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  • 15 Jul 2021 10:42 AM | Anonymous

    The primary focus National Development Plan (NDP) of South is to eliminate income poverty and inequality, as well as to increase employment.

    The NDP accordingly calls for the annual entry of 30 000 qualified artisans into the industry. The plumbing industry is however characterised by far more informal activity than formal, with the number of formal enterprises declining every year and the number of informal operators increasing.

    It is estimated that there are more than 125 000 self-identified plumbers in South Africa. In this dataset that is produced by Statistics South Africa, 10 359 employed one or more people and 12 860 are own-account workers.

    An analysis by race of the owners shows that there are increasing numbers of formal black, Indian and coloured plumbers. Most plumbing business, whether formal or informal, are dominated by men. Female business owners are most likely to be operating in the informal sector.

    Click here to download the formal report


  • 13 Jul 2021 12:25 PM | Anonymous

    It is with great sadness that we, at IOPSA, have observed the outbreaks of social unrest, rioting and looting over the past few days. These actions have seriously affected the ability of plumbers and plumbing suppliers in KZN and Gauteng to provide services to their communities. Plumbing is an essential service and these actions mean that not only are many plumbers unable to earn a living but communities are being left without water and adequate sanitation – a serious health concern. In a water scarce country, we can ill afford to lose vital water to leaks which are now going unrepaired. Material supplies are also being severely constrained and if the situation continues this will lead to further delays in the future.

    We condemn the wanton destruction of property and the threat posed to innocent civilians by riotous mobs, in the strongest possible terms. Several plumbing suppliers’ stores have been looted and at least 1 plumbers’ vehicle was torched. In these difficult times these illegal actions could very well lead to further job losses.

    The National government has commissioned the South African Police Services and the South African National Defence Force to calm the situation, to urgently quell the unrest, and to return law and order to our affected cities, towns, and communities.

    Our immediate focus is on ensuring the safety of all those in the plumbing industry, while working with law enforcement agencies to ensure that everything is being done to restore calm and order in the affected areas. It must be noted that service delivery continues without disruption in most other areas of the country.

    We appreciate the anxiety and stress that this causes, and the extreme disruption to clients. We implore all those working in the industry to take extra precautions in protecting themselves and their staff and call on the affected communities for calm. Whatever the grievances, violence and criminality are not the answer.

    To all IOPSA members, the plumbing community, and the public, please remain calm and allow law enforcement to do their work. Look after yourselves and your families, we will get through this!


  • 07 Jul 2021 11:44 AM | Anonymous

    NOTICE TO UPDATE THE IOPSA CONSTITUTION

     

    In keeping with our transformation policy IOPSA have done an exercise to update our constitution to remove all gender specific wording. 

    Please view the proposed changes here

    Should you have any concerns in regards to these changes or would like to object to any of them please contact us directly on marketing@iopsa.org


  • 05 Jul 2021 3:38 PM | Anonymous

    05 July 2021

    REPORT: COVID-19 IMPACT ON IOPSA MEMBERSHIP.

    COVID-19 arrived in South Africa in March 2020 to devastating effect. We are currently experiencing the 3rd wave which is once again impacting the country severely. SA has been in various stages of lockdown for nearly 16 months now and the impact on businesses has been severe. The plumbing industry has not been immune, but the impacts have been mixed. Plumbing businesses which operate in the construction/new build industry were extremely hard hit by hard lockdown, since then there has been a slow but steady recovery, it will take some time before these businesses get back to pre-COVID levels, but there is movement. Plumbers who focused mainly on commercial and industrial maintenance have arguably faired the worst, business closures, work-from-home and lockdowns have seen their business dwindle. It remains to be seen what the long-term impacts will be but for now these businesses are struggling to survive. Conversely plumbing businesses which focus on domestic maintenance and renovations have been doing quite well, this is largely due to two factors, firstly more people are working from home and wanting to renovate or upgrade their homes, secondly with more people at home for longer periods, plumbing equipment tends to get used more often which leads to higher maintenance. Essentially a lot of the commercial/industrial maintenance market has shifted to the domestic market due to people working from home.

