Could the gadgets that are widely promoted as a safer alternative to using a cell phone be just as risky as manually making or receiving a call or text message at the wheel? According to the National Safety Council (NSC) in the United States, they might be. Their argument? Using devices such as a Bluetooth earpiece or dashboard holder is every bit as big a distraction as handheld cell phone use.
Congestion in Cape Town and Johannesburg remains one of the biggest headaches for South Africans. Unfortunately, the problem only seems to be getting worse year on year. In 2016 traffic app developer TomTom declared Cape Town the most congested city in the country, informally taking the title from Johannesburg.
Store accounts have overtaken credit cards as the most frequently-used credit payment method, according to a recent report by debt counselling firm Debt Rescue. The study, which looked at the types of debt incurred by consumers under debt-review, the age-group debt exposure and the debt-type ratio, found that the number of customers who shopped on their store card increased by 5.6% from 15.2% to 20.8% during the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year.
In 2017, Gumtree launched its first pre-owned vehicle awards, in order to recognise and award the best-selling second-hand cars in South Africa. While the used market has slowed down, it still outruns the new market. As of 2017, the demand for new cars had increased by 3% from 2016, while the demand for used cars decreased by 1.5%.
Tshwane Auto City, in Gauteng, is set to become Africa’s first auto city and the new car manufacturing capital of South Africa. The mixed use project, estimated to eventually be worth around R50 billion was recently launched into its first phase of development in Rosslyn, known as Rosslyn Hub, covering 100 hectares of land.
pupils at South Africa’s private schools, the reality of leaving with a diploma is less likely as the rising costs of education are forcing their parents to withdraw them from prestigious institutions and transfer them to public schools, a new report by Sunday Times (via Business Tech) uncovered.
Your Household Insurance provider may in future not be the only company you need to inform when installing solar panels at your home. If the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) gets its way, you will be required to register with them before wiring up a backup generator or solar panel at home.
Following the 1% Value Added Tax (VAT) increase earlier this year, the National Treasury is looking to expand on the 19 basic food items that are exempt from tax. For this, the Treasury appointed an independent panel to reassess the country’s current list of products taxed at a rate of 0% and draw up proposals on how government can ease the impact of the VAT-increase on poor and low-income households.
Health Minister, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi has proposed various changes to the Medical Aid industry. On Tuesday, 15 May, Motsoaledi presented his proposals to the relevant cabinet members for consideration. The proposals focus on changes to co-payments, tariffs, and access to immunisation and contraception.
On May 1st of this year Chinese President Xi Jinping oversaw the expansion of the ‘Social Credit’ system in his country, shortly after being named President for life by his own political party. These two developments are so significant that it becomes difficult to say which could have the more far reaching impact for China.
A host of factors have been contributing to the steady increase of traffic on Cape Town’s roads, so much so that it’s officially the most congested city in South Africa. The city’s infrastructure is being pushed to the very limits to try and deal with all the congestion, but unless something drastic happens, and quickly, it looks like the situation will only continue to worsen.
According to the 2017 Liberty Claim Statistics Report, which outlines claims paid to policyholders during 2017, there are two illnesses that pose the biggest risk to South Africans today. Not only do they pose a health risk to people, but they have also proven to be responsible for some of the biggest claims made in 2017.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced that United States president Donald Trump has dismissed an appeal by South Africa to be included in the list of countries exempt from tariffs on steel and aluminium shipped to the United States.
When buying a new TV, smartphone or computer from a retailer, you might be offered an extended warranty, which is essentially a replacement or repair plan the store offers for a small fee. While this practice has come under heavy criticism from the National Credit Regulator (NCR), a recent High Court ruling allows stores to push extended warranties for consumer electronics and charge them club membership fees.
Health minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi proposed various amendments to South Africa’s smoking laws during the World Conference on Tobacco or Health held on 7 March 2018. The amendments were first proposed in 2015, and have since been put to cabinet for approval.
According to the recently published AfrAsia Bank and New World Wealth Report 2018, South Africa is currently the richest country on the African continent. In terms of the report, wealth refers to private wealth, and the number of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) who live within a country.
On 6 April 2018, The South African Revenue Service (SARS) announced that all cryptocurrencies in South Africa will be subject to the country’s normal tax regulations. This means that any taxpayer in possession of a cryptocurrency must declare it as part of their annual tax submission as either a gain or loss.
To support your claim for credit worthiness, the National Credit Act (NCA), previously required you to provide proof of your income when applying for credit such as Personal Loans. While the confirmation of gross income is still a key lending criterium that credit providers must follow, a recent ruling by the Western Cape High Court removed the requirement for proof of income documents on credit applications.
TransUnion is overhauling the eligibility criteria for credit and Personal Loans by introducing a new scoring model to assess the credit risk of consumers. The credit bureau believes the easing of the features that facilitate lending could help push up the number of consumers qualifying for a Personal Loan by an additional three-million.
The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has set the ball rolling on debt recovery proceedings that could see the tax-collection agency collect as much of R16.6 billion in tax arrears.
On 27 March 2018, S&P Global Ratings raised South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast to 2%, from 1%. This optimistic forecast is in part due to increased confidence of local and foreign investors after the country’s leadership change, but also an increased demand for goods, a stronger Rand and lower than expected inflation.
In February 2018, the Department of Transport published the new draft roads policy for public comment. The policy outlines a number of changes to road safety procedures with the hopes of creating safer roads for South Africans.
A huge number of South Africans appear to view the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) Act and its Amendment bill as an attempt by the government to institute a points-demerit system, as reported by BusinessTech.
According to Andile Mazwai, CEO of the National Stokvels Association of South Africa (NASASA), there are around 11 million people in the country who belong to one or more stokvels, with the industry estimated to be worth around R45 billion. While the system has remained hugely popular in recent years as a means of saving for various situations, its history dates all the way back to 1932, with burial stokvels.
