13 Dec SwissFin – SwissSure Newsletter December 2018
It is this time of the year again – Christmas and the summer holidays are just around the corner. Our team wishes you a great time with your family and friends and all the best for 2019. Please travel safe on our busy roads during the festive season.
We are pleased to announce that our application for Foreign Exchange offerings has been approved by the South African Reserve Bank. We will also be in a position to offer our clients accounts in USD. You will find more information on this topic under “investments”.
We have also included information across the board regarding investments, short-term insurance, immigration and other related topics. This newsletter can as usual be viewed under https://www.swissfin.co.za/newsletters/swissfin-swisssure-newsletter-december-2018/
Enjoy the reading, with best regards,
Your SwissFin / SwissSure – Team
- Interest rates: Bank deposits, insurance plans and tax-free investment amounts
- SwissSure’s / Investec Forex and foreign currency account offering
- Discovery introduces the world’s first behavioural bank
2. LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL NEWS
3. SWISSSURE: SHORT-TERM INSURANCE NEWS
- Increased power surge limit for CIA Policyholders and no more underinsurance
- Wear and tear is not covered
- Old Mutual Insure: Various policy and process changes
- Electric fencing: Who is responsible for injuries?
- GolfEstateSure: Any further benefits on your wish list?
- Renasa: Changes to contents cover over the festive period
- Bryte: Adjustments to personal and commercial policies
- Travel requirements for foreign minor children relaxed
- Minister Gigaba resigns
- Proposed changes to the Immigration Act
- Update on progress at the Department
- Our immigration book is being updated
5. HEALTH INSURANCE
- Technical problems with our telephone lines
- SwissSure co-sponsors Pearl Valley Golf Club Championship
- Be wary of Smishing!
- Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban are three of Africa’s six wealthiest cities
- SwissSure welcomes a new staff member
- Our office hours over the festive season
- We value your comment
SwissSure offers the following rates as of December 2018:
Interest rates ››
- Our Money Market Fund
- 12 Months Bank deposits
The minimum investment is R 250’000. 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 the income is tax-exempt: ››
- Gross yield
- Taxes payable
Tax-free interest income – maximum investment amounts: ››
R 1.5 Mio. for taxpayers under the age of 65
R 2.3 Mio. for taxpayers between the age of 65 and 75
R 2.5 Mio. for taxpayers over the age of 75
Underlying assumptions: 6.5% effective interest. Couples married in community of property can double these amounts.
SwissSure’s / Investec Forex and foreign currency account offering ››
We have been given the green light by the South African Reserve Bank to offer our clients Forex services. The key points are as follows:
– We will be able to offer wholesale rates to our clients, which should be considerably better than than rates offered by commercial banks. We have done a comparison on the 18th December 2018 for an exchange of Euro 10’000 with the following results:
- Bank A
- Bank N
- Bank F
- Bank S
- Our Offering
The table above shows that our rates are up to 4% better than those of commercial banks.
– We do not charge any fees for incoming funds and no fees when transferring the converted funds to your local current account.
– Converted funds will immediately attract money market rates of approx. 7%.
– The minimum amounts for conversion will be the equivalent of ZAR 100’000 per transaction.
We will be testing the new offering over the first quarter of 2019. Should you wish to test our rates and offering, please do not hesitate to contact Tony Hug on .
Discovery introduces the world’s first behavioural bank ››
Financial services company Discovery, has announced details of its new banking offering, described as the world’s first digital behavioural bank.
Aimed to address the negative impact of human behaviour on health risk, Discovery Bank aims to do the same in the context of financial risk and banking systems.
The launch of Discovery Bank comes at a critical time in South Africa and is highly relevant in the context of our current technical recession. More South Africans are today credit active than are employed; 40% struggle to make debt repayments; the country has one of the lowest savings rates in the world; and only approx. 6% of South African citizens are adequately prepared for retirement.
A key feature of the Bank is dynamic interest rates that flex monthly. This benefit links interest rates directly to clients’ financial behaviour. The client can earn more interest on savings and to pay less interest on credit as he/she improves their financial behaviour with Vitality Money. The Bank further leveraged the Vitality partner chassis to create an attractive ecosystem of rewards for clients in the form of dynamic discounts that deepen Vitality’s incentives.
