Protests Against Gender-Based Violence in South Africa Continue

Protests against the severe state of gender-based violence in South Africa are continuing. Many citizens are taking to the streets – in their own areas, alongside main transit routs, at universities, or in front of Parliament in Cape Town – to speak out against violence by men, against women, that has become the norm in South Africa.

Some are advocating for criminal justice reform, such as no bail for sex offenders, a public sex offender registry, and lifetime sentences for gender-based violence offenders. Some are even advocating for the death penalty to be written into law. Others’ main concern is that all men recognize there is a problem, and speak out against it, even if they have not committed acts of violence themselves. Many feel that men who keep quiet, instead of educating themselves about the situation and shaming those who do ill, are complicit.

The situation

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside parliament in Cape Town on Thursday to register their voices against gender-based violence, after a University of Cape Town student, Uyinene Mrwetyana was found dead this week after she went missing.

Police recorded 177,620 reported crimes against women, 36,731 sexual offences, including rape, assault and the murder of 2,930 South African women, according to the SAPS annual report in the 2017/2018 financial year.

Many women feel unsafe when walking alone (or even in groups) on the street, going to the bathroom, declining advances by men when at a bar, attending parties, or even just going about their business in the workplace or at school. All this, while many men are oblivious to the situation, and privileged in their feeling safe while doing the exact same things.

Amnesty International comments

Human rights’ group Amnesty International said on Thursday that gender-based violence in South Africa had reached “alarming levels”.

The organisation’s executive director for South Africa, Shenilla Mohamed, made the statement in response to a speech given earlier in the day by president Cyril Ramaphosa in which he addressed the country’s gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide rates, following a spate of brutal incidents that left many in the country incensed.

“Gender-based violence has reached undeniably alarming levels in South Africa. It is absolutely unacceptable that women feel they have to watch what they wear in public and be careful about where they are seen socializing, for fear that they may face violent reprisals including rape or even death,” said Mohamed.

“The time for sloganeering and politicking has passed. President Cyril Ramaphosa must now translate into action his vow that ‘enough is enough’. It’s nothing short of a national emergency that femicide and rape rates are increasing countrywide, and the government must act decisively to tackle these issues.”

According to Mohamed, decisive action would entail appropriate training for police officers, to enable them to “sensitively and objectively” investigate incidents of GBV and domestic violence.

“In order to ensure alleged offenders are brought to justice, the government must also ensure that gender-based violence is taken seriously at every level of the justice system, including by challenging discriminatory stereotypes about victims and survivors.

“However, calls to bring back the death penalty, by some in society, are misguided and will not solve this problem. The death penalty is a symptom of a culture of violence not a solution to it, and there is no credible evidence that it has a greater deterrent effect on crime than a prison term.

“The government would do better to channel its resources to ensure the effective administration of justice through proper investigations into incidents of gender-based violence and fair trials for those accused of the crimes.”

UCT students crowdfund to retaliate

A group of UCT students, lead by Samantha Perkins and Zoar Lewis has launched a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy to stand up against gender-based violence in South Africa.

In the wake of a very dark period in South Africa’s history, the initiative aims to honour Uyinene Mrwetyana, Jesse Hess, Leighandre Jegels, Lynette Volschenk, Meghan Cremer and others who have lost their lives due to senseless acts of violence this year.

“We currently face what’s akin to a war against women in South Africa. Recent events have demonstrated that women are not at liberty to go anywhere without having to fear for their lives – albeit to, from or at the grocery store, campus, a club, a pre-school, the post office, or even one’s own home. It has been clearly illustrated that there simply is NO safe place for the women of this country,” says spokesperson and law student, Perkins.

“This is the breaking point, the ‘enough is enough’ moment, the time to stand up and say that we WILL NOT tolerate this any longer. We have to deal with this culture of violence against women that is so deeply entranced within our society,” says Philosophy and English Literature, student Nomazwi Nkoane.

In retaliation to the 11% increase in murders and violent attacks against women in South Africa, the #IWillNotBeNext initiative has been launched on donations based crowdfunding platform, BackaBuddy.

Funds raised will be used to purchase and distribute a minimum of 1400 units of pepper spray to female students at the University of Cape Town.