    On average IOPSA membership has grown by around 10% per year for the past 7 years, however over the last 3 years membership has grown by 12-14%. This year looks set to be even better. This is not necessarily an indicator of market growth but more, we believe, due to renewed confidence in the services that IOPSA offers its members. Whilst cancellations have been relatively low, around 5% for the years leading up to 2020, we have seen an increase to around 7% since March 2020. Since March 2020, IOPSA has been carefully monitoring the reasons for cancellations of memberships to gauge the impact of COVID-19 on the industry. The below graph illustrates the reasons given by members for cancellations from March 2020 to June 2021.


    COVID                           Financial difficulties due to COVID-19    

    Closed                           Business closure – no reason given.

    Unpaid                         unpaid fees – no reasons given.

    Unwanted                   No longer want to be IOPSA members.

    Restructure                Cancellation due to business restructure/no longer do plumbing work.

    Liquidation                 Business currently in liquidation

    Emigrate                      Business owner emigrated.

    Retire                            Business owner retired.

    Sold                               Business sold

    PIRB                               1 member cancelled due to IOPSA’s association with PIRB.

    Deceased                     Business owner deceased.


    Prior to 2019 IOPSA did not capture data on reasons for cancellations therefore accurate comparisons against previous years is difficult. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that in the period 2017-2019 the main reasons for cancellations were;

    • 1.      Unpaid fees
    • 2.      Emigration
    • 3.      No longer want to be members.
    • 4.      Business closure
    • 5.      Retirement

    A full quarter of cancellations were directly attributable to financial difficulties experienced due to COVID-19, many of these members have indicated that they would like to continue as IOPSA members if their financial position improves. It is also reasonable to assume that many of the businesses that closed without providing reasons or went into liquidation may very well have been due to the effects of COVID-19. IOPSA staff have also reported that several older members decided to bring their retirement dates forward due to the health risks posed by COVID-19. Of interest, is the reduction in emigrations. South African plumbers are still in demand internationally but due to travel restrictions emigration has been difficult. From these statistics there is little doubt that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on plumbing businesses. The extent to which it has and is affecting current members will be assessed in the annual industry survey in August 2021.  

    The below graph indicates cancellations by region. The graph closely tracks IOPSA’s membership per region, with one exception. The Western Cape makes up roughly 13% of IOPSA’s total membership, however this region only accounted for 7% of cancellations since March 2020. This was arguably the most surprising finding from the report since IOPSA has faced some stiff opposition in the province. We are not sure if the reason for this anomaly is due to plumbers in the Western Cape weathering the COVID-19 storm better than other provinces or for some other reason, but it makes for an interesting anomaly. We are currently trying to source other data sets to compare this to and hope to find more answers during the upcoming annual industry survey.


    As the 3rd wave reaches its peak we are once again receiving more reports from members who are finding trading conditions increasingly challenging especially in the new build and commercial/industrial maintenance markets. Many of these businesses are now pivoting into domestic maintenance, the effects of this change are yet to be seen but it will likely create stiff competition for those already in the domestic market. Whilst plumbing, being an essential service, is certainly more resilient than many other sectors, the impacts are definitely being felt. There is a distinct lack of larger construction projects and government tenders, releasing projects that are currently on hold would go a long way in stimulating the sector and creating much needed employment opportunities.

    IOPSA would like to remind its members and everyone in the plumbing industry to wear masks at all times, regularly wash or sanitise hands and practice social distancing. We encourage everyone who is eligible to receive the vaccine to do so as soon as possible. Together we can overcome this pandemic.

    Should you have any queries on this or any other matters, please do not hesitate to contact us on 011 454 0025.


