The captain of Ship SA, President Cyril Ramaphosa, can surely see the iceberg that we are heading for and one can almost hear the call go out for us to 'brace for impact'. The iceberg is an economy that is in crisis – an unemployment rate of 42% (using the expanded definition), GDP growth projections down by 7.8%, tax revenue projections at R304 billion less than originally budgeted for, a budget deficit of R709 billion for 2020/21, a current debt to GPD level of 81.8% and debt service costs (interest) currently amounting to 21c in every tax Rand collected.
The June Supplementary Budget had already made it clear that South Africa was in a dire financial state. So, from that perspective, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) offered very little in the way of surprises.
Amid the devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses, and in particular small businesses, bankruptcies have soared. If you were to do an analysis of why many small businesses go under, you are likely to find that a significant number end in financial ruin by making the same or similar mistakes.
COVID-19 continues to re-define the way we live and work. Over the past few months, organisations have had to re-imagine the way they work and embrace a fundamentally different approach to operating in this ‘new normal’. Remote working at the current scale became a necessity, and for the most part, it has worked.
Technology has permeated all facets of business. Today, it has become less about the bits and bytes and more about unlocking the efficiency of processes, improving the customer experience, and better understanding data to deliver on the company strategy.
Recently, the importance of proper estate planning and specifically the importance of having a valid and up-to-date Will, has gained some attention. What is often not addressed is the unique estate planning needs of consumers at the various stages in their lives, such as retirement.
It’s common cause that too many South Africans struggle with debt. National Credit Regulator data shows that 40% of the 25 million active credit users are behind on their payments. That proportion has probably become worse since April 2020 because the data was released before the COVID-19 crisis.
Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin infamously noted that while a single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is simply a statistic. That grim milestone has now been passed by the coronavirus. It has claimed more than a million lives worldwide.