“It is in our collective best interest to address this sickness that exists in our country, so in addition, we ask that you continue the conversation and help us keep this narrative alive. Enough is enough,” says Perkins.

In less than 24 hours, the campaign has raised a total of R44,523.72 towards the fundraising target of R100,000.

“If overfunded, we hope to benefit as many tertiary education institutions as possible. It is our hope that this will at least make a small difference to the safety of women in the interim before Government decides to initiate serious efforts to solve this deep structural issue within our society,” says Perkins.

Support this campaign, by making a donation on BackaBuddy, by clicking here.

26 Vice-chancellors from SA universities to meet with the President on September 13

Vice-Chancellors at all 26 universities have called for a meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa to discuss the scourge of gender-based violence.

“All 26 Vice-Chancellors will engage the Presidency by Friday the 13th of September, with the view of registering our anger and developing a plan of action for addressing the scourge at the universities,” Universities South Africa spokesperson Mateboho Green explained.

She said universities had agency and much to contribute to transforming the culture that produced this form of “cowardly violence”.

“Our people are angry – angry about the violent abuse of women that happens daily, angry about not being heard, angry about the irrational violence that robs people of their lives, angry about the lawlessness in our country, angry about the wanton destruction of infrastructure and angry about the empty promises and lack of political leadership on these matters,” said Green.

“We have every right to be angry. At the same time, we cannot allow our anger to spill over in a way which reduces us to lawlessness or advances further harm.”

Green believed there were political forces at play who were keen to manipulate the national tragedy for their own agendas “both within and beyond the academic sector, regardless of the rules of universities or the law of the land”.

“Universities South Africa and its members have a zero tolerance approach to gender based harm and progressive policies are in place to ensure that perpetrators are dealt with decisively.

“All complaints of gender-based harm should be referred to the respective Gender Equity Offices at the universities who have committed to investigating all complaints expeditiously.”

The President speaks, but many say his words are not enough

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a host of measures against gender-based violence in the wake of protests against the increasing rate of rape and femicide in SA.

After thousands marched to demand that he act, Ramaphosa told the nation the government would overhaul and modernize the national sex-offender register and he would ask parliament to consider amending the legislation to make the register public.

Sonke Gender Justice, a gender rights group, has questioned whether it will amount to any real changes.

During last night’s address, the president described the recent deaths of Uyinene Mrwetyana, Jesse Hess, Leighandré Jegels as well as the scores of other women and children as a “crime against our common humanity” and a “national emergency”.

While saying he was appalled by the violence, Ramaphosa claimed that there has been progress on the implementation of decisions which were taken at last year’s summit on gender-based violence.

He cited the review of laws on domestic violence and sexual offences, and said there will be efforts to “prioritize the needs and interests of survivors”, while boasting the opening of 92 dedicated sexual offences courts since 2013 and plans for a further 11 in this financial year.

He also promised an overhaul of the the sexual offenders register, promising that parliament will be asked to consider amending legislation to make the register public, while also proposing harsher minimum sentences for gender-based crimes, and an instruction to the state to oppose bail and parole applications for those guilty of sexual offences.

“Violence against women is not a women’s problem. It is not a problem of what a woman said or did, what a woman was wearing or where she was walking. Violence against women is a men’s problem. It is men who rape and kill women,” Ramaphosa said.

“There is therefore an obligation of men of our country to act to end such behavior and such crimes. As men, let us speak out. We must not look away. We must face gender-based violence head on.”

He also promised re-opening of all gender-based crimes that have been irregularly closed or not investigated, while promising increased protection for the LGBT+ community.

Nonhlanhla Skosana, community education and mobilization unit manager at Sonke Gender Justice lauded the president for “making all the right noises” but bringing “nothing new” to the table.

“He said nothing new,” she said after his address last night, citing the lack of implementation of resolutions taken during previous engagement regarding the scourge of gender-based violence countrywide.

“He talked during last year’s Gender-Based Violence summit. He talked during the ANC manifesto launch, and he generally talks the right language, but what we need is implementation and funding.”

Skosana questioned the effectiveness of the sexual offences courts, saying they are under-resourced, while Thuthuzela Care Centre, an organisation that caters for survivors of sexual and domestic abuse, with 54 branches across the country, is facing a financial crisis, leaving them unable to render services.