  • 05 Jul 2021 12:10 PM | Anonymous

    SKILLING INNOVATIONS FOR TRADE OCCUPATIONS

    July 2021 - Plumbing sector leads a new approach to apprenticeships, increasing youth employment and enhancing the sector

    When a sector organises itself into an engine of inclusive growth, it can focus on the mutual interests of all stakeholders, including industry bodies, employers and educators. Working together enables them to identify sector needs, create jobs, and fill those jobs with young people who would otherwise be locked out of the economy. Setting these young people up for success with transformative training enables them to play a vital role in enhancing the sector and the economy. 

    Brendan Reynolds, Executive Director of IOPSA (Institute of Plumbing South Africa), says the realisation that construction and plumbing companies had stopped taking on apprentices was a wake-up call. 

    “Plumbing offers great opportunities. It features on the 2020 National List of Occupations in High Demand and is part of the government’s target to have 30,000 trained artisans in place annually to fulfil strategic infrastructure projects and Covid recovery plans,” he says. “If we can change employers’ perceptions of apprentices, we will see significant growth in apprenticeships and new employment opportunities to meet the government’s target.”

    According to Reynolds, many young people arbitrarily choose trade jobs because they offer a faster route to earning a stipend. However, if a young person is not suited to the work, they will not succeed regardless of how desperate they are to make a living.

    “A poor match between a young person and their chosen vocation is one of the reasons that our TVET colleges show low pass rates and aren’t producing the candidates our industry wants.” 

    Through collaboration and an enabling partnership between Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator and IOPSA, the plumbing sector has identified its challenges in appropriately sourcing and skilling young people as artisans, ready to tackle their apprenticeships with willing and supportive employers. In response, it has now introduced two game-changing education models for plumbing.

    BluLever Education - an apprenticeship that takes itself seriously

    BluLever Education, an organisation that develops artisans through holistic vocational education and skills training, offers a Red Seal plumbing qualification after a 3-year practical apprenticeship. 

    BluLever has designed a unique approach to apprenticeships that feature three months on campus and nine months of job shadowing and on-the-job training in the workplace every year. However, it starts with an intense 8-week induction leadership camp that equips candidates with the attitudes they need to succeed. 

    Harambee sources candidates for the programme through the sayouth.mobi platform, based on the attitudes and aptitudes most valued in successful plumbers. They are interviewed in one-on-one sessions with the BluLever team and attend a class-based session where problem-solving, teachability and hand skills are assessed before they are invited to the leadership camp.

    Adam Collier, Co-Founder and Co-CEO at BluLever, says that they want candidates who will succeed as apprentices. “We want young people who are passionate about their work, interested in it, and willing to put three years into it.” Of the 509 applications received by Harambee, 47 youth were offered to join the programme, 45 signed acceptance letters, and 42 attended the leadership camp to begin their plumbing training.

    Collier, who is recognised as one of Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans in 2021 for his response to the new and unique challenges of the past year, says the BluLever apprenticeship takes itself seriously. Combining the focus on candidates’ personal qualities while enhancing their life skills through work-readiness training, technology skills, entrepreneurial thinking, and understanding the ever-essential ‘soft skills’, makes all the difference to the candidates’ future success. 

    BluLever attributes much of the success of its programme to the support of Harambee and IOPSA, particularly the relationships IOPSA develops with willing employers in the sector. Success depends on all stakeholders' involvement, and BluLever has formed good relationships with over 80 companies at which trainees will be apprenticed. These range from small plumbing businesses to larger construction and maintenance companies. They have a vested interest in their apprentices because they contractually commit to them for the full three years, which includes paying their stipends for that period. 

    The ultimate goal is for the partnership to share programme learnings and successes with TVET colleges, with scale in mind, to develop more young people employers want to hire.