Keeping up with maintenance is perhaps the single thing car owners can do to extend the operating lifetime of their vehicles. Failing to regularly service one’s vehicle not only creates a safety hazard on the road but may also result in mechanical breakdowns, which do not qualify for Car Insurance payouts.
A survey initiated by the team at Cars.co.za left their staff somewhat taken aback when it revealed that a number of South Africans were willing to complete every step of a car purchase entirely online - leaving out an in-person, physical inspection entirely.
The executive head of Hippo.co.za, Vera Nagtegaal, says Artificial intelligence (Al) tech such as robo-advisors and chatbots are playing a progressively active role in the financial services industry, as reported by IT Web.
In February 2018 the South African Revenue Service (SARS) released a statement that it had paid more than R205-billion in refunds across all tax types in the past 10 and a half months. SARS said the huge payout to individuals and companies from the beginning of the financial year on April 1, 2017 to February 9, 2018, represented a remarkable boost to the economy given the current economic climate.
South African retailers could, in the next two years, make the shift toward more personalised shopping experiences in response to new customer buying habits and the massive boom in digital and mobile technology.
Standard and Poor (S&P) believes that despite ongoing political noise and economic uncertainties in the country, the South African banking sector is showing signs of stability for the first time since 2013. In a recent report that tracks the performance of local finance groups, the rating firm assigned a positive outlook to domestic banks because of their continued robust financial performance.
On 21 February 2018, former Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba delivered his first and, subsequently, last budget speech to the nation. While the budget was tough in order to increase the country’s revenue and secure free higher education, South Africans will be feeling more financially strained in the coming months, although the most vulnerable households have been thought of and cared for. The key elements of the budget speech are outlined below.
Ahead of former Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s maiden budget speech, the Automobile Association (AA) appealed to government to rule out any increases above the average inflation of around 6% for the General Fuel Levy and Road Accident Fund levy.
Facebook recently launched its latest feature, Marketplace, to its South African users. Marketplace marks the social platform’s entrance into the classifieds industry, and offers its users a new place to buy and sell goods online.
According to economic experts, Cape Town’s current drought situation is expected to have far reaching effects on the municipal and national economy. With a knock-on effect on the travel, agriculture, and even Business Insurance sector due to damage or loss of assets, Moody’s Investor Services have indicated that the drought could lead to another credit downgrade for South Africa.
Have you been receiving text messages on your mobile phone claiming to come from your bank, asking you to provide your login details in order to claim a prize? You’re not alone. According to the Ombud for Banking Services, a growing number of consumers have escalated phishing-related disputes with their bank in the last year.
The Banking Association of South Africa (BASA) warns that the proposed legislation to aid over-indebted consumers may prove to do more harm than good, as it may discourage South Africans from managing their credit responsibly.
Toyota’s South African division recently (January 25th) recalled more than 700 000 vehicles because of potentially faulty airbags, the company said. The Japanese car manufacturer stated that the recall was necessary to replace front airbag inflators produced by parts firm Takata, as it was discovered that the airbags have a potential for moisture intrusion, which could cause them to burst.
The draft National Credit Amendment Bill, published on 24 November 2017 for public comment aims to reduce and/or extinguish debt for individuals under certain circumstances. It has now been viewed and commented on by the public and been subject to public hearings, with no further information released as to whether it will be adopted or not as it is still being debated by all relevant parties.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, together with several ministers and business people, recently returned from Davos, Switzerland after a fruitful visit to the World Economic Forum (WEF) which could bring many economic benefits to South Africa.
A significant change to the insurance market in South Africa is now a reality after the long-awaited Insurance Bill was signed into law by President Jacob Zuma. The Bill, which made its way through the agenda of the National Assembly in December 2017 and finally landed on the President’s desk in mid-January, will give lower-income citizens access to micro-insurance.
Uber has proved its dedication to being at the forefront of new technology, after it decided to buy 24 000 Volvo sport utility vehicles to create its very own fleet of autonomous cars. The XC90 SUV’s will be delivered to Uber from 2019 to 2021, where the app-based taxi company will then add its own software to the cars to make them autonomous.
While South Africa’s new car market has seen recent growth, reports show the used car market is slowing down. In 2017 the demand for new vehicles increased by 3%, while the demand for used vehicles decreased by 1.5%.
Towards the end of 2017 Google launched a new app called Datally, that is designed to help smartphone users manage their mobile data usage. The app will not only help people understand where their data is going, but also gives suggestions on how a user can cut down on the data they are using.
The number of students graduating from South African universities is on the rise, according to a media statement released by the Ministry of Higher Education and Training. The statistics come from the latest Statistics South Africa figures, the ministry stated.
Thousands of single parents in South Africa will be able to apply for school fee exemption without their ex-spouses after a Supreme Court of Appeal Ruling. The case focused on the constitutionality of necessitating both parents to present their income statements when applying for a fee exemption.
Insurance policyholders will be better protected following the new regulations governing the insurance industry, which were published by the National Treasury and the Financial Services Board (FSB) in order to improve customer treatment in the insurance services sector.
The National Credit Regulator (NCR) in October 2017 ruled that the addition of on-the-road fees to vehicle finance agreements is not among the list of extra charges permissible by the National Credit Act. The NCR notice was the result of an investigation into VW Financial Services and BMW Finance, who were found guilty of slipping in additional costs into car buyers’ bills.
The governing party’s 54th elective conference took place in Johannesburg last month, where the party elected a new National Executive Committee (NEC). Apart from the newly elected top six officials of the party, the African National Congress (ANC) also elected 80 additional members to its new NEC. Here is a recap of the party’s top six officials.