She mentioned that there is a need for at least R42 billion to ensure the gender-based violence interventions run smoothly.

While Ramaphosa last night said the finance ministry would be instructed to make sure funding is available for this, she questioned why little has been done until now.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Want to Know Which South African Gym to Choose? Here’s a Membership Comparison

First off, the most important thing is that you’re thinking of exercising. It’s a known fact that even regular, moderate cardio exercise can go a long way towards heart health, among other things. However, it’s not to say that the best way to work out is by joining a gym. Many gyms may be making lots of money from people who join and barely ever (or never) go to gym. Sometimes we lock ourselves into gym contracts as part of an aspiration, when actually another method of exercising would have been more appropriate.

So, before reading the below price comparison, consider going for a run around your own neighborhood, walking your dog, going for weekend hikes (along safe trails), or investing in weight lifting equipment or a treadmill to keep at home. That way, you avoid paying for the overheads and profit of South African gym companies.

Viva Gym (link)

Viva gyms are currently in four major cities: Cape Town, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria.

They have a single session drop-in option and 2 contract options: monthly and yearly.

The single-session drop-in fee is R100 and perfect should you only want to train for one-day or have your friends pop in for a bro sesh with you.

The month to month contract option eliminates the hassle of having to commit to a long term contract.

The yearly contract has a 12-month commitment and then rolls into a monthly membership

Both the contracts require that you pay a joining fee. For the monthly contract, this ranges from R330 – R350 depending on the gym.

For the 12 month membership, the joining fee is R260 – R290.

Monthly contracts are in the region of R329 – R349 and yearly contracts range from R259 – R289.

Zone Fitness (link)

Zone Fitness membership options range from R200 – R600.

Their joining fees are between R50 – R100 and the access cards cost R50.

A 12-month contract is R250 per month and their 24-month local membership with access to a single club is R225. Should you want a Super Club membership, this will set you back R299 per month.

Planet Fitness (link)

Planet Fitness has four different membership options.

Their joining fees range from R100 – R300.

Just Gym is their value gym group which offers members all the offerings of Planet Fitness, without the trimmings.

There are differences in class offerings as well.

A Just Gym membership starts at R199 whereas the Planet Fitness membersships vary depending on the area of the gym. The lowest membership begins at R399 and escalates to R899.

Should you want national access, your joining fee will be R600 with a monthly rate of R999.

Platinum members will be charged an R900 joining fee and a monthly fee of R1199.

Virgin Active (link)

Virgin Active have two clubs: Health Clubs and Collection Clubs.

The Health Clubs are their standard clubs whilst their Collections Clubs feature a lot more bells and whistles.

There are a number of membership options available:

  • Virgin Active Off-Peak Health Club membership: *R240 – R750 per month.
  • Virgin Active Health Club membership: *R270 – R995 per month
  • Virgin Active Health Club Premier Select membe​rship: *R640 – R780 per month
  • Virgin Active Premier membership: *R890 – R1,095 per month
  • The classic collection membership will cost you *R1,500 – R2,350 per month.

Considerations

Some South African medical aid schemes offer discounts for memberships to certain gyms, so it is a good idea to call yours and find out if that applies. Also, it’s a good idea to call the gym you are considering to find out what equipment and facilities they have on site, to avoid signing up and discovering that your gym can’t cater to your specific needs. Ultimately, the most important thing, whether you go to a gym, or choose some other method, is that you’re exercising consistently.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: Stage 7 Photography [1], [2].

South African Solar Energy Tax Incentives You May Not Be Aware Of

A little-known amendment to the Income Tax Act allows for depreciation in the year of commissioning of the full cost of a grid-tied solar PV system of less than 1 MW used for electricity generation by a business in the course of its operations.

South Africa’s government, energy regulator and Eskom have often been criticised for obstructing the introduction of distributed, small-scale embedded generation (SSEG) which would help businesses to cut costs and ensure the stability of their power supply during load shedding.

But in fact, there are significant and far-sighted tax breaks which have been put in place by National Treasury to encourage and incentivise business owners to install their own generation in the form of grid-tied, rooftop or ground-mounted solar PV systems on buildings, parking lots, warehouses, factories and farms.

