Archive from August, 2020
Aug 29, 2020 - Uncategorized    No Comments

More South Africans are looking to move to Mauritius â€` here are the updated requirements

This has led to renewed interest in the country from South Africans who are looking at Mauritius as a permanent destination, says Marisa Jacobs, director at advisory service, Xpatweb.

“Skilled professionals and business owners with families in South Africa are taking note of finance minister Renganaden Padayachy’s changes and adjustments for foreigners.

“It is now easier to buy property, work, as well as retire on the island, which is appealing for many, including business owners, corporates and families in South Africa who are looking for a new place to call home,” she said.

Changes in requirements

In the past, South African retirees were only able to obtain a three-year permit for Mauritius. This has been extended to 10 years, with the requirement that the individual earns a recurring income of $1,500 (R25,263) per month, said Jacobs.

The amount can be paid annually, quarterly, or monthly, as long as it works out to $1,500 per month.

“The extension from three to 10 years gives retirees more certainty about their future in the country. Mauritius’ Permanent Residence and Work Permits have been combined into a single permit and extended from ten to twenty years.”

Jacobs said that the minimum investment to obtain an Occupational Permit (OP) has also been halved from $100,000 to $50,000 (R842,115).

The parents of an OP holder may now obtain a dependent permit to live in Mauritius. Professionals who are working as independent contractors can qualify for the self-employment permit, she said.

The requirement for this permit is a deposit of $35,000 (R589,480) into their Mauritian bank account, and this permit is also valid for 10 years.

“Working professionals and self-employed individuals who want to move their spouse and ageing parents find these concessions favourable, especially if their dependents are no longer working.”

Property

Jacobs said that buying property is also a popular route of entry for those looking to move to Mauritius. In the past, foreign nationals were required to invest $500,000 in the property. This number has now been reduced to $375,000, she said.

“The dispensation for owning property in Mauritius is far more flexible than in most other African countries. In Mauritius, a South African is allowed to purchase a property as a freehold, or through a 99-year lease agreement with the option of renewal.”

Jacobs said that the island boasts excellent private schools, reputable banking systems, regulatory certainty, technology-driven government systems, as well as an efficient and linear tax system.

“The effective tax rate of 15% for individuals are well below those applicable to South Africa and other countries. A significant difference is that Mauritian residents are only taxed to the extent of the money that they bring into the country.

“These financial incentives, combined with the close proximity to South Africa, will likely see more people moving to Mauritius in the future. “

www.samigration.com

Aug 28, 2020 - Uncategorized    No Comments

A return for international travel? Govt set for ‘talks’ to reopen SA’s borders

The Western Cape Government has revealed it’ll soon lodge a submission with their national counterparts, as they bid to put international travel â€` to and from South Africa â€` back on the radar for Level 2. With an eye on our borders, DA representatives are set for ‘engagements’ with the ruling party at some point next week.
“We Are Open”, Western Cape tells tourists
David Maynier is the Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities for the Western Cape. Alongside Premier Alan Winde, he is helping to launch the “We Are Open” campaign. The movement will officially roll out next week, in a bid to help the south-west return to something that resembles normal life…
• The Western Cape Government wants domestic residents to explore the tourism options within their province.
• They’re asking people to visit the great regions of the Western Cape â€` such as the Cape West Coast, Cape Overberg, Cape Town, Cape Winelands, Garden Route, and the Karoo â€` to support the tourism industry.
• The WC will spread their message via a mix of social content, digital display advertising, and local influencers.
• The campaign also includes the “Kids Stay Free” initiative, allowing families great discounts on travel options during Level 2.
International travel ‘could be on the table’ for Level 2
The domestic focus is strong, but Maynier isn’t stopping there. During a webinar on Thursday, the provincial minister revealed that his department will file a submission with the ANC next week, stating their case for bringing international travel back during Level 2. As it stands, South Africa’s borders are on a total shutdown, barring a few exceptions â€` and the Western Cape confirmed talks are planned to ease the restrictions:
“We are in the process of compiling a submission, which we will lodge next week, and we will then be engaging with the national government to open borders to provide for international travel.”
“We do not have any certainty about a proposed (opening) date at this stage, but will be engaging with national government on this issue. We all have a role to play in rebuilding our economy in the Western Cape.”
“We know times are tough, but if you can, please go out and support our businesses in the Western Cape, particularly those in the tourism and hospitality sector. Not only do we want to see the survival of business who have suffered but we want to find out how we can do things better in the Western Cape”
www.samigration.com

Investigation into R400-million EOH tender heats up

The Department of Home Affairs and the State Information Technology Agency (Sita) faced criticism from the parliamentary portfolio committee on Home Affairs in a meeting on Tuesday 25 August.

