Wanderlusting no more?

This proposed bill to tax South African expats has me baffled. For a number of reasons. It’s making me worried too (I’m a Virgo, it’s in my nature). I’ve read many articles, seen groups on Facebook trying their utmost to grow their numbers to petition the finance minister’s proposal and I’ve reached out to a few people too. Cape Talk’s Kieno Kammies spoke to a tax practitioner this week (listen here) and from that, I thought it might be a good call to gather my thoughts, questions and put this post together. This isn’t what you would expect to read on me blog, but because I’m on what some may call an adventure that involves a fair amount of weekend getaways, this proposal will directly affect me. So maybe some tax experts can weigh in here.

Disclaimer: If you have an opinion that you wish to add, please be constructive (whichever side you are on). Hate speech or cockiness is not necessary. I’m trying to understand this and also have an adult conversation. K, thanks, humans.

My questions:

1. Why should you have to pay tax if you aren’t living there anymore? Paying for something that you’re not benefiting from seems a bit pointless don’t you think?

2. People go abroad to save and travel. Surely it’s their choice to do so? If they return, they will be paying tax and contributing to the economy they now live in.

3. How will SARS implement this? Do they know the number of citizens living abroad? This is going to be very costly to the economy. Another area where budgets and resources could be better allocated, perhaps?

Yes, moving to low/ no tax jurisdictions seems appealing. ‘Inflated’ salaries are a thing, but don’t think for one second we’re living like kings and queens. Rent is ridiculously expensive for what you get. Food and transport aren’t cheap either. Then there’s just living; movies, celebrations with friends, escaping the city for a weekend getaway, VISA APPLICATIONS (Death)… When you add it all up, those inflated salaries are done. So with this new proposal of being taxed on top of paying those bills means there’s not much left. You’re also now, by SA standards, in a higher tax bracket, so obviously, you’ll need to pay more when doing the tax return.

So what are the choices? Of course moving back to SA isn’t a bad choice – it’ll always be home. I’m just not there right now. Sometimes you just need a bit of adventure in your life. I’m not married, I don’t have kids, I don’t run a business… I’m relatively responsibility free. So why not take up a challenge, an adventure like this while I can? If I’m to be somewhat selfish for a change, professionally this is good for me. I’m able to gain international work experience, which is arguably the biggest pro in this whole experience. Plus, I love to travel, but traveling from SA often isn’t doable from a financial perspective. Geographically it’s challenging too.

Look, I’m in my 30s. I didn’t move abroad, leaving my family and friends behind to battle to make ends meet. That’s not the life I want. So I guess, I’m left wondering WHAT NOW? I’m just keen to hear from the experts and my fellow expats.

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Black Coffee incident – AKA’s team issues statement

Johannesburg, Monday, 26 September 2016 ­ – The Vth Season confirms that one of our employees, Tshiamo Letshwene, who serves as a Road Manager, was involved in an altercation with Black Coffee this past weekend at the DSTV iRock Festival in Limpopo whilst Road Managing AKA and his band.

We are very surprised and disappointed to hear of the violent reaction by Black Coffee towards Tshiamo which was unexpected and unwarranted. Tshiamo is more shocked than injured. We admire and hold Black Coffee in high regard but his actions on Saturday night have let us down especially for Tshiamo who is a fan and considers Black Coffee a role model.

AKA was not late for his performance at the DSTV iRock Festival in Limpopo as media and event goers have reported. As an Agency, it is very important for us to be professional at all times with all our stakeholders. Three weeks ago we requested a performance time change for AKA to which the event organisers agreed and confirmed. We wanted to ensure that there was enough travel time for AKA and his band as they had another event prior to the DSTV iRock Festival and a private jet was chartered to ensure they got to Limpopo at the quickest possible time.

It is unheard of and highly unprofessional for an artist to have squabbles with another artist or his team members about performance line up details. Disputes should be addressed directly with the event organisers to which they would have been able to confirm to Black Coffee that they advised AKA’s band to set up at that particular time. AKA and his band were willing to wait to perform after Black Coffee’s set but were instructed to go on as planned. We cannot attest to whether or not Black Coffee was informed prior to Saturday night about the changes with his timeslot, but he had no business arguing with and then slapping Tshiamo.

For an artist that has been in the music industry for the amount of years that Black Coffee has, his actions on Saturday night don’t speak to the brand magnitude of what we know Black Coffee to be. His actions were ignorant, distasteful and not of someone level headed or mature. We applaud Tshiamo for keeping his cool and being professional throughout the altercation especially seeing that the anger and violence was misplaced.

