funds, exactly in the same manner as the CCM Money Fund.
- The capital is secure and guaranteed by Investec Bank Limited.
- There are two different interest rates, up to R 25 Mio. and for higher amounts.
- The minimum investment amount is R 100’000.
- No debit orders, guarantees or scheduled payments are possible.
- The account is only available to individuals, no trusts or companies.
- Investec reserves the right to amend the fixed differential to the prime rate, with five days’ notice to you.
We recommend to all our Investec clients to transfer their balances to the new account, as the yield is approx. 0.3% higher than the Money Fund!
Tax filing season has opened ››
These are the individual income tax return filing dates:
Online: 1 July to 23 November 2021:
Taxpayers who cannot file online can do so at a SARS branch by appointment only.
Provisional taxpayers: 1 July 2021 to 31 January 2022
A significant number of individual taxpayers will be auto-assessed again this year. SARS will send an SMS if you are selected to be auto-assessed. If you accept your auto-assessment, any under- or overpayment of tax will be processed as normal. If you want to edit your return, you can file your return on eFiling or the SARS MobiApp.
Taxpayers can now request specific Personal Income Tax related services by sending an SMS to SARS on 47277. The following additional tax related services are offered to taxpayers via their mobile device with or without data/airtime:
- Request an eBooking appointment
- Confirmation request to determine whether to submit a (PIT) tax return
- Request the issuing of the IT150 (Tax Registration Number)
- Request Account related queries and/or provision of Statement of the Account
Home office claims may be problematic ››
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, employees continue to work from home.
They may claim home office expenses as a deduction if they meet the requirements of the Income Tax Act.
The home office must be specifically equipped with the instruments, tools and equipment required by employees to perform their duties. In addition, the home office must be used regularly and exclusively for work purposes. Finally, employees must work at the home office for more than half of their working time during the year of assessment.
Expenses that employees may claim are limited to rental, repairs and expenses incurred in relation to the property, as well as wear and tear on office equipment used for work purposes. Expenses in relation to the entire property, i.e. rates and taxes, must be apportioned in accordance with the floor area of the home office.
To claim the employee must submit the following with the income tax return: Copy of the employment contract with the work-from home policy, a letter by their employer and proof of their expenses. The letter needs to confirm the employee is permitted to work from home, and that he/she was not present at the office for a particular number of days.
Beware of the following pitfalls:
The deduction claimed might have an effect on the capital gains tax calculation when the home is sold. The part of the house that was deemed an office will be apportioned for non-residential use and the R 2 Mio. exclusion will not apply.
Further, if your employer reimburses you for working from home, such payments are deemed to be income and need to be reflected in your income tax return.
We have also been informed that SARS will request a picture of the home office to check if it really exists!
4. SWISSSURE – SHORT-TERM INSURANCE NEWS
Clarification on hole-in-one cover ››
All domestic short-term policies pay out a lump sum if a golfer achieves a hole-in-one, or if a bowler manages to get a full house.
There is no small print to the benefit, but the hole-in one needs to be achieved at a recognized golf course during an official round of golf. A written confirmation about the hole-in-one is required by the secretary of the golf club when claiming.
This benefit only affects a few lucky players every year but please note that some policies will only provide for one claim per insurance year.
How to book your MUA concierge ››
Kindly use the following email address for any concierge bookings: and provide the following details:
Your name(s), MUA policy number, date and time of pick-up/drop-off, collection address and destination, number of persons, numbers of luggage with size description, flight number and mobile number.
Please no longer use the personal email addresses of our staff or those at GlobalChoices. Working from home makes these bookings more challenging and we often see that clients amend the bookings at a later stage which can cause problems. You will receive a reply e-mail from GlobalChoices that confirms all the details.
Please note that the concierge is for free for travels within a radius of 50 km of the major cities. Any additional kms are charged at R 10 per kilometre and payable in cash to the driver.
Old Mutual Insure: Cover restrictions for business interruption with or without material damage ››
The insurer has recently published a communication to clarify how commercial claims with regards to business interruption will be dealt with.
To view the communication, please click here.
QSure cyber security incident ››
Most clients do not know who QSure is, as they act in the background as a premium collection agent for most insurance companies in South Africa.
We have been advised that the company suffered a cyber-attack with a consequent data breach. Following a preliminary forensic investigation conducted by digital cyber security experts, steps were taken to prevent any further unauthorised access to the data.
We can confirm that no policyholder identity numbers, credit card account details, contact details and policy content were compromised as they were not stored on the QSure platform.
Please be advised that the investigation is still ongoing and we will keep you updated as and when we receive more information from QSure.
The Financial Sector Conduct Authority and the Information Regulator (South Africa) have been informed of the data breach.
While we believe the risk is minimal, please find below some general precautionary measures that you can take:
- Register for your Bank’s cellphone notification service and receive electronic messages relating to activities or transactions on your accounts as and when they occur.
- Review your account statements on a timely basis; query disputed transactions with your Bank immediately.