With the Discovery Banking App, clients can use transactional and credit card capabilities, a single credit facility, multiple ways to pay instantly, banking options for families and multiple savings options with dynamic interest rates.
There will be no ATM facilities and clients are not rated according to their income, but how well they manage their finances. Discovery Bank wants to make 10% of its shares available to black clients.
The application for the Discovery 1 Account can be done by downloading the Discovery Bank App. Discovery will be testing the banking facility with staff first, and will become available to the public from March 2019.
2. LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL NEWS
South Africa’s medium-term budget policy statement ››
Markets reacted sharply after newly sworn-in Finance Minister Tito Mboweni presented his maiden Medium-Term-Budget-Policy-Statement (MTBPS) on the 24th October 2018.
He warned that the cost of servicing the country and its debt had ballooned more than anticipated.
The main points were as follows:
- Gross debt will only stabilize in 2024/25 at 59.6% of GDP, which is a sharp increase from the 56.2% estimated last February. This means that 15.1% of the budget is used to repay debt and interest payments.
- The GDP growth forecast for this year stands at 0.7% and will gradually increase to 2% in 2021.
- The spending on the public service wage bill needs to be reduced as it is currently 35% of total expenditure. There has been an overspending of R 32 Billion by government officials.
- This year’s budget deficit is going to widen from 3.8% to 4.3% of GDP. The decline is mainly attributable to declining revenue collection.
- The tax revenue shortfall will be R 27.4 Billion for 2018/19.
- South African Airways will receive a cash injection of R 5 Billion, SA Express R 1.2 Billion and the Post Office R 2.9 Billion, so that they all can reduce their debt levels.
- Mboweni also provided more details on the President’s stimulus package of R 50 Billion aimed at dragging the country out of the recession: 15.9 Billion will go to infrastructure programs and R 16,5 Billion will go to various programs, such as the funding for SARS to restore capacity.
- To boost agriculture, the Land Bank will receive R 16.2 Billion to conclude land transactions.
- Some products have been zero rated for VAT purposes: Sanitary pads, bread and cake flour.
- A free valuation report every 3 years.
- Low monthly fee of R10 per unit per month which includes VAT.
- CIA will appoint Mirfin to conduct an independent and transparent replacement valuation every three years. Full report will be provided to Body Corporate.
- Available to residential sectional title complexes. Not applicable to contents or specified items.
- Minimum charge of R200 per policy per month.
- Discounts available for complexes with more than 100 units.
- The Sum Insured on the policy will be adjusted to reflect the most recent valuation and increased annually by inflation (currently 10%) between valuations.
- The valuation service and underinsurance waiver will only apply to standard units as completed by the developer. Any additions, improvements or upgrades to individual units must specifically be included in the unit’s sum insured as shown in the PQ schedule by the unit owner.
- The maximum payment for any claim will always be the sum insured as stated in the schedule.
- A cancellation fee is payable should policy be cancelled / extension removed within 12 months.
- It was the Fireblade Aviation matter, in which a court found that he had lied under oath. Business tycoon Nicky Oppenheimer told MPs that Gigaba lied about granting permission for immigration services at his private aviation terminal.
- He was at the centre with the suspicious naturalisation of the Gupta family. The Home Affairs committee is yet to finalise that inquiry.
- The enquiry into State capture and corruption might unveil that he misused his role when he was Public Enterprises Minister.
- And lastly, a sex tape with him that circulated on social media embarrassed him further.
- Introduction of the Day Surgery Network. This is available to members that require 1-day procedures and the network will be more cost effective.
- Many members do not adhere to taking their chronic medicine at specific intervals which puts them at risk. Discovery is therefore introducing the the Discovery Care Program which is aimed at members suffering from cardio, diabetic and mental diseases. Members will be monitored and reminded to take their medication via the Medecine Tracker on their smart phones.
- There will be enhanced cover for members with cancer, providing unlimited cover for certain treatments.
- The Key Care plan series has been revamped.
- Most co-payments and deductibles have been increased in line with the premium increase of the underlying plans.
- The smartphone App has undergone updates and it makes it easier, to find hospitals, GPs and specialist doctors.
- The Vitality points redemption has been made easier and more partners are on the program.