Accelerated depreciation allowances

From 1 January 2016, a little-known amendment to Section 12B of the Income Tax Act (Act 58 of 1996) allows for depreciation in the year of commissioning of the full (100%) cost of a grid-tied solar PV system of less than 1 MW used for electricity generation by a business in the course of its operations.

The capital depreciation allowances for solar PV systems greater than 1 MW remained unchanged in the January 2016 amendment to the legislation, which continues to allow full depreciation over three years. This permits depreciation of 50% of the capital cost in the year of commissioning, 30% in the subsequent year, and 20% in the third year.

The accelerated depreciation allowance for solar PV systems applies whether they are installed for the business by contractors or developers, or paid for by the business in a credit sale agreement (as defined in Section 1 of the Value-Added Tax Act) — either upfront in a single payment or in multiple payments over an extended period.

The cost of the solar PV system allowed for accelerated depreciation includes its full direct capital cost, including design and engineering, project planning, delivery, foundations and supporting structures, solar PV panels, AC inverters, DC combiner boxes, racking, cables and wiring, and installation. Finance costs are excluded.

This allowance was confirmed in a binding private ruling by SARS dated 11 October 2018 (BPR 311) in respect of an application by a private company in South Africa to clarify the deductibility of the capital expenditure incurred to install solar PV systems at a number of sites owned and leased by the applicant. The systems were being installed to reduce the company’s electricity costs.

The improved business case

Whether paid for upfront after commissioning, or in multiple payments over an extended period, the benefits of this tax incentive to business owners, particularly for solar PV systems of less than 1 MW, are significant.

Where the company tax rate is 28% and payment is upfront, a 100% tax-deductible depreciation allowance in the year of installation and commissioning will result in a 28% nett discount on the purchase price of the system at the end of the tax year.

This significantly affects and reduces the payback period of a solar PV project of less than 1 MW.

Better still, when paying for the same solar PV system on a credit sale agreement through multiple payments over an extended period, the transaction can be cash-flow positive for the business over the lifetime of the solar PV plant in all but the first months to the end of the tax year during which commissioning takes place.

With these significant tax incentives and the rapidly rising price of grid electricity, the business case for installation of grid-tied, rooftop and ground-mounted solar PV is fast becoming a no-brainer.

Awareness of the incentives

What is most surprising, however, is how few business-owners and companies are aware of these tax breaks, which can make such a positive impact on their cash flow and bottom line.

This lack of awareness is perhaps a result of the difficulties faced in accessing relevant information on the subject from SARS itself.

For example, efforts to simply download or view the up-to-date amended Section 12B of the Income Tax Act from the SARS website and the public internet proved fruitless. Similarly, no response or even acknowledgement of receipt was received to a query sent to the SARS media desk at sarsmedia@sars.gov.za.

Only after a time-consuming search and a paid subscription to a private tax information service provider was this possible.

In an article in Engineering News on 14 August 2019, entitled “Time to end silence on renewables misinformation — SAPVIA chair”, the new chairman of the South African Solar Photo-Voltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA), Wido Schnabel, said:

“The organisation will become more assertive in outlining the benefits of solar for South Africa and in correcting some of the prevailing misperceptions about the role of variable renewable energy in the country’s future electricity system.”

The tax incentives available to businesses for the installation of solar PV systems is certainly something that SAPVIA and other related industry associations should be “shouting from the rooftops” in the interests of their members, as well as those of developers, installers and suppliers of solar PV systems, components and services.

The challenge

Businesses which have installed solar PV in the 2018/19 tax year, or are about to do so, stand to benefit substantially. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) estimates that there was close to 400 MW of installed solar PV in the country at the end of 2017 and that up to 200 MW was installed the following year. With a wider understanding of the business case, this could be much higher in future.

Most of these installations are less than 1 MW — which is all that most private businesses require across a wide range of sectors of the economy, including manufacturing and retail.

If only the various arms of government, business, labour and communities were on the same page and working with a common purpose to bring the benefits of SSEG to the productive economy and the environment, to address the current electricity and water supply constraints, and to facilitate economic growth and the creation of quality jobs.

This article was written by Chris Yelland (investigative editor at EE Publishers) and Mariam Isa (a freelance journalist).

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: Mariana Proença [1], [2].

