In an attempt to head off grey-listing, the General Laws (Anti-Money Laundering and Combatting Terrorism Financing) Amendment Act, 2022, was passed late last year and came into effect on 1 April 2023. The impact of this Act is starting to affect various aspects of your life and most people have received requests from licensed service providers to provide new or additional FICA documents. If, for example, you have a Family Trust and make use of an independent trustee, the fees you pay will increase by at least R6000 per year for the additional ”risk” and administration they have to take on. You will also notice additional information requests by SARS when you submit your 2023 tax return for the Trust.
As we pointed out last week, living in South Africa is still cheap compared to most developed countries. Owing to our high unemployment rate, labour is very affordable and if you can find a productive person, your product or service can be competitively priced, creating an abundance of opportunities for the entrepreneur. Talking about unemployment, the latest statistics show that the Western Cape has by far the lowest unemployment in the country!
Continuing on the topic of countries where labour is cheap, the BRICS summit will start in South Africa on August 22nd. This could have been a fiasco had Putin decided to attend in person, but fortunately that embarrassment has been averted. There was and still is a lot of talk about the BRICS countries creating their own currency to challenge the dominance of the US$. This is not something we worry about too much. If you look at the graph, you will see how dominant the US$ and euro currently are. And, as a reality check, just ask yourself: if you have to invest all your savings in either the dollar, the euro, or a new BRICS currency; which one would you choose?