- Healthy Dining at Col’Cacchio, Ocean Basket, Nandos, Woolworths, Uber Eats and Doppio Zero will give cash backs up to 25%.
- The Vitality Active Rewards App has been upgraded to version 2.0. One can play a game board to earn points when achieving the health goals.
The Minister is clearly tackling South Africa’s financial crisis, after years of financial mismanagement under ex-President Jacob Zuma. South Africa is currently living beyond its means and the Minister has acknowledged that the country is in a very difficult situation.
Future talks with the rating agencies will not be easy and a further downgrade will not come as a surprise.
Besides a further downgrade by the rating agencies, further risk includes a downgrade of our currency which could result in higher inflation. The repo rate was increased to 6.75% on 22 November to combat the inflationary pressure building up.
3. SWISSSURE: SHORT-TERM INSURANCE NEWS
Increased power surge limit for CIA Policyholders and no more underinsurance ››
CIA continually endeavours to improve their offering to their clients. As from the 1st of November 2018, the First Loss Power Surge limit will be increased from R15 000 to R50 000 at no additional cost to policyholder.
This is applicable to all Community Living (Body Corporates etc.) and Broadform Building Insurance Policies. This limit can be further increased at an additional premium if required.
Property valuations for sectional title complexes are now required by law every 3 years. Valuations can be costly and place an administrative burden on trustees to organise timeously. Underinsurance presents an unnecessary risk for trustees.
CIA has partnered with Mirfin, a leading professional valuation service to offer an underinsurance waiver extension on Community Living Policies which includes the following:
For more information, please contact our short-term insurance department.
Wear and tear is not covered ››
Our short-term claims department often comes across claims, which are not sudden and/or unforeseen. Each insurance contract in South Africa, and probably worldwide, excludes any damages resulting from the following: Rot, rising damp, fungus, mould, weeds/roots, settlement, shrinkage, corrosion, wear and tear, gradual deterioration, rust, inherent fault or design, defective workmanship, use of faulty materials etc.
In practice, this means the following: If your builder used sub-standard materials on your house and damage occurs, the insurance company can repudiate your claim.
You also need to take all reasonable precautions to avoid a claim. An example for this clause is your waterproofing. You cannot let it deteriorate and then claim when water comes through your ceiling. You need to check it and make sure it is in working order at all times. Some insurance companies will pay for the resultant damages though.
Old Mutual Insure: Various policy and process changes ››
New Apple iPhone claims process:
The insurer has made the claims handling much easier. Please click here to follow the new process.
This has been adjusted and can be read here.
Premium and excess adjustments:
There has been a general review of such which can be downloaded by clicking here.
The geyser rates have also changed:
New legislation, please click here to read the summary, have led the insurer to increase the limits for damaged geysers.
Electric fencing: Who is responsible for injuries? ››
We came across a very interesting article in the “Boksburgadvertiser” in August this year.
Please click here to read it.
In a nutshell, you need a certificate of compliance that matches the requirements of the Electrical Machinery Regulations Act of 2011 in order to avoid an injured party suing you.
GolfEstateSure: Any further benefits on your wish list? ››
The insurer behind our product, MUA Insurance Acceptances (Pty) Ltd, is busy looking at upgrading their policy offering.
We are also in the process of updating our GES policy and wanted to use this occasion to ask all our GES policyholders if there is any benefit that they would like to be added.
Renasa: Changes to contents cover over the festive period ››
The insurer is taking precautions to combat insurance fraud, which is normally at an increased level over the holiday period in December and January. Please click here to download the underwriting measurements.
Bryte: Adjustments to personal and commercial policies ››
Like many other insurers, Bryte has also reviewed their policies.
Should you have any questions regarding the articles above, please do not hesitate to contact your short-term insurance consultant at SwissSure.
Travel requirements for foreign minor children relaxed ››
As the festive season approaches, the Department of Home Affairs will scrap regulations requiring parents travelling with minors to present an unabridged birth certificate at ports of entry.
Foreign minors will not have to carry parental consent and birth certificate with the new visa amendments. However, the officials at port of entry can still ask for proof of kinship and it is recommended that the parents carry such documentation.
Local minors will still require the consent of both parents to leave the country. Children may travel however, with a birth certificate and a minor passport.
