Experts in the field of investments, taxes and finance presented their insights on South Africa’s National Budget at the Mancosa [GSB] Post-Budget Speech Breakfast hosted recently by the Mancosa [GSB] in partnership with the Sunday Tribune newspaper.
Mr Chris Gilmore, ABSA bank’s Chief Economist; Professor Dilip Garach, a chartered accountant and Director of Garach& Garach and Adv. Lavan Gopaul, the Director of Merchant Afrika were the panelists who presented a macro-economic perspective on the national budget; wealth taxes and investments, respectively.
The business breakfast which saw a convergence of stakeholders in business; academia and finance was aimed at presenting a post-analysis of the National Budget Speech delivered by the Minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene on 25 February, 2015. The Mancosa [GSB] embarks on such initiatives because it’s of the view that a graduate school of business should create platforms for dialogue on pertinent societal issues such as the national budget.
In the run-up to the event, Mancosa academics in the area of Finance offered their advice to entrepreneurs which were conveyed through newspaper articles published in the Sunday Tribune Business.
Mr Chris Gilmore’s presentation summed up the salient matters raised by the Minister of Finance including the 85c fuel price increase which is expected in April; the 1% increase on personal income tax to individuals earning more than R181 900 annually; sin tax increases of between 4.5%- 8.5% and the changes in property transfer duties which is beneficial to owners whose property is valued at under R750 000.
Looking at South Africa’s economy Mr Gilmore indicated that the challenges facing Eskom is likely to continue rolling black outs will have a negative impact on large, medium and small businesses. He forecasted peaks in the country’s interest rates by the latter part of 2016. On a positive note he suggested he the weaker rand was a positive in terms of the export of manufacture goods from SA and the country had seen increased exports of vehicles.
Addressing the topic of wealth taxes Professor Garach defined the concept (wealth taxes) as taxes one paid beyond your income taxes. He outlined the varying taxes in South Africa that fell under the band: wealth taxes. These include: capital gains tax, estate duty, transfer duty on property transactions; security transfer taxes; corporate taxes and enforcement of taxes on the wealthy by SARS.
Two important issues Prof. Garach felt the budget should have addressed was the introduction of taxes on luxury goods such as expensive vehicles. Secondly, he believed the national budget should have made provision for alternative energy sources in light of South Africa current energy woes.
Adv. Lavan Gopaul’s presentation title Investment: pieces of the 2015 budget `jig-saw’ puzzle’ delved around the investment implications of the national budget in relation to the JSE (Johannesburg Stock Exchange); property investment; industry specific investment; offshore investment and small businesses.