19 Dec SwissFin – SwissSure Newsletter December 2021
South Africans have again climbed the mountains, crossed the bridges, and endured the challenges of 2021, partly unscathed.
You have used litres of hand sanitiser at home and in public, an endless number of masks and have listened to hundreds of newscasts about the pandemic. Now is the time to prepare to say goodbye to another strange year and to hope that the new dawn will offer more opportunity and freedom.
As usual, we have also 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-december-2021
We would like to thank all our clients for their loyal support over another difficult period. We wish you and your family an enjoyable Christmas time and hope the New Year will bring in much prosperity and happiness for you.
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
- Reserve Bank increases Repo rate
2. LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL NEWS
3. SWISSSURE – SHORT-TERM INSURANCE NEWS
- SASRIA increases rates
- Compliance certificate required for replaced geysers
- Western insurance limits cover on Business Interruption for commercial clients
5. HEALTH INSURANCE
- Discovery Health changes 2022
- BDAE introduces digital health assistant “Emma”
- Turnberry product update 2022
- Car licence renewals will be made available online
- Our office hours over the festive season
- 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 December 2021:
Interest rates ››
- Our Money Market Fund
- 4.55 %
- 12 Months bank deposits
- 5.53 %
- 24 Months bank deposits
- 6.39 %
- 36 Months bank deposits
- 7.53 %
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
- 6.33 %
- 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.
Reserve bank increases Repo rate ››
On 17 November 2021, after 15 months at 3,5 %, the lowest repo rate in our history, the Reserve Bank has decided to raise rates by 0,25%. This means our prime lending interest rate will increase from 7% to 7,25%.
2. LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL NEWS
The Medium Term Budget Speech ››
Foreigners with South African investments will be liking the debut budget by our new finance minister Enoch Godongwana, which was presented on 11 November 2021. These are the most important points of his speech:
- The SA economy is expected to grow by 5.1 per cent in 2021, from a 6.4 per cent contraction in 2020. The treasury then expects it to slow down in 2022 to 1.8%.
- Over the next three years the growth of the local economy is expected to average 1.7 per cent, reflecting some structural weaknesses such as inadequate electricity supply, which hurts the local economy.
- The minister mentioned that all efforts over the past 13 years have been to fix Eskom, instead of addressing security of supply by adding additional capacity to the grid. Significant progress has been made in correcting the amendment of Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act of 2006, which has raised the licensing threshold from 1 to 100 megawatts.
It has also made it possible for private power generators to sell directly to customers.
- 21 cents of each Rand received in revenue is spent on government’s debt repayments. The government debt is currently R 41 Trillion and the debt repayments exceeds what is spent on health, social development and policing.
- The finance minister resisted political pressure to spend a windfall tax income of R 120 Bio which originated from surging commodity prices. Personal income tax collection was a further R 26 Bio higher than originally estimated.
- R 2,34 Bio has been allocated to the Covid vaccination program to buy more doses.
- Further encouraging was the fact, that State-owned-entities (SOEs) received no further financial allocations.
The minister struck the right note by keeping spending in check. The budget was well received and the Rand strengthened shortly thereafter. It is encouraging to see that our new finance minister is not bowing to political pressure and is staying firm with his financial plan, which should stabilize SA’s rating outlook.
4. SWISSSURE – SHORT-TERM INSURANCE NEWS
SASRIA increases rates ››
The government insurance company, by now 42 years old, provides cover against political riot, has announced a premium increase. Please click here to read the communique.
Following the riots a few months ago in the Durban and Johannesburg area, losses have accumulated to close to R 4,0 Bio. All our domestic and commercial policies are automatically extended to provide such cover. Because of the very low premium rate, the increase on your policy will be minimal.
Compliance certificate required for replaced geysers ››
Due to the increasing fraud and incorrect installations of geysers by non-qualified plumbers, some insurance companies are now requiring that any replaced geyser must be accompanied by a compliance certificate. So far MUA, Santam, H&L and Bryte have implemented these measures.
The certificate is not required, if you arrange your geyser replacement via one of the approved contractors. For more information please contact Mrs Carola Kurz – .
Western insurance limits cover on Business Interruption for commercial clients ››
Due to recent losses experienced in the insurance industry worldwide, caused by non-damage events, the industry has been compelled to re-evaluate the risk of similar types of events that can no longer be described as unplanned or fortuitous.
Western has introduced the following changes:
The extended cover for both Public utilities and Public telecommunications will be limited to a maximum of 3 (three) months Indemnity Period; and the maximum amount payable under the extension/s will be limited to the sum insured stated under the extension/s or R 25 Mio whichever is the lesser amount.
The abovementioned endorsement will be effective from 1 February 2022 which you can read by clicking here.
No automatic extension of visitor’s visa ››
Home Affairs Minister Motsoaledi has also extended the validity period of legally issued visas that expired during the lockdown during last September. These would have expired on 30 September 2021, but will now remain valid until 31 December 2021.
