The Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni, delivered his much anticipated Medium-term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) on Wednesday, 28 October 2020. Hard choices and reform implementation are key to achieving five-year stabilisation plan.
While we will all face the inevitability of death one day, many of us find it scary to confront our own mortality. But good estate planning is a critical aspect of broader financial planning; without it, our dependants may be left in a precarious financial position.
Although the 2020 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement stated its intention to prioritise economic recovery and fiscal consolidation in order to support President Ramaphosa’s economic recovery plan, the reality is that while this budget hit some of the right notes, it did little to instil confidence that the country is on the path to economic recovery.
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.
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.
Non-compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) regulations can result in heavy financial penalties and could expose your clients and business to potential harm, with Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA) fines of up to R10 million in your personal capacity and up to R50 million as a company.
Is 2020 the year when we finally let go of our unhealthy relationship with cash payments and usher in a new era of financial and digital inclusion? Widespread access to digital and financial services is a cornerstone of a healthy 21st century economy.
Given the dire economic circumstances, coupled with ongoing challenges facing businesses, it has never been more important for employees to be prepared both from a financial and personal perspective to deal with unprecedented changes, while still maintaining focus at work.