With the festive season road fatality statistics expected to be announced soon, the topic of road safety will once again be in the national focus. Meanwhile, the Automobile Association (AA) released the results of its annual ‘Safer Roads in SA’ report, highlighting specific road safety issues. The report is based on surveys of South African motorists, revealing their attitudes toward key road safety challenges, and giving insight into what actions need to be taken to make our roads safer for everyone.
South African motorists felt a steep rise in the petrol price on 6 December 2017 of 71 cents per litre, due to an average increase in the international price of crude oil and the weakened exchange rate. This last increase brought the price of 95 octane petrol inland to R14.76 per litre, and to R14.27 per litre along the coast.
TransUnion's Vehicle Price Index (VPI) picked up a slight increase in the prices of second-hand cars in South Africa, although the used-car market still attracts significant interest from vehicle buyers due to affordable, reliable and reasonably young bargains and the likelihood of lower Car Insurance.
The international market research group Ipsos recently released their annual vehicle quality survey findings which were obtained from over 7 000 interviews with vehicle owners who bought new vehicles in 2016. This survey highlighted a number of positive points about the South African automotive industry, such as the fact that South African vehicle buyers have one of the widest selections of new vehicles to choose from and very high standards with respect to vehicle quality.
It’s no secret that the drought has taken a heavy toll on our economy. But, did you know that the prolonged lack of rain can become a costly problem for your home as well, and that your insurance might not provide cover for drought-related risks?
Research results of a joint venture between research house, Lightstone Explore, and vehicle tracking company, Tracker, has provided insights into the driving habits of thousands of motorists in South Africa, which reveals that Sasol service stations attract the greatest number of motorists per service station in the country, with Shell service stations taking second place, reports Engineering News.
On 28 November 2017, parliament passed the Labour Laws Amendment Bill that allows fathers the right to take 10 days paid paternity leave. The bill has been hailed as a landmark achievement as it allows for not only new fathers to access this type of leave, but also for the LGBTQI (lesbian‚ gay‚ bisexual‚ transsexual‚ queer and intersex) community to access this type of leave for the first time.
While the trending scams in South Africa today may be a bit different to the Trending Scams in South Africa a few years ago, they’re just as prevalent as ever. The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) is currently investigating 19 potential deposit-based scams, and within the last five years over 5 000 advance-fee schemes have been reported.
Sikhulile Moyo, Research Associate and Deputy Laboratory Director at the Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute at Harvard University, where he is responsible for laboratory support of clinical trials, recently released a report that the institute has designed a new tool that is able to track HIV infection rates cheaply and accurately.
On 6 October 2017, Minister of Transport, Joe Maswanganyi announced that motorists renewing their licences in 2018 will be paying substantially more. The increase is significant compared to previous years, with the Justice Project of South Africa (JPSA) calling on the minister to justify the hefty increase.
The Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action (PACSA) recently released its yearly report, showing how food prices have increased over the past year, and how this has impacted South Africans over the same period - particularly low-income households.
South Africans are getting better at managing their personal finances – but there’s still room for improvement. Moreover, our economy needs to improve significantly before we can consider our country as financially healthy.
Toyota is looking into airless tyres to help lower the weight of battery-electric and fuel-cell vehicles to boost performance, even though the technology is years away from being ready for commercial use, according to a BusinessTech report.
While the residential rental option is becoming increasingly attractive to South Africans, the most recent Residential Rental Monitor Report for the 2nd Quarter of 2017 (PDF) reveals that more tenants struggle to pay their rent on time, as they find themselves financially strained.
Discovery Health Medical Scheme, Momentum Health and Fedhealth made the strongest impression in the Medical Aid category at this year’s Sunday Times Top Brands Awards, which recognises the products and services South Africans are most satisfied with.
The City of Cape Town plans to implement new laws around traffic offences which could mean the end of the road for lawless taxi drivers. The new laws that could lead to more taxis being impounded are set to come into effect in December, according to an IOL report.
The sale of fake medical certificates has become a booming business in Cape Town, with 10 unregistered or illegal practises recently revealed to the public by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). The list consists of practitioners from the areas of Gugulethu, Kuils River, Makhaza and Khayelitsha.
Cheap new plastic heart valves used for the treatment of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) have been developed at the University of Cape Town, heralding a breakthrough procedure in the field of cardiology weeks before the 50th anniversary on December 3 of the world’s first heart transplant performed in Cape Town by Doctor Christiaan Barnard.
The South African Police Service (SAPS) recently released its crime statistics for 2017, showing the worst affected areas from burglaries and robberies in the country.
Drivelines Studios, a new urban development project which began in 2014 in the Maboneng area of Johannesburg, has officially opened. The project brings affordable housing to the city, with the use of recycled and transformed ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) containers built into a multi storey apartment block.
The varying degrees of life expectancy in South Africa is something Statistics South Africa has been studying for years. But, recently, Discovery Life published fresh insights on the country’s mortality rates, based on Life Insurance claims for death and disability they received in 2016.
The celebration of Black Friday on 24 November, which spotlights the best deals, discounts and prices in retail, marks the official start of the festive shopping season. The staging of a day of promotional sales is a trend that has grown into the biggest shopping day of the year and continues through to Cyber Monday on the 27th November, when online stores give consumers another chance to bag a bargain.
South Africa’s leading banks have landed in hot water for putting the homes of defaulting debtors on the market at prices far lower than their actual value, reports The Citizen. And, if all home sales since 1994 were to be accounted for, the banks could be hit with a R60 billion lawsuit.
For the first time in five years South Africa’s mining industry is said to have seen a considerable increase in revenue, with a 13% (R43 billion) increase from the prior year, a study by consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) indicates.
Corrective eyewear is becoming a luxury that some consumers can’t afford. This was the finding of a new study by market researcher EuroMonitor, which attributes a decline in spectacle sales to deepening economic ills and declining disposable incomes.