The committee was unanimously critical of the delay in concluding an investigation into missing “master files” for tender that involved migrating data on the Home Affairs National Identification System (HANIS) to a new Automated Biometric Information System (ABIS).

This tender was awarded by Sita to EOH in 2017 and was worth R409 million.

Speaking during the parliamentary committee meeting on Tuesday, Sita said that EOH had wanted to hand the contract over to a subcontractor, a request which the agency would not accept as it was irregular.

The committee also lambasted Sita for losing the tender’s master file, stating that it is concerning that the state’s custodian for technology could misplace a document this crucial to affirming the legitimacy of a contract.

It noted that the Department of Home Affairs only appointed an audit firm to investigate the EOH tender in May 2020, stating that this delay was unfortunate.

“We find the delay unfortunate in the context that the committee had made recommendations for the urgent conclusion of the matter,” committee chairperson Bongani Bongo said.

“The fact that the Department of Home Affairs has only in May 2020 appointed SAB&T audit firm to investigate the entire tender process is unsatisfactory in the context that it will delay the conclusion of the investigation and perpetuate irregular expenditure around the contract.”

Patience running thin

The committee noted that the loss of the master file by Sita has led to an erosion of its legitimacy, adding that it believes it has been accommodating to both Sita and the Department of Home Affairs and the assurances from both that the investigation should be concluded.

“We are in agreement that the matter must be dealt with urgently and those that are found to be in the wrong are brought to book,” Bongo said.

The committee added that while it welcomes the reform of control measures of its supply chain management, its “patience for the conclusion of this matter has lapsed”.

It has subsequently stated that the Department of Home Affairs, the Department of Communication and Digital Technologies, and Sita must give the committee clear progress in finalising the matter by the first week of October 2020.

“Furthermore, the committee has called for enhanced collaboration between the Department of Home Affairs and Department of Communications and Digital Technologies in finalising the investigation,” it said.

According to a report by EWN, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi told the committee that he would not let this issue go.

“We can’t let this matter slip through our fingers, we can’t let it go,” he said.

“I am as angry as members here because I am now being dragged in front of this committee to try and answer questions about the deeds of other people.”

The report noted that Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams was unable to attend the meeting.

www.samigration.com

Africa’s people are under cyber attack and why we need more cyber security awareness and training on the continent

Africa has become the new hunting ground for cyber criminals and fraudsters looking to exploit user vulnerabilities.

2019 KnowBe4 African Report found that Africa is increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks. The report highlighted how vulnerable users were when it came to recognising cyber threats and managing their risk profiles. In 2020, Accenture released a report entitled: ‘Insight into the Cyberthreat Landscape in South Africa’ that revealed there are around 577 attempted malware attacks every hour. Cyber crime has turned towards Africa and is putting its people and organisations at risk.

“With cyber crime shifting its attention towards emerging economies and with Africa’s Internet penetration about to double to one billion Internet users by 2022, the African continent has become an attractive target for cyber crime,” says Anna Collard, Managing Director of KnowBe4 Africa. “A lot of these users will be connecting for the first time and will have very little awareness of the risks.”

And the risks are extensive. The Accenture report pointed out that in 2019, many of the attacks were successful, particularly against well-known organisations and service utilities. This draws a picture of a worrying trend that can fundamentally affect the lives and livelihoods of people on the continent.

“Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the most financial transactions happening via mobile devices,” says Collard. “This is another reason why crime is paying attention. If users aren’t aware of the risks or don’t realise that their mobile devices put them at risk, then they are open to fraud and attack.”

ITWeb Security Summit 2020

Many people still think that mobile devices aren’t vulnerable to attack. They don’t realise that fake links, phishing e-mails, scams and malware are as easily perpetrated on a mobile device as they are on a PC. In fact, many cyber criminals use fake links and phishing messages to catch people who are unaware on WhatsApp or SMS. People are often more inclined to believe that a SMS or WhatsApp message is real and are lured into handing over important personal information using these channels.