- Monitor especially for small amounts being deducted from your account.
- Verify all requests for personal information and only give it out when there is a legitimate reason to do so.
- Inform your Bank of your cellphone number changes so that your cellphone notification contact number is updated on its systems.
- Regularly verify whether the details received from cellphone notifications are correct and according to the recent activity on your account. Should any detail appear suspicious immediately make contact with your Bank and report all log-on notifications that are unknown to you.
- You can also choose to be part of the SAFPS (South African Fraud Prevention Service) database. If you decide to elect this service, you will be issued with a number and when applying for credit or when opening accounts, you may be required to quote this number.
Unfortunately, cyber-crime is on the rise in South Africa and you need to safeguard your assets against such criminals.
Renting out your car on a domestic policy is excluded ››
Please consult with us before signing up for innovative car-sharing services to ensure that you still enjoy cover. Car-pooling and ride-sharing have been around forever and involve a driver, usually the motor vehicle owner, picking up colleagues or friends to travel to a place of work or other shared destination. We recently heard about a smartphone application called “Cridde”, which allows individuals to add their vehicles to a car rental pool “to earn money by listing and sharing their cars”. Renting your car to an unknown or partially-vetted third party introduces risks that were not anticipated by your motor vehicle insurer and will almost certainly result in claims being rejected.
Rent for reward is excluded on most domestic policies, as this type of use is more typically covered on a commercial policy.
Body Corporates and the executive managing agent (“EMA”) ››
An EMA is usually a practicing managing agent, appointed to perform the functions and exercise all the powers, which would normally be performed by the elected trustees.
The EMA is either a person or company, appointed by the body corporate (BC), with the purpose of being a paid trustee. Very important to note is that the EMA, unlike ‘normal’ managing agents, takes on the same liability as a trustee.
The EMA must manage the scheme with the skill and care required of a professional person, and will be liable to the Body Corporate for any loss suffered if he/she does not exercise the necessary skill and care. It is therefore of the utmost importance that the trustees ensure that the EMA has sufficient Professional Indemnity cover in place.
Please contact our short-term insurance department if you need PI cover for an EMA.
MUA: Changes to geyser maintenance benefit ››
The insurer’s optional geyser maintenance extension continues to be in demand because of the unique features and benefits offered.
The premium remained the same since 2019 but has been increased to R 53 p.m. as from May 2021.
We recommend that every MUA client adds this benefit to the building section, offering cover for your geyser maintenance, wear and tear together with no basic excess being applied.
Bryte Hospitality policy: Excess waiver for policyholders over 55 ››
As from 1 July 2021, the insurer has reviewed the excess structure under the motor and contents section for those policyholders who are over the age of 55 with a favourable claims loss ratio.
The following endorsements have been added to the excess structure:
Motor: If the insured owner or spouse over the age of 55 years is the registered owner of a private vehicle, indicated on the schedule as a definition 2 (a) vehicle, and is also the driver of the vehicle at the time of an occurrence which gives rise to a claim in terms of this section, the excesses will not be applicable unless there is a specific condition on the motor section stating that the excesses must be paid.
Contents: If the insured owner or spouse is over 55 years of age then the basic excess of the Contents section will not be applicable unless there is a specific condition on the Contents section stating that the basic excess must be paid.
We hope that our guesthouse clients find this favourable and should you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Update on our court case ››
We communicated to our participants in June, that we received a response from the State Attorney. It seems that the Department wants to settle the matter out of court.
We are currently in the process of putting the documentation of each applicant together, including a signed affidavit from Mr Hug.
The Court wants the matter to be resolved by the 10th December 2021.
Temporary visa extended and PR will re-open ››
The Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, has extended the validity period of legally issued visas which expired during the lockdown period, to 30 September 2021 for short-term visas, issued for a period not longer than 90 days, such as a tourist visa.
The validity period of longer-term temporary visas issued for three months to three years which expired during the lockdown has also been extended until 30 September 2021.
Please note that the extension does not apply to people who entered the country from 15 March 2021.
These amendments are in line with the National State of Disaster Regulations, and were published on 30 June 2021. Please click here to read the publication.
Holders of such visas are permitted to remain in the country under the conditions of their visas until the expiry of their applicable extension. Those wishing to be repatriated to their countries within this period can depart without being declared undesirable persons.
Holders of longer-term temporary visas, issued for 90 days up to three years, such as study visa, treaty visa, business visa, medical treatment visa, relatives’ visas, general work visa, critical skills work visa, retired person’s visa and exchange visa, which expired during the State of National Disaster are invited to renew their visas at VFS before 30 September 2021.
The Department of Home Affairs has also announced that applications for new permanent residency applications open only on 1 January 2022!
Permanent residence appeals and proof of PR applications open sooner and you can submit them again from 1 October 2021.
6. HEALTH INSURANCE
Discovery Card enhances travel insurance ››
After a long partnership with Oojah Travel Protection (underwritten by Hollard Insurance), free international travel insurance for Discovery Card holders will now be underwritten by Discovery Insure Ltd. This change will be effective from 1 August 2021.