The Western Cape provincial government published the Alcohol Harms Reduction Policy White Paper in September in order to start its initiative to reduce the high expenses related to alcohol abuse in the province.
Discovery Health recently announced that clients can expect an increase in contributions in 2018. The overall weighted contribution increase for the scheme will be 7.9%, according to an IOL report.
On Tuesday, 12 September 2017, the Pietermaritzburg High Court found the results of the ANC’s KwaZulu-Natal elective conference in 2015 to be invalid. Judge Jerome Mnguni delivered the judgement that could result in 30 members of the provincial executive committee that were elected during the conference losing their positions.
While placing emojis in personal emails or text messages has become the norm for some people, using them in official correspondence may result in the sender entering into a lawful agreement and being held liable for the damages.
The beginning of September saw the passing of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) by the National Assembly in Parliament. This means South Africa’s proposed driver demerit system, included within the bill is closer to becoming a reality in South Africa.
The latest South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi) for the local banking industry which was released at the end of April 2017 revealed the top 3 South African banks with regards to customer service.
University of Cape Town professor of chemical engineering, Cyril O’Connor, together with a team of scientists, has advised Government to set up a team of experts to monitor the rising fracking industry in the Karoo.
If the government proceeds with its plan to use current Medical Aid tax credits to finance its National Health Insurance (NHI), it could force nearly two million South Africans onto the already overstretched state healthcare system.
Egan Pillay recently became one of the youngest children in South Africa and the first patient to receive a cochlear implant at Netare uMhlanga Hospital, as part of a new programme to assist in combating the issue of deafness in the province.
A Gauteng woman recently learned that small print can become a big problem when her Car Insurance claim was rejected because she didn't fulfill a condition stipulated in the policy.
On Wednesday, 30 August 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States approved a revolutionary new cancer treatment for childhood leukaemia. As the first gene therapy to be approved, it is being hailed as a historic approach to the treatment of cancer and possibly other diseases.
The Constitutional Court in August ruled that new homeowners are not responsible for the historical debt of their predecessors, reports the Sunday Times.
South Africa’s funeral industry continues to be unregulated after the National Consumer Commission (NCC) rejected an application from the Funeral Industry Regulatory Authority (FIRA) to become the ombudsman with industry oversight.
If you want nothing less than the best doctors, clinicians, surgeons, nurses and other healthcare professionals on your side, you may not want to look further than Discovery Health's third Patient Survey Score (PaSS).
Statistics South Africa’s mid-year population report shows that South Africa’s population now stands at almost 57 million, with an increase of close to one million people from 2016. The mid-year population estimates were released by Statistician-General Pali Lehohla at the end of July 2017.
South Africans finally saw the light at the end of the recession tunnel when it was announced on Tuesday 05 September that economic conditions have improved in the second quarter of 2017.
Recent statistics by Bryte Insurance and Statistics SA have revealed that while crime levels have decreased, South Africans’ fear of crime related incidents has not.
A massive gun smuggling investigation, which has been held back by several factors including information leaks and murders, has been handed over to the Hawks and is back on track. The firearms investigation is said to be the biggest ever in South Africa.
Critical illnesses such as cancer and heart disease have become alarmingly common among women in South Africa. Members of the Association for Savings & Investment South Africa (ASISA) revealed that more than 60% of critical illness claims made by women last year were due to cancer.
With ongoing violence between metered-taxi operators and Uber drivers, a 12-hour meeting between representatives of the meter taxi association, Uber, Taxify, Zebra cabs and the Minister of Transport, Joe Maswanganyi recently took place to discuss possible solutions to the lack of regulation in the industry.
An Mpumalanga gynaecologist was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment by the Witbank Magistrate’s Court after the death of one of his patients due to complications after giving birth.
Pick n Pay’s CEO, Richard Brasher, recently announced the voluntary retrenchment of approximately 3 500 employees. The process began in April 2017, with employees from head office, the supply chain and in-store staff affected.
The latest statistics released by the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) indicate that bank clients have lost about R21 million in the first half of this year, with 695 incidents reported in which people were robbed after withdrawing cash from ATMs.
New measures aimed at reforming South Africa's fragmented border management model and enforcing stricter regulations at the country's points of entry have become law after the National Assembly finally approved the Border Management Authority Bill.
The new BMW X3 is of special significance to South Africa as it will be produced at BMW’s local plant in Rosslyn, for both local consumption and export, while the 3 Series sedan range will in future be imported.
With the Tesla Model 3 set to arrive in South Africa next year, is the country ready for electric cars? We will soon find out. What most drivers may not know is that we already have 300 electric cars on South African roads, according to a Mail & Guardian report.
With the cost of goods and services rising sharply, most working South Africans look forward to an annual pay raise to beat inflation and interest rates on Personal Loans and credit cards.
The Constitutional Court of South Africa (ConCourt) has delivered its judgement on the motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma – and the consequences for South Africa's economy, the next presidential election and the advancement of democracy are hugely significant.
Companies and individuals affected by WannaCry ransomware had barely picked up the pieces when another ransomware started wreaking havoc. The latest cyber attack, called Petya, has wormed its way to South Africa where it affected local organisations, according to Business Tech.
While almost all the previous Life Esidimeni psychiatric patients have been transferred from the NGOs in Gauteng back into hospitals, a group of doctors have warned that the psychiatric structure in South Africa is collapsing.
The Department of Health’s latest White Paper on the National Health Insurance (NHI) was approved by Cabinet on 21 June 2017, making it possible for it to be published as a policy document which can be accessed by the public in the Government Gazette.
After the success of the taxi strike which slowed down business in parts of the economic hub of the country - Johannesburg - in June, more chaos was expected this month, after the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) announced plans for a bigger and more coordinated strike in July.
In an attempt to continue the advancement of self-driving cars, the South Korean government will soon open the world’s largest testing ground for self-driving cars known as K-City. The test bed will help developers of these cars to test out their creations in various situations and conditions.