“The problem is that many people can’t protect themselves because they don’t realise the extent of the threat or how to identify it,” says Collard. “They think they can – our survey found that around 55% of respondents believed they could identify a security threat and yet they gave away personal information or fell prey to scams. There is a desperate need for more education around cyber crime, how to identify it, and the methods that scammers use.”

The continent is lagging on security legislation and education, and is lacking security professionals who can support both business and government in refining their security postures and approaches.

“The high degree of digitisation, combined with the increase in mobile malware and sophistication of social engineering attacks, makes people more vulnerable than ever,” says Collard.

Training is essential in minimising risk. If people understand the processes and methods used by cyber criminals, they are more likely to identify them and to avoid making unnecessary mistakes.

“Training will help people to identify potential risks and be more alert before they commit to sharing information or clicking on images or links,” says Collard. “This can help Africa and its people push back against the rising tide of cyber crime and protect themselves and their personal information.

Table Mountain cableway to reopen

The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway will reopen to domestic tourists from September 1.

MD, Wahida Parker, said the cableway would operate between 08h00 and 15h00 daily.

“Our goal is to ensure that every visitor has a world-class experience when enjoying the heritage and beauty of Table Mountain. We have taken every step to ensure that the health and safety of our visitors and staff remain our top priority,” said Parker.

Health and safety measures include a limit of 26 people plus the cabin master in the cable cars to ensure social distancing, deep cleaning of the cabins every 24 hours and sanitising after every ride. Guests will be required to wear masks and cashless transactions will be encouraged

www.samigration.com

Virgin Atlantic will pay for medical treatment, quarantine, and funeral if you catch Covid-19

Virgin Atlantic announced that any travel booked directly through the airline between August 24, 2020, and March 31, 2021, will come with complimentary coronavirus insurance.

  • Virgin Atlantic will offer free Covid-19 insurance to all of its passengers who travel between 24 August 2020, and 31 March 2021.
  • The insurance covers medical expenses, quarantine costs, and repatriation if medically necessary.
  • It also covers the cost of repatriating your body and your funeral if you die from the virus.

In late July, Emirates announced that it would pay for travellers’ medical treatment, hotel quarantine, and even funeral if they catch Covid-19 while traveling.

Now, Virgin Atlantic is introducing a similar policy.

The airline announced on its website that passengers will get complimentary coronavirus insurance of up to £500,000 (R11 million) for travel between 24 August 2020 and 31 March 2021.

Passengers are eligible for the insurance on Virgin Atlantic flights during this window whether or not they’ve already booked, according to the airline, provided their travel is booked through Virgin Atlantic directly.

Working with insurance company Allianz Assistance, Virgin Atlantic’s website says that its Covid-19 coverage extends to all coronavirus-related costs, from medical expenses to mandatory quarantine. And, in a worst-case scenario, up to £5,000 (R110,000) of funeral expenses are covered.

According to Virgin Atlantic, the insurance will take effect “with no restrictions on age, travel class, or length of journey.” Once you land at your destination, you are free to use other modes of transportation and visit other destinations and still be covered, the airline’s website says, as long as your return flight is also booked through Virgin Atlantic.

For one-way trips, the airline says the insurance will last 12 hours after the arrival time of the traveler’s last flight. However, it’s worth noting that this does not apply to one-way flights that take off on 31 March and land on 1 April.

One other thing to note: The insurance covers all bookings made through Virgin Atlantic, even if flights are operated by partners such as Delta, Air France, and KLM. However, according to Virgin Atlantic’s website, “If you purchased your ticket from delta.com or any another airline’s website, even if they are a partner airline of Virgin Atlantic, you will not be covered, even if one or more flights of your journey is on a Virgin Atlantic aircraft.”

According to Virgin Atlantic’s website, the policy does not have any exclusions for those with pre-existing medical conditions.

With coverage of up to R11 million, the policy has a higher cap than that of Emirates, which says it covers up to around R3 million through 31 October 2020.

You can find out more about Virgin Atlantic’s complimentary coronavirus insurance on the airline’s website.

Representatives for Virgin Atlantic did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

www.samigration.com

Credit bureau data disaster: Here’s what your bank says you should do

  • The personal details of 24 million South Africans have been leaked to an alleged fraudster.
  • In theory, criminals could use these details to attempt to gain access to various accounts.
  • South African banks are now starting to contact affect customers.
  • They’re advising customers to change passwords – and not only banking ones.