    National Business Initiative introduces a new qualification

    In 2019, IOPSA led a process to register the Plumbing Hand skills programme, which has created a new entry-level pathway for young people into the plumbing industry. The entry-level qualification offers a short, high-impact route to employment. It comprises 13 weeks in the classroom hosted by select TVET colleges identified by the National Business Initiative (NBI) in partnership with IOPSA. Harambee is responsible for recruiting, selecting, and matching trainees based on their likelihood of success, taking their attributes and interests into account. The host employer makes the final selection in many cases. Their plumbing hand works under the supervision of a qualified plumber to learn a vital role in offices, hotels, or any building with plumbing where small things often go wrong, like leaking toilets or dripping taps.

    Alongside an intensive focus on plumbing skills, the curriculum includes an effective work readiness programme developed by Harambee, providing a range of modules such as behaviours and socialisation for work. In addition, the Allan Gray Makers programme introduces the opportunities and possibilities for business ownership and entrepreneurship. 

    This is followed by 6-9 months of structured workplace learning in a company under the supervision of a qualified, experienced plumber who acts as a mentor for the candidates, providing them with regular ongoing support and check-ins.

    This much-needed intervention supplies the industry with the skills it needs while pathwaying young people into work as quickly as possible, especially those who don’t have the funding to study for three years on a stipend. It also increases their chances of progressing to a Red Seal plumbing qualification as they achieve an accredited qualification that places them on the road to apprenticeship, and they can work while studying. 

    “The Plumbing Hand programme provides a basis to shift the mindset of TVET colleges towards more employment-oriented programmes,” says Anthony Gewer, a programme manager at NBI. “The programme addresses the gap between theory and workplace application, laying the foundation for meaningful career pathways.”

    To date, 66 TVET college students have enrolled in the plumbing programme, with 32 successfully completing it in 2020 and the remaining due to finish in November 2021. The current 86% pass rate shows a significant increase to what TVET programmes have previously achieved. The first cohort of Plumbing Hand graduates have been registered with the Plumbing Industry Registration Board (PIRB) as Technical Operator Practitioners and are now on their way to becoming qualified plumbers.

    Not just a man’s job

    A Gender Equity and Social Inclusion (GESI) strategy has been developed to assist and enable an element of IOPSA’s transformation strategy for the plumbing sector. The plan provides a framework to identify where and how additional support can be provided to individuals and employers to create an environment conducive to the participation of diverse groups, particularly women, who have previously struggled to access the sector.

    Areas where the GESI work has made strides include a review of the plumbing curriculum with gender equity and social inclusion lens, enabling greater access to plumbing training and work opportunities, channels to support candidates and employers, and the development of social inclusion workshops to generate awareness on equity and social inclusion. A simple, yet very significant example of this is the awareness of the need for women's bathrooms and changing areas in the workplace, which has not always been available until now, therefore creating a feeling of exclusion for women on plumbing teams.

    Both programmes have a particular focus on gender inclusion. Neither BluLever nor NBI battle to attract women to a career in plumbing, with female participation in both programmes being well over 50%.

    Kaela Wilson, marketing director for Women in Plumbing, an organisation that advocates plumbing as a viable career for females, says some gender-specific traits give women an added advantage in the job.

    “Women have an eye for detail and patience for challenging situations,” she says. “They are also less threatening when coming into your private property or business, and women are better at communicating with the customer in an understandable and comfortable manner.”

    Feedback from trainers and employers on the current female candidates is that they perform at the same, or better, levels than their male colleagues.  

    In their own words

    Mothusi, BluLever apprentice: “The person I was before the boot camp is very much different from the person that I am right now. Now I am able to confidently interact with people, I’m able to confidently voice my concerns and stand my ground.”

    Zanele, BluLever apprentice: "What attracted me is that there are not so many women that are doing plumbing. We all had the stigma of saying that it's a man's job. So I want to be that role model that tells other women that you can do it. I want to go into water and sanitation because water is a scarce resource in South Africa."

    Lulama, BluLever apprentice: "I believe that women have the drive and they have that energy and that motivation to keep on learning new things and to keep on upskilling themselves because we want to climb the ladder. Eventually, I want to upskill myself to be a master plumber."