Every year, research universities and hospitals announce new medical discoveries that make the world's most dreaded diseases seem less severe by offering new treatments and medications. Now, scientists have made another breakthrough that could pave the way for new treatments for HIV/AIDS and cancer.
Potholes and faulty traffic lights are leading causes of frustration for drivers. Not only do they pose the risk of vehicle damage and unnecessary accident claims from your Car Insurance provider, they can be life threatening too.
The entire Western Cape was recently declared a disaster zone in order to handle the ongoing drought. The province’s average dam levels are at their lowest in more than 100 years in what’s been declared the most severe drought since 1904.
A study conducted by the Lightstone Property Group for the 2015/2016 financial year revealed surprising results, with the study showing that the administrative capital of South Africa also happens to be the car crime capital. The Pretoria CBD recorded the highest number of car crimes, and not Johannesburg, as would have been expected.
Many travellers get anxious at the thought of being airborne for a couple of hours. Aviation experts, maintain that the most dangerous part of flying is the ride to the airport, and back it up with statistics showing aviation has become a lot safer over the years.
Debit orders make it easier for consumers to stay on top of their monthly bills, whether it’s a retail account or a Personal Loan. But, the automated payment system also has a dark side: that dreaded SMS notification from the bank informing account holders that money has been collected from their salary by an unfamiliar creditor. What follows is an often inconvenient process to dispute and reverse the debit order.
While social grants were successfully paid on Tuesday, 4 April 2017, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), has admitted that the crisis over the distribution of social grants should not have happened. While a new service provider will be appointed by December 2017 in order for grant payments to continue, let’s find out how the crisis happened in the first place.
Old Mutual’s Long-Term Perspective Report for 2017 highlights a frightening picture of the escalating living costs for South Africans in the next 10 to 25 years. Among other things, the report reveals how inflation will impact the cost of buying a car, getting private healthcare and sending your child to school in the near future.
General Motors (GM), manufacturers of the well-known Chevrolet and Opel vehicles, announced on 18 May 2017 that it would withdraw its business from South Africa. The US company has been based in Struandale, Port Elizabeth since 1926, briefly pulling out in the 1980s due to the apartheid regime but re-entering again after the fall of apartheid.
South Africa’s tourist industry has seen a recent shift upwards after Statistics South Africa revealed an increase in revenue from February 2016 to February 2017, in their latest tourist accommodation report.
In order to increase the pace of land redistribution in South Africa, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister, Gugile Nkwinti, has announced the possibility of a new land bill, known as the Regulation of Agricultural Land Holdings Bill
The Steve Biko Academic hospital in Pretoria recently received high-end medical equipment as a donation from the Chinese government. The medical equipment, which is estimated to be worth over R1.5 million, includes a high-end portable colour ultrasound system, SynoVent E5 Adult/Neonate ventilators, 24 vital signs patient monitors, and an A7 high-end anaesthesia workstation. The Steve Biko Academic Hospital is the first beneficiary of a cooperation agreement in healthcare between Africa and China that was made in 2015 during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Health Ministerial Meeting.
South Africa is home to a number of grocery chains that offer shoppers a wide variety of items – from cupboard staples to personal care products to household supplies and even Personal Loans in some cases. But, which supermarkets provide the highest satisfaction in regard to shopping experience?
A growing number of consumers are discovering the benefits of comparing and purchasing insurance products online, a new study by professional services firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) revealed.
The City of Cape Town has recently announced its ideas to alleviate traffic congestion in Cape Town by introducing a strategy that suggests alternative travel modes, schedules and working spaces.
South Africans can now check their credit score on their cellphone before applying for a Personal Loan, thanks to a new service launched by TransUnion.
Mastercard has won the race to develop the world's first biometric credit card and South African consumers are first in line to verify card transactions via fingerprint scans.
As SANRAL (The South African National Roads Agency) prepares to go ahead with legal action against non-paying e-toll motorists, it has also started to look into alternative systems to fund road construction and maintenance.
Shelter, one of the basic human needs, has now become an overpriced amenity in Cape Town, where the average family is likely to shell out twice as much for rent than their Gauteng counterparts.
With the aim of assisting parents to choose the best schools for their children in the province, the Gauteng Department of Education will soon introduce a ranking system that will rate both township and former model C schools on several criteria.
After Rhodes University drafted its new language policy, which allows students to use a mother tongue for learning, a South African music teacher was given the opportunity to conduct work in his vernacular language.
As of 1 March 2017, private South African citizens of the Eastern Cape can fix roads themselves, and then charge the amount to the provincial Roads Department to be reimbursed.
On Friday, 7 April 2017 South Africans across the country took to the streets to protest against President Jacob Zuma’s position in office, and his midnight cabinet reshuffle.
The latest Employment Outlook Survey, released by Manpower Group SA, has revealed that South African employers are surprisingly optimistic about hiring capabilities in 2017.
City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba recently launched the extended operating hours for six clinics in various areas around Johannesburg, which cost the city about R7 million, according to a report
Gauteng motorists who have not yet paid overdue traffic fines may soon be freed from their obligation to do so after a breakthrough court ruling recently came into effect, according to the AARTO Facts website run by Justice Project South Africa (JPSA).
Over the years, Cape Town has managed to scrape in on a few international rankings, from the Most Beautiful City and Best Foreign City to Global Sustainable City and World's Best City. Now, it is also one of the cities where you're most likely to sit in gridlock during peak hours according to Navigation Company Tom Tom.
For many University of South Africa (UNISA) students the 2017 academic year got off to a shaky start as hundreds were left frustrated when they could not register for the 2017 academic year because UNISA staff and the National Health Education and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU) members were on strike.