Children who do not have their parent’s full names in their passports still need to produce the unabridged birth certificate. It might be a better option for parents of South African children to upgrade the passports, which shows the parent details at the back.
The Department is still going to issue an official travel advisory for foreigners.
It is estimated that since these stringent regulations with unabridged birth certificates came into force in 2014, approximately 13 000 people were being turned away at foreign airports. The cancellation of their travel plans has cost the tourism industry huge amounts.
We welcome this change which was long overdue.
Minister Gigaba resigns ››
Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee confirmed the resignation of Malusi Gigaba on 13 November 2018. It was clear that the Minister did not resign voluntarily, but was pushed by the ANC to fall on his sword.
There were many reasons why he should have resigned a long time ago:
President Ramaphosa in the meanwhile has appointed Siyabonga Cwele as the new Minister of Home Affairs. He was previously the Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services and also served as the State Security Minister from 2008 to 2009.
Proposed changes to the Immigration Act ››
In a recent statement by the Department of Home Affairs, the following areas will be addressed as part of the economic stimulus and recovery plan:
– An e-visa pilot will be implemented: The latter will be piloted at Cape Town, King Shaka, and OR Tambo international airports to allow returning South African citizens, and trusted travellers – international travellers who visit South Africa frequently and do not have a criminal record – to use a self-service kiosk, lessening the number of people interacting with an immigration officer.
– In an effort to retain critical skills, the government will make it easier for international graduates to stay in South Africa: If an international student studied and graduated with a critical skill in South Africa, they may be eligible for permanent residence. However, if the student pursues a course outside the critical skill list, he/she will have to follow the normal steps to gain permanent residency.
– The new Critical Skills list is expected to be released in April 2019.
The Department is currently engaging with the respective Government Departments and Business Sector for their input on a draft list. However, the draft critical skills list is significantly shorter than previous lists and omits numerous key skills. Among others, the designation “corporate general manager” appears to have been dropped from the list, and no provision is made for equivalent skills. This implies that high-level CEOs, business managers and consultants will no longer be able to apply for scarce skills visas, which raises questions about whether foreign business investors and multinationals will be able to support their local investments with the right level of staff.
The draft list now allows for foreign language skills only if they are to be used in call centres. This excludes the high-level foreign language skills needed by organisations engaged in pan-African and international trade, consulting and support.
– Long-term multiple entry visas for frequent travellers: In order to further ease movement of travellers for tourism, business meetings and academic exchange, Home Affairs has implemented long-term multiple entry visas for frequent travellers.
Three-year multiple entry visas: For frequent trusted travellers to South Africa.
Ten-year multiple entry visas: For business people and academics from Africa.
– Visa free travel is being negotiated with numerous countries across Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and the Caribbean. Visa requirements for certain countries namely Nigeria, China and India will be relaxed. Travellers from India and China will be issued a 10-year multiple entry visa within five days of application, instead of the previous five-year multiple entry visa.
– Applications submitted at the embassies are to be processed in South Africa:
According to informed rumours the Department of Home Affairs is intending to centralise the processing of all applications in Pretoria to achieve consistency in the application process. Please note that there is no official communication regarding this dramatic change at this point in time.
The above measures have the potential to boost tourism and make business travel a lot more conducive. With over 10 Million foreign arrivals in South Africa, the Department plays a critical role in increasing these numbers.
A new Bill on International Migration is expected to be available for comment in March 2019.
Update on progress at the Department ››
We are experiencing an increase in unlawful rejections of visa applications which is resulting in unnecessary and costly appeals and heartache for many foreign families. There are constant mistakes with the processing of applications and one starts to wonder if these mistakes are not deliberate.
The Department is currently busy with PR applications dating back to 2015, making the processing time now 3 years which is not acceptable.
This could be a sign that the DH is moving to apply restrictive new policies, effectively blocking a great deal of foreign direct investment and skills flows to the country.
General work visas are also no longer issued, with the result that thousands of foreigners already in South Africa are unable to renew their visas as employers are forced to employ South Africans instead.
The draft Critical Skill List is not very beneficial and we hope that the private sector will give sufficient input to amend it.
With the resignation of Minister Gigaba, we are hopeful that a new Minister displays a more open mind to immigration matters and gets the job done.