This applies to all visa and permit holders who applied for the previous waiver, and who have not left the country since the declaration of the state of disaster, and for holders of asylum seeker permits and refugee status which expired during the state of disaster.
He added that the following services will be rendered by the Department of Home Affairs from the following dates:
Permanent residence permit appeals applications with effect from 1 October 2021;
Proof of permanent residence permit applications with effect from 1 October 2021;
Permanent residence permit applications from 1 January 2022.
Please note that any recently issued visas will NOT BE EXTENDED automatically and the normal rules apply.
Update on our court case ››
The Department has been extremely slow in responding to our court case. Only about 10%
of our clients have been contacted over the last few months in order to verify financial
information. By the Department’s own count, they are sitting on 33700 pending permanent
Our court case was up on the court roll on Friday the 10 th December, but the Department of
Home Affairs officials never appeared for the hearing! The judge postponed the case for a
date (to be established), to give DHA an opportunity to appear and state their case. As soon
as we have a date from the Advocate, we will let you know.
6. HEALTH INSURANCE
Discovery Health changes 2022 ››
Herewith a short summary of the major points for next year:
– Contribution increases
Discovery has postponed the increase to 1st May 2022. The average rise will be 7.9% across all plans.
– Discovery Hospital at Home
From January 2022, members will have access to Discovery Hospital at Home, which is hospital-level care delivered in a patient’s home for several medical and surgical conditions that would otherwise require admission to the hospital. Cutting-edge technology allows for real-time remote monitoring 24/7 of patients’ vital signs. Qualifying members also have access to transport services, daily meals to cater for specific dietary requirements, and a 24-hour carer for elderly members.
– Chronic conditions
Discovery Health has partnered with myHealthTeams to provide members living with diabetes or heart disease and those impacted by Long-Covid, with access to a digital community of patients living with the same illness.
– International service
From next year, employers with operations in several African countries will be able to offer their employees living and working in Africa access to healthcare through Vitality Health International.
– Discovery Pay
Discovery Bank launched Discovery Pay at the end of 2020, a platform that promises secure payments between Discovery contacts with just a cell phone number, no matter where they bank. From 2022, all Discovery Health Medical Scheme members can use Discovery Pay to transact across the healthcare system. Members can also access Pay as you Gym facilities nationwide and pay Discovery Bank clients using a single number.
– Three months of free Vitality for Discovery health members
Vitality will extend it’s ‘three months offer for free’ to members of most medical schemes administered by Discovery Health. Clients can choose to try Vitality or Vitality Active free for three months, enjoying all the benefits of that programme, with the option to cancel at any time within the three months.
For more information, please visit www.discovery.co.za.
BDAE introduces digital health assistant “Emma” ››
The German insurer has introduced an App that is available on most of their plans, including the Expat Infinity and the Expat Retired.
Thanks to “Emma”, clients will always have their own digital health assistant with them in future. Communication can take place in several languages. If you are unsure about the first symptoms of an illness, “Emma” offers a symptom checker which you can use to enter your symptoms online via chat. Insured persons then have the additional option of chatting with a real doctor in person or dialling the BDAE medical hotline.
Click on this link that explains the functionality of the App.
The application was developed with a subsidiary of Allianz (Medi24 AG in Switzerland). You can use “Emma” free of charge around the clock, anywhere in the world.
Turnberry product update 2022››
Car licence renewals will be made available online ››
No more standing in queues – the Road Traffic Management Corporation in collaboration with First National Bank, are launching an online portal for the annual car licence disc renewal.
To use the new gateway payment system, motorist must register on https://online.natis.gov.za.
Motorists will have the option to have the disc couriered to them or collect at the nearest licensing renewal station. At the time of compiling this newsletter, the facility was not available yet, but would be functional very soon, according to the RTMC spokesman.
Our office hours over the festive season ››
Please note that we are open on normal working days Monday – Thursday from 08.30 am to 16.30 pm and Fridays 08.30 am – 16.00 pm. Our offices will be closed from the 24th December 2021 and we will reopen on the 3rd January 2022 08.30 am.
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 55 66 77 or 0861 976 656 (Hospitality Assist – includes cover for home and roadside emergencies)
Execuline / Hollard: 0860 103 434
HIC: 011 455 8528 or 011 455 5271
MUA: 0861 000 682 – 24 hour contact centre, after hours, weekends & public holidays
MUA: Geyser claims 0861 682 467 – during office hours
Old Mutual Insure / Elite: 0860 247 365
Santam: 0860 505 911
Vantage: 0800 214 763
Western: 0860 400 007
HLU: 0861 227 627
CIA: 087 135 1222
Hollard Roadside assist 0860 038 262
Hollard Geyser Hotline 021 702 0442 (Fogi Plumbing)
AIG (Chartis): 0860 005 666
We value your comment ››
Should you no longer wish to receive this newsletter, click on the unsubscribe button in the email that was originally sent to you advising you of this latest newsletter.