27 Jun SwissFin – SwissSure Newsletter July 2023
We welcome you to the winter edition of our Newsletter. The winter in the Western Cape has hit us hard with early rainfalls and heavy storms. Even the KZN region has experienced unusually high rainfalls for this time of year.
Many affected areas are busy with mop-up operations and insurance companies are inundated with claims. For all affected clients, insurers and assessors are asking for patience as they attend to the settlement of claims.
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-july-2023/
Enjoy the reading, with best regards,
Your SwissFin / SwissSure Team
- Interest rates: fixed deposits, insurance plans, tax-free investment amounts and our foreign exchange rates
- The problems with transferring funds abroad
2. LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL NEWS
- FAQs on the greylisting of South Africa
- Are my funds in my bank account protected?
- Interest rate hikes are continuing
4. SWISSSURE – SHORT-TERM INSURANCE NEWS
- MUA concierge, home and road assist
- More reduction of insurance cover for power surge and national grid failure
- You have 30 days to report a claim
- MUA: Windscreen repairs are now done via MyGlass
- Insurance coverage of solar panels, inverters and batteries
- No more radiological reports and relaxation on police clearances
- ID book applications for PR holders now at Bellville and Caledon
- Visa and PR mess is not getting better
6. HEALTH INSURANCE
- Foyer S.A. acquires Globality S.A. and increases rates
- BDAE adjusts premiums for Expat Private plan
- Turnberry increases annual limits
Interest rates: Fixed deposits, insurance plans, tax-free investment amounts and our foreign exchange rates >>
We offer the following rates as of June 2023:
Interest rates ››
- Our Money Market Fund
- 8,76 %
- 12 Months fixed deposits
- 9,51 %
- 24 Months fixed deposits
- 9,41 %
- 36 Months fixed deposits
- 9,37 %
- 48 Months fixed deposits
- 9,60 %
- 60 Months fixed deposits
- 9,95 %
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
- 6.85 %
- Taxes payable
Tax-free interest income – maximum investment amounts: ››
R 1,78 Mio. for taxpayers under the age of 65
R 2,51 Mio. for taxpayers between the age of 65 and 75
R 2,75 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: 7,0 % 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.
The problems with transferring funds abroad ››
We regularly assist clients with sending funds back to Europe, in most cases when the proceeds are from the sale of property in South Africa.
Unfortunately, exchange controls laid down by the Reserve Bank can pose immense hurdles for such transfers. Some of the requirements are the proof of the introduction of funds to SA when the property was purchased, which sometimes is difficult to prove because many years have elapsed since. Specific certifications are also required from the estate agents and maybe a tax clearance certificate from SARS. A further problem can be the status verification of the applicant, whether he/she is a non-resident, resident or foreign tax resident.
Please do not hesitate to contact Mr Tony R. Hug should you require assistance with these matters. We will submit the application to the Reserve Bank and can handle the entire process from A-Z for you.
2. LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL NEWS
FAQs on the greylisting of South Africa ››
Following our article in the last newsletter, we have received a few questions from clients.
Investec Bank has put a very comprehensive FAQ together. Please click here to read more about it.
Are my funds in my bank account protected? ››
On 24 March 2023, Reserve Bank Governor Mr Enoch Godongwana, incorporated the Corporation for Deposit Insurance (CODI).
The institution’s primary purpose is to establish, maintain and administer an insurance fund to protect bank depositors should a bank be placed into resolution. A bank resolution occurs when a failing bank has no prospect of recovery and authorities determine that it cannot go through the normal insolvency proceedings without causing financial instability.
CODI will only become fully operational in 2024. The coverage provided is limited to R 100’000 per client, regardless of such being a private or commercial client.
Interest rate hikes are continuing ››
The Reserve Bank is adamant to fight inflation by increasing interest rates.
The institute raised the Repo rate for the 10th time in 18 months on 25 May 2023 by another 50 basis points, which increases the prime lending rate to 11.25%.
Whilst this latest CPI print came in lower than expected at 7%, it is important to remember that inflation remains above the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) target band of 3%-6%. The rand has also depreciated by 11.2% since the start of this year, and the general expectation is for the rand to remain weak because of intensive loadshedding and the perception of South Africa’s alignment with Russia.
Tax filing season Opens on 7 July 2023 ››
The South African Revenue Service has quietly announced the start of tax season 2023, which kicks off on Friday, 7 July 2023.
These are the individual income tax return filing dates:
Online: 7 July 2023 to 23 October 2023:
Taxpayers who cannot file online can do so at a SARS branch by appointment only.
Provisional taxpayers: 7 July 2023 to 31 January 2024
4. SWISSSURE – SHORT-TERM INSURANCE NEWS
MUA concierge, home and road assist ››
We would like to remind all MUA clients to please save the emergency number in case assistance is required, especially after hours or over a weekend and public holidays.
Please save the emergency number 0861 000 682 and preferably save your policy number as well.
You can see the benefits of the extensions by clicking on them below:
MUA Home Assist
MUA Road Assist
All the benefits are separately charged for, but considering the low contribution, we recommend to all our clients to make use of them.
More reduction of insurance cover for power surge and national grid failure ››
National electricity grid interruption means an interruption or suspension of the electricity supply from the national electricity grid of South Africa, whether due to damage, an inability and/or failure (whether partial or total) of the utility supplier to generate, transit or distribute electricity. A total collapse of the system would mean that the country would be without power for extended periods, which could be weeks.
By now, all insurance companies have excluded cover should a national grid failure occur.
Most insurance companies have also amended their cover for power surge damages. Please click on the names below if you happen to be a client of one of these insurance companies.
