The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) is tasked with ensuring, monitoring and enforcing compliance with the Companies Act. In pursuance of this function, the Commission issued Notice 52 of 2019 dated 13 August 2018, which came into effect from 1 January 2020. The Notice announced that a new mandatory Compliance Checklist would be required to be completed and submitted by all categories of companies (but not a Close Corporation or “CC”). The Checklist had to be submitted to the Commission before the relevant company’s Annual Return could be submitted.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital disruption and led to significant, long-term market uncertainty. While this pandemic has forced many businesses to reduce or suspend operations, affecting their bottom line, it has helped to accelerate the development of several emerging technologies. This is especially true for innovations that reduce human-to-human contact, automate processes, and increase productivity amid at social distancing.
The economic impact of the lockdown has been crippling on our economy. As part of the monetary policy to help boost the economy, the Reserve Bank has made a number of rate changes to the repo rate this year. As the interest rates are linked to the repo rate, banks and other suppliers of credit have reduced lending rates accordingly.
The economic effects of the coronavirus crisis have been extensive and a recovery to pre-pandemic levels will take several years. Current forecasts from the IMF show global gross domestic product (GDP) contracting by about 4.9% this year, although the general economic outlook has improved somewhat. Second quarter GDP outcomes for most economies have been massively negative, as expected. At this stage, third and fourth quarter recoveries for 2020 are expected to be robust. However, the pace of growth into 2021 could be modest, depending on control of new virus outbreaks, the extent of supply and demand losses, and future growth in investment and productivity.
Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) will conduct a population count in 2021, Census 2021. This will be the fourth population count in post-apartheid South Africa.
In terms of Disaster Management Act relief measures, three payment dates still apply:
With the intention of making it easier to comply with tax obligations, SARS is embarking on an outbound call campaign to assist taxpayers to file their tax returns virtually, either by a telephone or video call.
CIPC has released a quick reference guide designed to highlight specifically, although not exclusively, critical issues of the Companies Act No. 71 of 2008 that a director should be aware of. The central message of this guide, which is divided into 10 basic markers, is that a director of a company when acting in that capacity:
When Covid-19 arrived in the country at the beginning of March 2020, it was evident from the experience of other countries that this would have significant health, economic and social ramifications for South Africa.
Since the May meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), the Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread globally, with wide-ranging and deep social and economic effects. Current forecasts from the IMF show global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracting by about 4.9% this year. The deepest contractions are expected in the second quarter of 2020, with gradual recoveries in the third and fourth quarters of the year. The strength of the global economic recovery will depend in part expectations of future growth in investment and productivity.
The IMF Executive Board has approved South Africa’s request for emergency financial support under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) for an amount of US$4.3 billion to help the country mitigate the adverse social and economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The deduction available for donations increased
Gazetting of Trade Exposure and Greenhouse Gas Benchmark Regulations and Renewable Energy Premium Notice in Terms of the Carbon Tax Act
The Minister of Finance published on Friday, 19 June 2020 the regulations for the trade exposure and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensity benchmark performance allowance, and the notice for the renewable energy premium, in terms of the Carbon Tax Act
The global shock prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and unprecedented restrictions designed to protect public health, have led to a sharp contraction in the domestic economy. Government interventions have cushioned the impact on workers and businesses, but have not offset the full decline. South Africa’s economic growth is forecast to fall by 7.2 per cent in 2020 as a result of the crisis, the March and April 2020 credit rating downgrades, and the compounding effects of weak investor confidence. The economic outlook is highly uncertain.
On the 17th of June, President Ramaphosa signed the final enabling legislation to finally give effect to POPI with effect from 1st July 2020. Although it comes into full force, businesses have until the end of June 2021 to comply with the ACT.
The director’s role has without a doubt become more onerous amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the Companies Act makes provision for operating in a virtual world, which includes, inter alia:
All persons who are able to work from home must do so. However, persons will be permitted to travel to and from work and for work purposes under Alert Level 3, subject to-
The past two months of lockdown have been difficult for the tourism sector. Many businesses in the sector are fighting for survival and projections showed that almost 600 000 jobs were at risk if the sector doesn’t come into operation by September 2020. This reality led to both government and private sector working together to be both innovative and putting protocol guidelines to get the sector back into operation.
To qualify for the COVID-19 Tax Relief for PAYE, employers, must:
Below is a table of the 5 different levels from the Alert System and what restrictions would be implemented depending on the severity level:
Post the national lockdown, there will be a few restrictions that will stay in place regardless of the level of alert in any given period:
To see whether a sector will gradually resume activity or not, 3 criteria must be checked:
Though the national lockdown has shown early evidence on how it has successfully helped to flatten the curve and limit the spread of Covid-19, there are numerous risks if the lockdown is lifted too quickly or without any strategy.