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The 26th week of 2020 will prove decisive in the South African political sphere. The business rescue practitioners appointed to try and resurrect South African Airways (SAA), after three extensions and extensive (and perhaps unlawful) interference by the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), published the proposed business rescue plan on 16 June. The plan, however, is more of a pipe dream than anything else. The political drama about to unfold would be majestic to behold if it were playing out on television. Unfortunately, this is all but fiction.
As we approach Budget Speech Day on 26 February 2020, many people are wondering what kind of rabbit Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is going to pull out of his hat this year. Most commentators will talk about ‘bracket-creep’, sin taxes and an increase of 1% to the VAT rate. But the Minister needs to start becoming a little more creative.
Public sector staff expands and retail jobs disappoint. Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) reported on that South Africa’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 29.1% during the fourth quarter of 2019. With this reading, South Africa has the fourth-highest unemployment rate out of 182 countries tracked by Trading Economics, after Namibia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Angola.
After much speculation over the past few weeks as to how the Minister of Finance would ‘plug the deficit’ in his Budget Speech on 22 February 2017, he has chosen to rely on personal income tax (including trusts) by increasing the top-end rate from 41% to 45%, a dividend withholding tax increase from 15% to 20% (with immediate effect) and increased Fuel and Road Accident Fund levies.