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) has come out opposing the South African National Roads Agency Limited’s (SANRAL’s) threat to press criminal charges against motorists who haven’t settled their e-tolls and to acquire default judgements against individuals or businesses that don’t pay attention to summonses for outstanding e-tolls.
As of the end of January 2017, more than 70 traffic officials working for the city of Johannesburg have been suspended over fraud and corruption charges
South Africa’s national investment promotion agency, Investment South Africa (ISA) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Thailand’s Board of Investment in Bangkok
The University of South Africa (Unisa) has appointed former President Thabo Mbeki as its new chancellor to succeed Judge Bernard Ngoepe, who has occupied the chancellor's seat for 15 years.
UberEATS, a new food delivery service in South Africa recently expanded its business to Cape Town on 26 January 2017, just four months after its launch in Johannesburg.
With so many Car Insurance companies in the market all competing against each other, choosing the best Car Insurance package for your vehicle that also fits your budget can be tricky.
Engaging in malicious social media behaviour could lead to more than just a ban on a social network when government's strategy to tighten the noose on cyber offenders comes into effect. With the revised Cybercrime and Cybersecurity Bill going into parliamentary review soon, South Africa’s social media users will need to think twice before sending or posting potentially destructive messages online as these will result in a penalty and/or hefty jail sentence.
On Monday, 13 February 2017 U.S. President Donald Trump spoke to Jacob Zuma over the phone in order to touch base after his inauguration. No details of the conversation were revealed to the public before the discussion, but it was hoped by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa that Trump would have a positive outlook on U.S. relations with South Africa and Africa as a whole.
Walter Pike, a 60 year old media strategist from Johannesburg is one of the first cancer patients in the world to undergo the experimental treatment for cancer known as targeted radionuclide therapy.
As Europe celebrates the 20th anniversary of Euro New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) star ratings, the Automobile Association (AA) is calling for the implementation of a similar South African safety ratings system – albeit one that would require crash test results to be displayed on all new selling vehicles.
A recent report on car hijackings that was published on the Arrive Alive website revealed the highest hijacking hotspots in South Africa. The statistics showed the highest-risk areas and suburbs in the country and, perhaps as expected, Gauteng came up at the top.
Last year new vehicle sales in South Africa dropped once again, marking a three year decline. Numerous reasons have been attributed to the decline in sales, the main reasons being the 14% price inflation on new cars, the weak Rand, and expectedly low consumer confidence. Sales fell from 54 230 in 2015 to 48 745 at the end of 2016.
South African university students had an encouraging start to the 2017 academic year with the announcement that government has introduced several additional grants to financially needy students in an effort to get the higher education system back on a sound footing after a chaotic 2016.
On 11 January 2017 President Jacob Zuma signed seven new finance bills into law. These bills were signed into law a long time after they were proposed due to the parliamentary recess for local government elections to take place.
South Africa’s poultry industry is facing a difficult time ahead as the European Union (EU) begins to dominate the market. With an oversupply of chicken legs, wings and thighs in the EU, these pieces are being sold to South Africa at extremely low costs. Local farmers are unable to compete with the low prices, resulting in jobs losses and farms closures.
In January Patricia de Lille confirmed her resignation as leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Western Cape. The party’s new provincial leader has not yet been elected, however, the Western Cape DA deputy leader will fill the position until a new provincial leader is elected.
High school pupils will soon be adding a new subject to their timetable that would have them learn how to drive a vehicle and get a good working knowledge of the rules of the road. This is the result of a partnership between the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA) and the Department of Basic Education, aimed at giving students a head start on their driving abilities, Business Tech reports.
Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) confirmed that a South African Tourism campaign said to be giving tourists the wrong message would be removed from the international arrivals entranceway of OR Tambo International Airport.
Self-test HIV kits have hit the shelves of local pharmacies and for under R60, South Africans can perform a blood screening at home in an environment they feel comfortable in. The test offers quick and straightforward results without having to go to a healthcare centre first.
The future of a top performing matric pupil from KwaZulu-Natal, whose mother’s daily struggle selling sweets and snacks at her spaza shop motivated her to work even harder, looks bright after she was awarded a bursary by the Department of Water and Sanitation.
On Monday, 16 January 2017, National Consumer Commissioner Ebrahim Mohamed and CEO of Ford South Africa, Jeffrey Nemeth announced that Ford would be recalling all Ford Kuga 1.6 litre vehicles produced between December 2012 and February 2014 due to safety issues. Roughly 4 556 of these vehicles to date have been recalled, after 48 of the models experienced overheating issues, and burst into flames.
Over the past couple of weeks the City of Cape Town has been battling devastating fires that forced residents in certain areas like the Welcome Glen section of Glencairn to flee their homes for safety.
A controversial transformation of language policies in schools is just one of the new ventures government has in the pipeline for the basic education system this year. This comes after the Constitutional Court in 2016 ruled that school governing boards will no longer have the authority to influence policies, admissions, fees and dress codes.
On Sunday, 20 November 2016 Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the proposed national minimum wage of R3 500 at a press conference at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) offices.
As of 1 November 2016, the City of Cape Town has implemented level three water restrictions. This decision was made by Mayor Patricia de Lille’s mayoral committee after discussing the harsh water crisis facing the Western Cape and the country.
South Africans may have to prepare themselves for significant tax increases later this year. The country’s sluggish economic growth, lower revenue collection and student demands for free education have put the Treasury in a challenging position.
Sometimes we face obstacles on the road to achieving our dreams – little setbacks that either delay us or may even permanently halt our dreams. Most of the time these challenges are things that can be fixed with a little help – whether by physical, emotional or financial means.
Government last year unveiled plans for new road and traffic regulations in an attempt to improve road safety. The potential amendments, first outlined in the 2015 Government Gazette, proposed lower speed limits, that bakkies be forbidden from carrying children in the load bay, and that trucks be banned from sharing roads with peak-hour traffic.