The following benefits are adjusted:
– Increased limits on medical emergencies.
– Inclusion of debit cardholders.
– Increase in age limits to cover individuals up to the age of 80 years for medical emergencies.
– No age limit for personal accident cover.
As a Discovery Card holder whose account is in good standing, you qualify for free travel insurance cover when travelling internationally. Travel insurance covers you for emergency medical (in the absence of cover through Discovery Health Medical Scheme’s international travel benefit) and non-medical costs outside the borders of South Africa for 90 days from your date of departure from South Africa. The cover ends on your return home or after 90 days from your date of departure from South Africa, whichever happens first. Discovery Insure will activate the travel insurance cover when you buy an international travel ticket in South Africa using your Discovery Card or Discovery Miles.
The travel insurance terms and conditions and policy documents for Discovery Bank Black or Purple credit cardholders are available on the Visa website. If you have any questions, please call 0800 07 96 97.
Turnberry Gap Cover concession extended until end of 2021 ››
Turnberry have agreed to waiver all waiting periods, except for the 10 months waiting periods on Maternity/Pregnancy and the 12 months waiting period on Cancer and Muscular-Skeletal.
This also means that the general 3-month waiting period does not apply.
Domestic workers now need to be registered in South Africa ››
Government has gazetted new rules for domestic workers in South Africa, which will see them covered under the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (Coida).
The changes, which were officially introduced in March this year, confirm that domestic workers are now covered under the act for illness or injury contracted at work.
The compensation payable to domestic workers for occupational injuries and diseases are the same benefits that are payable to all other injured employees.
The new regulations mean that all employers of domestic workers – whether part-time or full-time – must register themselves and their employees with the Compensation commissioner. Domestic workers, including gardeners, will need to be registered within seven days of signing an employment contract with a new employee. Where an employment contract already exists, a domestic worker should be registered by an employer as soon as possible. Penalties for non-registration will kick in after the end of March 2022.
Employers are expected to prepare the following documents:
– Completed CF-1E form;
– A copy of your ID, passport or work permit;
– Proof of your residential address;
– A copy of your employee’s ID, passport or work permit;
– A copy of the employment contract.
AARTO Act introduction postponed to July 2022 ››
The point demerit system and driver rehabilitation programmes of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Act will only be introduced from July 1, 2022 – a year later than anticipated as confirmed by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula.
The Aarto Regulations will provide a comprehensive list of demerit points allocated for every identified offence, with the threshold level of 15 demerit points. Once that threshold is exceeded, one’s driving licence gets suspended for a period of three months for every exceeded point. The reduction is one point for every three months that a motorist remains violation-free.
City of Cape Town CEO Wayne Duvenage said the bigger problem looming for Aarto is that the City of Cape Town has made it clear that it is not participating and will challenge it – and more cities and towns are likely to come on board in this.
POPI Act implementation ››
You probably have been inundated by mails from service providers with the implementation of the Act on 1 July.
The Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) deals specifically with the subject of direct marketing, and strict rules are in place to regulate this.
Direct marketing includes any direct approach to generate business. This approach could be by email or other electronic messaging system, by ordinary mail or in person. It therefore includes all email marketing, SMS’s and WhatsApp’s, newsletters, drops, tele-canvassing and cold calling. We are all given the right to object to having our personal information used for this type of direct marketing.
When receiving direct marketing material, the details of the sender must be included and you must also be able to unsubscribe.
These WhatsApp messages can land you in jail ››
President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the Cybercrimes Act into law on Tuesday 1 June 2021, introducing new laws that criminalise the sending of certain types of harmful messages on social media in South Africa.
Penalties for sending such messages include imprisonment for up to three years and/or a fine. The Cybercrimes Act defines three types of harmful messages that have been criminalised in South Africa. They are messages which:
• Incite damage to property or violence.
• Threaten people with damage to property or violence.
• Unlawfully contain an intimate image.
The Cybercrimes Act is mainly aimed at bringing South Africa’s cybercrime laws in line with the rest of the world. In addition to criminalising certain harmful messages, the Act also includes definitions for cyber fraud, forgery, extortion, and theft of incorporeal property. The unlawful and intentional access of a computer system or computer data storage medium is also considered an offence, along with the unlawful interception of, or interference with data. In addition to defining specific cybercrimes, the Act also places several obligations on companies such as network operators, Internet service providers, and financial institutions. The Act stipulates that electronic communications service providers and financial institutions must report, without undue delay and where feasible, cyber offences within 72 hours of becoming aware of them. If they fail to do so it may lead to a fine of as much as R 50,000. These companies are also obliged to help in the investigation of cybercrimes
Personnel changes at SwissSure ››
We are sad to say good-bye to Mrs Karin Carstens. She decided a few weeks ago to emigrate to Germany. We would like to thank her for her contribution whilst at SwissSure and wish her all of the best with her new venture.
We value your comment ››
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