The personal details of some 24 million South Africans, and nearly 800,000 businesses, have allegedly been stolen by a suspected fraudster, in one of the South Africa’s largest ever data breaches.

Your bank accounts are not at risk, say banks – but criminals could theoretically use these details to attempt to impersonate you, or trick you into giving them confidential information.

Standard Bank has also suggested you change your online banking password to be safe, as well as your social media passwords. (There is no reason to believe social media accounts can be compromised, but that is good housekeeping anyway, the bank says.)

The information was allegedly stolen from the credit bureau Experian, which collects credit information about consumers from banks, retailers, and other parties. According to Experian, the information was handed over to the fraudster after that individual posed as a legitimate client.

By law, banks are required to share your data with credit bureaus. That means that even if you haven’t interacted with Experian, your personal details and financial history may have been compromised. If so, you may be vulnerable to being impersonated.

If you think your identity has been compromised, then the number one thing you should do, according to the South African Banking Risk Centre (Sabric), is apply for a free registration at the Southern African Fraud Prevention Service (SAFPS).

According to Sabric, “This service alerts SAFPS members, which includes banks and credit providers, that your identity has been compromised and that additional care needs to be taken to confirm that they are transacting with the legitimate identity holder.”

You can apply here, or contact SAFPS at protection@safps.org.za

In addition, a number of banks have used statements advising customers on what steps to take to ensure you’re not compromised.

Here’s what your bank says you should do.

Standard Bank

Standard Bank says some of its customer data was affected by the breach. “The information that has been compromised includes ID number, residential and physical addresses and contact details,” it says.

The Bank says you should take the following steps:

  • Change banking passwords on our digital banking platforms and social media passwords.
  • Register for DigiMe on the Standard Bank App Register for MyUpdates (free Standard bank SMS service) to be notified of all transactions over R100 on your accounts.
  • Contact the bank or your relationship manager immediately if you suspect your bank accounts or cards have been compromised.
  • Do not share your personal details, banking details or one-time pin with anyone.Register with SAFPS for protective registration – if anyone tries to apply for banking products with your ID, it will be declined or referred for further review.

Absa

Absa says it has also been affected and is contacting affected customers.

The banks says to contact them immediately on their Fraud Hotline (0860 557 557) should you notice any suspicious behaviour or if in doubt.

Criminals are likely to approach you via email, phone, or text message and present themselves as members of a reputable organisation

“They will attempt to deceive unsuspecting consumers into disclosing their ‘keys to the safe’ (online PIN, online passwords, card PIN, card CVV number, OTP, and/or authentication messages – RVN/TVN/SureCheck).”

“Never share these details with anyone and report suspicious behaviour immediately,” says the bank.

Capitec

The bank says they’re aware of the breach and are working closely with authorities to ensure their customers are protected.

“While the information cannot be used to access your banking profile, fraudsters may attempt to use it for phishing, where they contact you posing as your bank or other institution in an attempt to trick you into sharing further personal information,” says the bank. “Your bank will never contact you to request information such as your banking pin or account number.”

Capitec also suggests applying for a free registration at the Southern African Fraud Prevention Service (SAFPS), if you suspect your identity has been compromised.

First National Bank

FNB says it’s also reaching out to customers who may have been affected.

“We are working with The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric), The Banking Association of South Africa (BASA), law enforcement and regulatory authorities to mitigate any potential risks on our customers as a result of the incident.”

It gives the following advice:

  • It is vitally important that you never give your Online Banking username and/or password to anyone.
  • Never give your One Time PIN (OTP) to anyone.
  • Never click on links in emails claiming to be from FNB.
  • Never save your passwords to your browsers.

Nedbank

Nedbank says it’s been made aware of the breach and that “the information shared includes names, ID numbers, telephone numbers, physical and/or email addresses.”

“Your bank accounts are not at risk,” says Nedbank. But criminals can use this information to impersonate you, or scam you into giving them access to your accounts.

Nedbank urged its customers to take the following steps:

  • Never share your passwords or PIN with anyone.
  • Never disclose your personal information to anyone who calls you, emails you, or SMSs you.
  • Remember Nedbank will never contact you asking for this information.
  • Contact Nedbank immediately should you suspect unauthorised use of your personal information.

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