Two Major Durban Tourism Developments

Durban, an already popular tourist destination, sitting in South Africa’s third largest municipality, has two new ways of boosting travel through its borders.

Cruise Terminal

Managing Director of MSC Cruises South Africa, Ross Volk recently revealed that MSC Cruises will begin building its Durban Cruise Terminal in November. The terminal will eventually be 4516 square metres in size.

The news was confirmed at an exclusive media launch held at MSC Cruises head office in Sandton on 20 August. The new R200 million cruise terminal at South Africa’s busiest cruise port is due to be completed in 2021.

“MSC Cruises is committed to growing the cruise tourism sector in the country and Africa at large. We are investing heavily in infrastructure as well as training, which includes the new Durban Cruise Terminal that will also house the MSC Shosholoza Ocean Academy,” Volk said.

He added that the multi-user terminal will make Durban an even more desirable destination for cruise ships from all over the world.

“It will substantially boost tourism numbers, create thousands of jobs and lead to supplier development. The construction of this state-of-the-art terminal is an exciting project that MSC Cruises is proud to be a part of. The design phase took a little longer than we anticipated, but it was vital that we got this right as we want the Durban Cruise Terminal to be an iconic destination,” he said.

According to Tourism Update, the MSC Cruises fleet currently comprises 16 ultra-modern, innovative and elegantly designed ships.

It is said to be the world’s largest privately-owned cruise company and the number-one cruise line in South Africa, Europe, South America, and the Gulf. The company reportedly achieved 800% growth in its first 10 years, building a global reputation in the industry and one of the youngest cruise fleets at sea.

At the media launch, Angelo Capurro, the group’s Global Executive Director also said that South Africa is an important market for MSC Cruises and reflects its broader growing investment in cruising globally.

“In fact, in South Africa for the next cruise season starting in December, we will have two ships operating. The bigger MSC Musica with the capacity to carry 3 200 guests will be homeported in Durban, while MSC Opera will be homeported in Cape Town and have a capacity for around 2 500,” Capurro stated.

Coach Route

Intercoach has announced they are now running a route from Durban to Mozambique. With no direct flights between the two locations, it’s often an awkard transfer at Johannesburg that has to facilitate those who travel by air. But last year, things got a little easier on this commute.

The Maputo-Catembe Bridge was inaugurated by the President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, on Saturday 10 November 2018. The three-kilometre-long suspension bridge, which extends 680 metres over Maputo Bay, has been lauded as a Southern Africa’s latest and greatest engineering feat, giving SA a direct route to the capital city of Maputo.

With this bridge now in place, it have shaved hours off of the journey time. And Intercape are ready to pounce upon the opportunity. Here’s everything you need to know about the new service.

Return tickets are around R600, which is multiple times cheaper than a flight. The trip takes 9.5 hours, has 12 stops, and officially opens on 6 September.

Four hours into the journey, passengers can grab refreshments and stretch their legs at the Hluhluwe PetroPort, before embarking on the remaining five-hour trek.

Border crossings, meanwhile, will take around 40 minutes. It’s essential you have the correct travel documents and your passport with you, in order to make any inspections run as smoothly as possible. You can no longer buy a visa on the Mozambique border, and travellers will have to sort theirs before departing.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: flowcomm [1], [2].

What to Look Out For in the South African Healthcare System

This article was provided to us by Chartered Employee Benefits, an independent employee benefits consultancy, based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

What to look out for in the South African Healthcare System

Whether you are an experienced traveller, expatriate or travel as part of your work, you will always be faced with the uncertainty of what is around the corner when moving to another country. Legislation, infrastructure and institutions may vary significantly from your home country. Healthcare is by no means the exception and you may find yourself seeking answers.

South Africa’s Healthcare Environment

South Africa has two prominent healthcare systems, the public and private healthcare sectors.
Albeit that the public healthcare system is free and accessible to all, it is not enough for those seeking consistent, quality, medical treatment which is aligned with global standards and is cutting edge.

There is, however, a stark difference between the private and public medical sectors in terms of cost. An estimated 9 million residents in South Africa (out of a total estimated population of 60 million) participate willingly in the private medical insurance schemes, at an additional cost/premium. The private medical insurance industry currently consists of just under 20 open medical schemes. These schemes attempt to mitigate the costs of what is regarded as a high quality, yet expensive private healthcare system. Discovery Health’s top 10 individual member claims in 2017 amounted to R48 million or $ 3 200 000 (Rand to US Dollar exchange rate estimated at R15: $1, at August 2019).