“It’s completely unacceptable for Black Coffee to have hit someone. We thought he was a gentleman and a professional. I’m sure he has something to say about his despicable and inexcusable action but in the meantime we anticipate an apology from Black Coffee to the young man” expresses Benza, Managing Director, Vth Season Talent and Entertainment Marketing Agency.

Reviewing 2013 and looking forward to 2014 with Khabonina

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One of the most awesome ladies in the industry has to be this one, Khabonina Qubeka. She has talent for days, as an actress, a singer, a dancer and now a fitness freak too 🙂 I love what she does and I’m hoping we’ll get to see her on TV again soon, her acting is impeccable especially when she plans a bad girl, but outside of the playing characters like Maxine, she’s one of the nicest people I know. So here is my Q&A with the one and only, Khaboniba:
JVB: It has been a good year for you. Take us through some of your highs; your winning moments in 2013.
Khabonina: Wow! My 2013 started on a high note. A. My Annual Birthday Show in Jan. I celebrate my Birthday by throwing Birthday Shows in different provinces, this time, we rocked Mpumalanga (Witbank) & shared it with the disadvantaged kids of the community.

B. Then I went Skiing in Austria Zel Am See ! My snow plough is priceless! I’m thee black SkiiMaster!

C. Being nominated for playing the devious Maxine on “The Wild” at the Royalty Soapy Awards.

D. Releasing my 1st Fitness Dvd.
Launching My Online Store www.khabostore.co.za

E. Being part of the IOM South Africa’s “I’m a Migrant Project”

F. Invited to OWLAG (Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls) to give a motivational talk to the girls.

JVB:Was there a moment, an experience or something significant this year that made you go ‘WOW” or that changed your perspectives/ plans?

Khabonina: YES! Ok wait, most of my days are filled with WOW’s as I’m a huge fan of Life! Lol ! But releasing my own Fitness dvd “Julukment” really made me realize that Life is what YOU make it and limiting yourself is limiting your life! I have a new lease on life , I am on my way to doing SO much more!

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JVB: What does 2014 hold for you?

Khabonina: Oh man! The question is infact … what ‘I’ hold for 2014. Lol ! The biggest lesson I’ve learned , esp being an artist in SA… Don’t wait to be ‘Hired’ hire yourself … ‘Book yourself’ … CREATE CREATE CREATE !!! I’ve created some amazing projects for 2014 , FITNESS in S.A will never be the same !!

 

JVB: Any tips and/ or tricks from you to your fans to get through 2014?
Khabonina: To be honest, there are no tricks nor tips here lol. Live life with love , positivety , passion and enthusiasm ! if you don’t stand for something , you’ll fall for everything!

JVB: Any last thanks or New years wishes for your fans?

Khabonina: Tjoooooo! Jase’ I truly want to thank my Twitter & Facebook friends , all my online supporters for a great & fun year, for visiting my website, reading my blogs and supporting my projects! May they have a blessed & prosperous New Year & may we never loose our “notty” !!!

Get your Khabonina abs now:

Khabonina online:

Times for Nelson Mandela’s funeral on 15 December

BBC World News (channel 400 on DStv) will carry the late Nelson Mandela‘s funeral on Sunday from 06:00 GMT (That’s 08:00 CAT).
David Dimbleby introduces live coverage of the State Funeral of Nelson Mandela in Qunu, South Africa. Many Heads of State are expected to attend and pay their respects to the former President who reunited the nation and brought apartheid to an end.
Sunday 15th December from 06:00 GMT until 10:30 GMT

 

 

Thirty Seconds to Mars heading back to SA

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Rockers Thirty Seconds to Mars will be heading back to SA next June. This isn’t the band’s first visit to our shores, but because audiences love them so much, they decided it was time to head back once again. They’ll be out in Cape Town on Friday the 13th of June at the Grand Arena and this will be followed by a gig on the 16th of June at the Coca-Cola Dome in Jozi.

Tickets go on sale on Friday at 9am and can be purchased at www.bigconcerts.co.za or on the Computicket site.

Full press release below:

Big Concerts is proud to announce that Thirty Seconds to Mars will be performing 2 concerts in South Africa on Friday 13th June at the Grand Arena, Cape Town and Monday 16th June at the Coca-Cola Dome, Johannesburg. Presented by M-Net.

Tickets go on sale for Johannesburg and Cape Town on Friday 13th December at 9am from www.bigconcerts.co.za and Computicket.

Thirty Seconds to Mars have gone on to scale the heights of rock and roll stardom and are known for their energetic live performances and their fusion of different genres. Continue reading “Thirty Seconds to Mars heading back to SA”

Remembering Madiba – attending the tribute service

Last night I again found myself in Houghton, Johannesburg. This time around I was at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, where there was a celebratory service being held for the late statesman. Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu led the service, which was attended by musician Peter Gabriel, Johannesburg Mayer, Parks Tau, human rights lawyer George Bizos, media from all over the world and of course some of Madiba’s VSPs (Very Special Persons).