Our immigration book is being updated ››
Our guide is being updated to reflect the recent changes in legislation. The new version no. 38 will be available very shortly. For more information, please go to https://www.swissfin.co.za/products-services/immigration/order-immigration-brochure/
5. HEALTH INSURANCE
Discovery Health changes 2019 ››
The leading health insurance company has announced the following changes for next year:
The average weighted premium increase is 9.2 %, which also includes the recent VAT increase.
The following benefits have been updated:
Please note that the deadline for plan changes is the 15th December 2018.
For more information, please visit www.discovery.co.za.
Technical problems with our telephone lines ››
We have moved over to a digital voice system (VOIP) which unfortunately was found to be unreliable. It is sometimes not possible to call our office. Should you encounter any problems, please call us on our WhatsApp line 066 197 8875 or send us an e-mail.
We would like to apologize for the inconvenience and we are attending to the matter.
SwissSure co-sponsors Pearl Valley Golf Club Championship ››
Over the weekend of the 17th and 18th November 2018 we were invited to sponsor the Club Championship together with Mercedes and Taylormade at Pearl Valley / Val de Vie Golf Estate.
It was an exceptionally well organized event and the golfers had to put up with very windy conditions. The winner of the lucky draw was Mr. Wessel Pieters. He will be chauffeur driven in the “old lady” to a wine farm for lunch for two. Congratulations!
Be wary of Smishing! ››
Smishing aims to access your personal information via an SMS. These scams are becoming more common because of the increasing popularity of mobile banking.
How it works:
– You receive an SMS supposedly from a recognized organization, like a bank, asking you to contact a toll-free number
– When you call the number, a fake automated voice-response system prompts you to provide sensitive details like your account number, password or PIN.
– If you are routed onto a website, you are asked to share your account details, username or password for online banking, email account, cell phone number or bank card details.
It is easy to detect smishing as you are normally not given sufficient time to think and you have to respond immediately.
Any details you provide on the fake website are captured by the fraudsters and used to defraud you.
Never react to any such requests coming via SMS!
Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town are three of Africa’s six wealthiest cities ››
Four South African cities feature on the top 10 wealthiest list in Africa, according to the Africa 2018 Wealth Report – Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Pretoria.
The report unpacks wealth trends in Africa over the past 10 years. It defines “wealth” as the net assets of a person in US dollar terms – including property, cash, equities and business interests – less any liabilities.
For the purposes of the report, a country’s wealth includes all individuals working or living there, including expats. South Africa was found to be the wealthiest country in Africa, with total wealth of USD 722 Billion.
The list is as follows:
1. Johannesburg USD 276 Billion
2. Cape Town USD 155 Billion
3. Cairo USD 140 Billion
4. Lagos USD 104 Billion
5. Durban USD 55 Billion
6. Nairobi USD 54 Billion
7. Luanda USD 49 Billion
8. Pretoria USD 48 Billion
SwissSure welcomes a new staff member ››
We are very excited that Ms Karin Carstens will be joining us from next year.
Ms Carstens is originally from Austria and resident in Cape Town for many years.
She will be trained to become a short-term insurance consultant and we wish her lots of success and satisfaction at SwissSure.
Our office hours over the festive season ››
Please note that we are open on normal work days Monday – Thursday from 08.30 to 16.30 and Fridays 08.30 – 16.00. Our offices will be closed from the 21st December 2018 from 12.00 until the 1st January 2018. We re-open on the 2nd January 2019.
Should you have an emergency during the above period, please contact the following short-term insurer’s emergency numbers:
Renasa Domestic: 0861 628 328 or 083 791 0201
Renasa Commercial: 0861 736 266 or 083 791 0164
BnB Sure / Bryte: 0800 556677
Execuline / Hollard: 0860 103434
HIC: 011 455 5271
MUA: 0861 000 682
Old Mutual Insure: 0860 247365
Santam: 0860 505911
Vantage: 0800 214763
Western: 0860 400 007
HLU: 0861 726 526
CIA: 0861 242 777
Hollard Roadside assist 0860 038262
Hollard Geyser Hotline 021 702 0442 (Fogi Plumbing)
AIG (Chartis): 0860 005666