– Old Mutual
– Cross Country
– Santam and H&L
TRA: As you are aware, power surge due to grid failure is already excluded and remains as is. Should you experience damage or loss due to power surge from any other cause (i.e. lightning), it will be limited to R100 000 per event. Kindly note the current power surge & lightning excess of 10% of claim with a minimum of R 1000 and a maximum of R 5000 is still applicable.
Discovery: They will cover you for power surges up to the amount shown in your benefit limit annexure. If a loadshedding period exceeds 12 consecutive hours, any power surge loss or damage upon restoration is not covered. These changes are effective 1 July 2023.
On the 28th April 2023, a circular was issued by SASRIA, the specialized national riot insurance agency, to exclude any damages following a national grid failure. However, after heavy criticism from the insurance industry, SASRIA retraced the notice. Click here to read the circular.
You have 30 days to report a claim ››
All insurers have a deadline of 30 days by when you have to submit a claim. The time period commences from the moment you have discovered the damage or loss. Please note that the insurer does not have to honour any claim that is reported late.
MUA: Windscreen repairs are now done via MyGlass ››
The insurer no longer uses PG Glass or GlassFit for the repairs or replacements of windscreens. MyGlass is being used by various other insurance companies, which you can see by clicking on the brochure here. Please make sure you contact our claims department () so that we can facilitate the process for you. Clients who do not use MyGlass might be responsible for the payment of a portion of the claim.
Insurance coverage of solar panels, inverters and batteries ››
With the ongoing loadshedding situation, more clients are installing backup systems.
Solar panels are normally a fixed installation and are considered part of the building. Hence you should increase the sum insured of the building after an installation. Inverters and batteries can either be insured under the building section, provided it is a permanent installation and left behind if the property is sold. Alternatively you can insure them under the contents section if they are lose items.
Please note that you do not have to specify the units.
However, with the increasing time spans of loadshedding, your batteries will wear much faster and reach their life span sooner than expected. You will not be able to claim for a battery that needs to be replaced!
No more radiological reports and relaxation on police clearances ››
With effect from 11 April 2023, an application for a visa or a permanent residence no longer requires the submission of a radiological certificate. The medical certificate is still required for all applicants.
Furthermore, police clearances are only required from the countries from applicants over the age of 18, where he/she has resided 5 years prior to the application date and for a duration of at least 12 months.
Please click here should you want to read the immigration directive 5 of 2023.
ID book applications for PR holders now at Bellville and Caledon ››
The Department has made a U-turn on the appointment of Swellendam, Citrusdal and Laingsburg for ID applications. A new PR holder can now apply at the Bellville or Caledon office of the Department of Home Affairs.
Visa and PR mess is not getting better ››
The provincial department of economic development conducted a survey at the end of November 2022 pertaining to SA’s visa regime. A total of 78% of respondents deem the Department of Home Affairs handling as very poor compared to other countries. The only surprise is maybe that the figure of dissatisfied people is not higher. Another worrying factor is that 26% of businesses moved their operations overseas because of the challenges of the SA visa system.
There seems no progress, even though the Department introduced automatic extensions for pending applications. As per the end of May this year, 49529 applications for permanent residence and 75814 visa applications are in the pipeline.
President Ramaphosa told the SA investment conference in Johannesburg in April that the government would streamline application requirements to reduce the time frames for obtaining a work visa. Unfortunately, we have heard such words many times and decisive action needs to be taken Mr. President!
6. HEALTH INSURANCE
Foyer S.A. acquires Globality S.A. and increases rates ››
The Luxembourg based Foyer Group signed an agreement in March to acquire 100% of all shares of Globality SA.
Please click here to read the press statement.
At the moment, there is no further information that can be shared until the regulator approves the transaction.
Due to the significant increase in the inflation rate, as well as a strong increase in medical costs, the following adjustment to the insurance premiums are valid from 1 September 2023 for new business:
Zone 1: no adjustment
Zone 2: 7% adjustment
Zone 3: 6% adjustment
Zone 4: 9% adjustment (South Africa)
Zone 5: 11% adjustment
Existing business will be adjusted on the renewal date of the policy. The insurer has informed that the new premiums will remain unchanged until the end of 2024!
BDAE adjusts premiums for Expat Private plan ››
The following increases have been communicated:
Turnberry increases annual limits ››
National Treasury annually publishes new limits under the Demarcation Regulations which affect Gap-cover providers. Turnberry has therefore increased their annual benefit limit to ZAR 198’060 with effect from 1 April 2023.
Recall of Gizzu backup power supply batteries››
We have been made aware of the recall of a limited batch of Gizzu 300Wh and 500Wh portable power station batteries due to reported faults of overheating while charging. The units have a reported manufacturing flaw which causes the battery to self-combust and melt when charging releasing a non-toxic cloud of smoke and presenting a fire hazard.
The National Consumer Commission have urged anyone utilising the Gizzu 200Wh and 500Wh portable power stations to return the units to the supplier immediately.
Syntech Distribution, the importer of the units, has confirmed that a limited batch produced between 1 November and 31 December 2022 has been recalled. Consumers who have purchased the GPS300 and GPS500 Gizzu portable power stations are able to enter the serial number of their units by visiting this link https://www.syntech.co.za/gizzu-power-station-query-tool to establish whether their units are affected. The website provides information on how to obtain a replacement unit or refund.
Personnel changes at SwissSure ››
We are saying good-bye to Ms Savanha Conrad and hello to Mrs Janien Ryke.
Savanha has decided to do something else and we would like to thank her for her contributions over the last 5 years.
Janien Ryke has got an insurance background and has been in the industry for 10 years. She has always worked for insurance brokers and will be looking after our commercial clients. We are looking forward to her joining our SwissSure family and will be introducing her to our clients at renewal stage of the policies.