Bishop Tutu is a fantastic speaker. He is funny, heartfelt, intelligent and definitely not shy. The only time he got ‘shy’ was when he met eyes with his wife who was front and centre at the service. Here is a little clip from his address:

Some of most loved musicians were also in attendance. The Grammy-winning Soweto Gospel Choir kicked things off. They were then joined by Johnny Clegg, who sang a very moving version of Asimbonanga (see below). Danny K, Mamma Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Lloyd Cele, Ed Jordan, Louise Carver, Ross from Prime Circle and Sipho Hotstix Mabuse all took to the stage too. It was truly a celebration of the man we all loved, cherished and respected.

Today is the official state memorial. The programme is expected to commence at 11am, CAT. Check your local listings to see when you can watch the proceedings.

Remembering Nelson Mandela through reflection, prayer

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Today has been declared a day of reflection and a day of prayer in South Africa, following the death of our greatest hero, Nelson Mandela. Madiba passed away peacefully on Thursday evening. Since the news broke, there have been tributes, messages of support, gratitude and condolences  for Madiba and his family. And what amazes me the most is that it hasn’t just been limited to South Africa. This is arguably the biggest story in the world right now with newspapers and TV stations running stories on Mandela, his life and legacy. We’ve also seen places like the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Empire State Building in New York been lit up in the colours of the South African flag, in honour and respect of Nelson Mandela. As I type this, my heart is sore and the lump in my throat is real, but I also celebrate this global icon and the selfless bravery he dedicated his life to.

This is a day of reflection and the one thing that keeps popping up in my head is this ideal of a rainbow nation and national unity. I’m 29 years old and I was very young when the turn of democracy entered South Africa. I didn’t understand what it meant, or how important this moment was in our history, but one year later we celebrated our second national success… The rugby World Cup win. Nelson Mandela put on the number six Springbok jersey, walked onto the rugby field at Ellis Park and handed over the trophy to winning captain, Francois Pienaar. The nation went mad with excitement. Black, white, colored, Indian, it didn’t matter… Everyone was united, happy and celebrating. I remember driving around the streets of Johannesburg and seeing how excited people were. It was a significant moment for us and one that will always been treasured. Our young democracy could’ve turned ugly, but instead a jovial, celebratory and this idea of “South Africa – alive with possibility” was born. We thank Tata for that.

The next moment I recall being significant is the FIFA World Cup. From the moment we found out that it would be held in South Africa, to the weeks and days leading up to this spectacle, I remember how despite many international press outlets saying we weren’t ready, we showed them just how ready we were. The nation’s pride was at an all time high, the country looked amazing with our stadia being ready. The Gautrain began operating and all in all we had a lot to be proud of. Madiba was expected to be at the opening ceremony, but his granddaughter was sadly killed in a car accident the night before kickoff and that meant his family were absent, understandably so. I speak for many when I say this, but a lot of this would not have been possible had it not been for Mandela and his fellow struggle peers. I think while the ceremony went off without a hitch, many of us would’ve spared a thought for Madiba and given thanks to him in our own special way. One month later, the final was set to take place at Soccer City. There was a lot of speculation that Madiba would be at the final, and that he was. He, together with his wife Graça Machel, made his way onto the field.

He smiled, he waved and in his own way he blessed this global audience with his presence. It was the perfect climax to this amazing period. I remember crying like a baby with my friends because this honestly was one of the most magical moments of my life. You might not understand why, but for me, as a South African, this man; the father of our nation, gave us the opportunity to experience moments like this. Again, we thank Tata for this.

The last month in South Africa has been a challenging one. The whole Nkandla issue has left many of us feeling quite negative towards our president. The very bitter and contentious and controversial etolls have also been met with a lot of negative sentiments. The gantries went live this week and a lot of us were feeling angry at the state and Sanral. It united us in a different way, as we stood firm against the etolls and how the process was rolled out. We lost that battle, but we won in unity and a lot of those principals we owe to Tata. I think when our country gets to a point where things are very intense and things don’t look so good, there’s always some turning point that steers us in a unified, positive direction. Things could go so wrong and yet there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m not naive and I know there are issues pertaining to poverty, HIV/ Aids and other social issues and crime is prevalent in our society, but a lot of us are working towards building a better country for all, thanks to the reconciliation principals of our greatest hero, Nelson Mandela. United in life and still uniting in death. Ngiyabonga, Tata.