A mother recently made a claim of R40m in damages after her daughter was allegedly left physically and mentally disabled due to ill treatment at a Durban hospital.
Although the water level of the Vaal Dam has improved due to recent rainfall in Gauteng, the Department of Water and Sanitation said this does not mean the drought is over.
Platinum producers in South Africa have dissociated themselves from JIC Mining Services (Pty) Ltd, the biggest mining segment within the Gupta-owned Oakbay Investments
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa announced during an event to mark the 20th anniversary of the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) that more needs to be done to improve the current working hours and conditions of South Africa’s nurses.
South Africa’s richest province, Gauteng, lost 113 children to malnutrition in the space of one year. Health Minister Qedani Mahlangu revealed this when she presented the 2015/2016 annual report to the health portfolio committee in Orange Farm.
South African motorists who are not up to speed with the country's current towing guidelines and who tow their load unlawfully, may not only be fined but also have their Car Insurance claim denied if they're involved in an accident.
In the wake of Medical Aid premium increases announced by some of the biggest medical schemes in South Africa last month, the issue of expensive health care comes to the fore once again.
Manufacturers of self-driving cars may need to take out their own Car Insurance to cover any financial liability to victims of auto accidents. This is one of the proposals made in a new piece of legislation by the British government, which will come into effect in 2017. The regulation aims to address the issue of how self-driving cars should be insured when they are introduced to the mainstream in the future.
The latest in a campaign to end a crisis over fatigued doctors and understaffed hospitals outlines that doctors are to be given coloured armbands to make the public aware of the dangerously long hours they have been working at these hospitals.
Whether you want a leaky faucet fixed or install new wiring around your home, finding a reliable tradesperson for the job can be difficult, even more so when your maintenance and repair needs are an emergency.
George Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor, Lulamile Xesi died on 24 September 2016 after he was trapped inside his burning house in Thembalethu. The cause of the house fire is not yet known but an inquest docket has been opened. His friend, who was in the house with him, managed to escape unharmed.
The body of a Swiss-born Cape Town resident was found close to the Crocodile River within the Lowveld National Botanical Gardens in Mbombela on 24 September 2016.
The Road Accident Fund (RAF) is tightening its compensation procedures in a bid to curb fraudulent requests and reduce the organisation's mounting debt. The proposal of a new scheme called the Road Accident Benefit Scheme comes amid fake claims worth R126 million submitted to the entity between April and June 2016.
Alarming research findings presented at the 2016 Institute of Retirement Funds Africa (IRFA) conference revealed that very few South African professionals are saving for their retirement and are increasingly turning to relatives and friends for financial assistance.
If you ever wondered what goes into orchestrating a state funeral for government dignitaries, you can now put your curiosity to rest. The presidency has made public its State, Official and Provincial Official Funeral Policy Manual, which describes the categories and procedures of state funerals.
Recently sworn-in African National Congress (ANC) councillor, Nonhlanhla Mthembu, collapsed during the first Johannesburg council meeting on Monday, 22 August 2016. Emergency services were called to her aid and the council subsequently took a break and were informed of her passing soon afterwards. The cause of her death is still unknown.
New World Wealth recently released its annual review of South Africa’s top 10 residential estates, and a few new entrants such as Whale Rock Ridge in Plettenberg Bay and Steyn City in Johannesburg made the cut.
A Cape Town family is celebrating a mother and son’s triumph over kidney failure and breast cancer. Lenora Hammond and her son Christopher have not only fought their illnesses, but they have gone on to excel.
South African fixed-income asset manager, Futuregrowth has stopped lending to six state-owned enterprises as it is concerned by political uncertainty, government infighting and possible mismanagement of state funds.
The last thing you might want to think about is how you want to be laid to rest. But what you decide to do with your remains can be a great way to honour your legacy and celebrate your life, particularly for those who are left behind.
The Beverage Association of South Africa (BevSA) advises that if sugar tax becomes a reality in South Africa, our economy will suffer financial losses close to R14 billion. This comes after the proposal of a 20% levy on sugar-sweetened drinks made by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan during his budget speech earlier this year.
The sale of new cars declined further in September 2016 after showing waning figures throughout the year, according to the latest figures released by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa).
With the Summer Olympics in Rio all done and dusted, what were South Africa’s highlights and achievements? Now that TeamSA are back on home soil, Hippo.co.za looks back at the top 10 highlights from Rio 2016.
Despite the negative outlook for crime reported by the South African Police Service in 2015, a new book titled A Citizen’s Guide to Crime Trends in South Africa by University of Cape Town scholars Anine Kriegler and Mark Shaw, claim that the physical safety of the majority of South Africans has, in fact, significantly improved over the last twenty years.
Households looking to power up the green way will have to install their own solar panels since Eskom won't add more renewable energy to the national electricity grid soon. According to Eskom's CEO, Brian Molefe, the country's energy provider decided to pull the plug on new contracts with independent power producers as they found that the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) of 2011 is economically impractical.
The Credit Ombud – an organisation started by the National Credit Regulator to solve disputes between consumers and credit providers – has tightened the reins on credit providers for apparent irresponsible lending practices in 2015. Their mediation has led to the cancellation of many consumers' principal debts or interest charges, the Ombud's latest report [PDF] shows.
South Africa’s long talked about driver demerit system was supposed to be given the go ahead in April 2016. As of September, the point system has yet to be put in place, even though it was originally proposed roughly 18 years ago.
The vaccination debate has been around for decades, but recently the anti-vaccination movement has gained momentum in South Africa. With celebrities adding their voices to the debate, it’s drawing arguments from all sides, even though there is currently no scientific evidence proving the harmful effects of vaccines. Although the Health Department strongly recommends vaccination, it is not compulsory, and an increasing number of people are choosing not to vaccinate their children.