Closed medical schemes also exist in the private sector and are available to employees who work for specific companies or industries.

The intricacies of the South African medical scheme environment

South African medical schemes are structured around complex rules and stipulated requirements that they must adhere to, and function within the realm of the Medical Schemes Act, some of which are listed below:

Open enrolment – Open enrolment is a principle set down in law which requires open medical schemes registered in South Africa to accept as a member or dependant, any and every person who wishes to join that medical scheme.

Community rating – this rule prevents a medical insurer from varying premiums. All members on a particular plan must pay equal contributions, however the Medical Schemes Act does make provision for the inclusion of a ‘Late Joiner Penalty’ which may be applicable to members over the age of 35 years.

Prescribed minimum benefits (PMBs) – there are 270 medical conditions which are covered in full, however, medical schemes are able to manage these costs somewhat. This includes emergencies. Emergency medical treatment is defined as, treatment required as a result of an onset of a sudden and unexpected condition which requires immediate treatment. If not immediately treated, one of three consequences would result: serious impairment to a bodily function, serious dysfunction of a body part or organ, or death.

Waiting periods – South African medical schemes like all insurance products need to protect themselves from ‘anti-selection’ to avoid people from joining medical schemes when they need healthcare and exiting the scheme when they don’t require medical care. There are three types of underwriting conditions which might be applicable, singularly or in combination such as:

• The 3- month general waiting period with access to PMB’s
• The 3-month general waiting period without access to PMB’s
• The 12 months condition specific waiting period

These waiting periods can be waived by medical schemes on condition that your employer has an exclusive and compulsory medical employer group.

Premium and benefit increases – It is the general practice for medical schemes to allow members to increase their benefits during a window period, generally, September to mid-December, to take effect in January the following year. Premiums, benefits and medical scheme plans across all medical schemes might be altered during this period as well.

What if I travel outside of South Africa?

The general rule is that medical schemes will allow insurance for a certain number of days travel outside of South Africa. This is applicable to medium/high benefit plans. Pre-existing conditions are excluded and so too are specific countries (additional insurance may be required i.e. travel insurance).

If you spend longer than 90 days outside of South Africa, alternative insurance would need to be considered.

Is a South African medical scheme sufficient?
What about co-payments?

Like most medical insurances, South African medical schemes have copayments and short falls.

Example: If a medical practitioner charges 500% above the medical aid rate, you are liable for the short fall. This may be the case for several medical practitioners at once e.g. for childbirth, a gynecologist, anesthetist, pediatrician and a mid-wife may be present or required. All of which may charge above medical scheme rates. You will be responsible for the shortfall.

Copayments may be applicable to several procedures such as MRI, CT & PET scans as well.

Gap cover insurance is available and may insure the shortfall between the medical scheme rate and the applicable fees. The annual limit applicable to these products is R157 000 per person and your insurance may cover the whole family. You may not purchase gap cover insurance if you do not belong to a medical scheme. These premiums are ‘risk-rated’ and may vary depending on age.

How do I compare medical schemes?

An independent ‘non-tied’ (licenced to advise on a specific medical scheme) consultant may compare several medical schemes, objectively.

Healthcare consultants earn a maximum of R94.77 plus vat per month, or 3% plus VAT in respect of the contributions of that member, or whichever is lesser (this is already included in the premiums).

Participating in a medical scheme will reduce the potential risks associated with the public healthcare system.

If you are employed in South Africa, ask your employer if they have a medical scheme group in place and whether they have favourable underwriting. If you are eligible to join such a group, you may pay premiums and claim immediately. Seek advice from an independent employee benefits/ healthcare consultant. Open a South African bank account as soon as possible to ensure that you may get insurance coverage on arrival.

Many medical aid schemes in South Africa have information about the various plans they offer, what they cover, and their pricing, readily available on their websites, so it is a good idea to compare this way, before signing up. Major medical aid providers include Discovery Health, Bonitas, Fedhealth, Momentum, Genesis, and Medshield.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email marketing@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: Fas Khan [1], [2].