South African universities may soon be faced with another hold-up as bed shortages at student residences are estimated to amount to 216 000. The Minister of Higher Education and Training, Blade Nzimande, has called for more solutions to tackle the backlog.
Just days after a brutal attack against an Uber driver in Manenberg, Thursday, 14 July saw a violent clash between metered taxi drivers and the police in Cape Town’s city centre, in a protest that ended in at least 15 arrests and numerous threats against Uber drivers. It seems Western Cape metered taxi drivers are still largely unhappy about the advantages they feel Uber has over the industry, and are making their thoughts known.
The South African Broadcasting Commission (SABC) now offers citizens who pay their TV licences, free Funeral Cover. The offer is a reward for all loyal payers, as currently only a third of all TV licence holders pay their fee every year.
Many people wonder when/if Funeral Cover would be the right choice for them, so we decided to break it down. Here’s why your family needs you to get Funeral Cover ASAP.
The Department of Transport has proposed new number plates for all South African vehicle owners in 2017. Hippo.co.za looks into what the plan is and how it might affect drivers.
A grandfather from Cape Town, who has completed his master’s degree at the age of 71, has demonstrated the truth of the words from Robert E. Lee, a wise man who once said: “The education of a man is never completed until he dies”.
State-owned company Eskom Holdings has reported a profit surge of R4.6 billion and a revenue increase of 11% amounting to R163.4 billion for the financial year, which ended in March 2016.
The late Orlando Pirates football star, Senzo Meyiwa’s Life Insurance payout which is said to be a total sum of R4 million, took about 18 months to be paid out
What started as an inspiring gesture rapidly escalated to controversy when the singing-and-dancing South African firefighters, involved in a firefighting operation in Canada, were sent home after a pay dispute last month.
Crowdfunding has become increasingly popular in the last few years, how does it work and how will it benefit South African entrepreneurs? Hippo.co.za investigates the growing trend of crowdfunding.
South Africa’s brain drain shows no sign of slowing down. Where are all of our skilled workers going, why are they leaving and how can we win them back?
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has given the Western Cape Department of Transport the green light to reintroduce the Dräger breathalyser on the province's roads.
Every winter hundreds of people are displaced from their homes due to flooding caused by Cape Town’s heavy seasonal rains. But, that should not be the case this winter as the City of Cape Town is ready to tackle the torrential downpours.
The current drought is recorded as one of the worst to ever hit South Africa, and its effects on the country’s economy have been severe, pushing food prices up due to crippled key crops, like maize– the country’s staple food.
The Department of Home Affairs has widened the age limit for citizens who are eligible to apply for Smart IDs at four of the country's banks.
The entry and rapid growth of Uber in South Africa has come with a wave of praise as well as its fair share of criticism. As the new competitor on the market, one that offers a new and improved transport service, there are numerous arguments from a number of parties.
Unfortunately the buy-to-let (BTL) market is not as simple as it once was, and there are numerous details you should be aware of before diving into this side of the property market.
The saga over the electronic tolling (e-toll) system on Gauteng’s highways continues. Political parties have reinforced their plea that e-tolls should be dropped because motorists cannot afford them.
Breaking news this morning has the UK voting to implement a British exit (or Brexit) from the European Union (EU), causing shock across the world. The voting took place yesterday with the results published early this morning.
Many of us have heard about the rolling out of fibre optic cables in South Africa, but few of us understand the tech-centric process, and how it will affect us.
Surveillance footage of hijacking incidents have been grabbing headlines over the last few months, with many of these videos going viral on social media.
Moody’s, the independent investors service that was reviewing the creditworthiness of our country, finally released their report of findings on 8 May 2016. While they didn’t bump down our credit grade, which is only two notches above junk status, they did conclude their review with a ‘negative outlook’. This means that they consider our country a relatively safe place to invest in, but they predict that this might change for the worse. Rating outlooks aim to predict the direction the rating will take in future. Usually they are stable, but rating outlooks can also be positive or negative. While the outlook is not an inevitable conclusion, South Africa’s status will be downgraded if economic growth and the currently unhealthy government bank balances don’t improve soon.
The fear of load shedding has been on every South African’s mind as winter fast approaches. With 2015’s major blackouts vividly remembered, South African’s have been unsure of whether this situation might repeat itself in 2016. Eskom has recently tried to put those fears to rest after announcing that if all current maintenance on the country’s power plants goes according to plan, the country will be free from load shedding throughout winter. After President Jacob Zuma’s visit to Eskom’s headquarters on Friday May 6, he reiterated that he is confident Eskom has done enough to prevent blackouts for the rest of the year. South Africans therefore, don’t have to worry about power outages, effects on productivity, power surges or damages to home contents just yet.
According to the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA), more than 2 million people are refusing to pay their e-toll bills. This means that only 9% of Gauteng motorists driving on the province's freeways are keeping up with their e-toll payments. OUTA says that e-toll revenue mainly comes from logistics companies, car rental firms and the government fleet.
South Africans have been holding their breath recently awaiting the outcome of a review by Moody’s, an independent investors service that ranks the creditworthiness of businesses, and in this case, countries. This review was to determine whether South Africa was still considered investment-worthy or not. South Africans were relieved to find out this past weekend that Moody’s still considers our country to be two notches above the borderline for junk status. This means that, for the time being, inflation is stalled; the value of the Rand has stopped plummeting; and government, businesses, and even individuals don’t need to worry about rising interest rates on their loans just yet.
The price of crude oil has risen to its highest level in 2016 when it reached $43.40 for the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and $44.07 for Brent North Sea today. The most recent reasons being the raging fire in Alberta, Canada, home to substantial oil reserves, and the ongoing tension in Libya, which holds Africa’s largest oil reserves.
South African Insurance Times and Investment News recently published statistics that point out the importance of Life Insurance in helping consumers overcome financial pressure.