    IOPSA research conducted two years ago found that of the 125,000 people who identified themselves as plumbers, fewer than 20,000 were actually qualified. The earning potential for unqualified or informal plumbers is lower (roughly 50% less) than their qualified counterparts. Their work is also less secure and offers fewer opportunities for career advancement. The result of this is a significant bottleneck that constrains inclusive industry growth. This new industry-wide approach to plumber training not only gives young people a pathway into vocational work but will also bolster the number of qualified plumbers in South Africa, who will not only earn more and advance further but can start their own businesses, which unlocks employment opportunities for entry-level youth, catalyses employment and has a multiplier effect on the increase in earnings for plumbers and growth for the sector.


  • 02 Jul 2021 3:55 PM | Anonymous

    As you will clearly see IOPSA has been remarkably busy in the industry. We are extremely grateful to all our members, staff, stakeholders, funders and supporters for their assistance in achieving these goals, we could not do it without them. We acknowledge that there is much more that needs to be done and we will continue our best efforts to improve the industry and to make the trade of plumbing great again.

    Herewith a list of our activities;

    OHS

    • Free weekly health & safety webinars open to everyone in the industry. (CPD accredited)
    • Free COVID safety training for the workplace to anyone in the industry. (CPD accredited)
    • Nearly 100 IOPSA members received free first aid training. (CPD accredited)
    • Around 60 IOPSA members received free fire fighting training. (CPD accredited)
    • 500 masks given to IOPSA members at no charge.
    • Free health & safety files available to all members
    • Free basic health & safety advice for members.
    • IOPSA developed a COVID workplace safety plan which is freely available.

    Technical Schools. (all at no charge)

    • Technical support
    • Guest lecturing
    • Career days
    • Donated text books and literature to 9 schools
    • Promotion of the trade of plumbing
    • Assisted with donations of materials needed for practical tasks.
    • Currently working with funding partners to identify gaps and challenges which could be solved.

    TVET Colleges.

    • Nearly 400 young unemployed people placed in fully funded apprenticeship programs.
    • Around 150 of these are women.
    • This translates to over R30 million in value for participating IOPSA members over 3 years.
    • 120 unqualified but experienced plumbers placed in fully funded ARPL programs.
    • Established a training forum for colleges and educators to discuss plumbing related matters.
    • Guest lecturing, especially on standards.
    • Promoting the trade of plumbing
    • Assistance in the design and set up of centres of specialisation for plumbing training.
    • Inspections and quality assurance.
    • Development of various plumbing curricula and trade tests.
    • Free mentorship programs

    Industry.

    • Free weekly technical webinars open to anyone. (CPD accredited)
    • Free weekly business webinars open to anyone. (CPD accredited)
    • Free training for Building Control Officers
    • Free training for insurance claims staff, managing agents and architects.
    • Free on-site training given to over 100 IOPSA members.
    • Free to register e-learning platform.
    • Free Youtube channel with a huge amount of informative content. (CPD accredited)
    • Free technical advice
    • Resolved around 120 consumer complaints.
    • Mediation in disputes between IOPSA members and on warranty claims.
    • Mediation in disputes between IOPSA members and their clients.
    • Plumbing audits.
    • Plumbing inspections for home and property owners.
    • Promoting professionalism in the industry.
    • Promoting the use of Qualified Plumbers and informing consumers of the risk of using unqualified “plumbers”
    • Supporting Proudly South African and the Buy Local campaign.
    • Numerous research papers on the industry.
    • Providing information on new products, methods and changes to legislation.
    • Free plumbers’ meetings. (CPD accredited)
    • Established an insurance forum to discuss matters related to plumbing.
    • Established a building control forum to discuss matters related to plumbing.
    • Representation to various government, municipal and private sector bodies, and forums.
    • Participation in development/review of virtually all plumbing standards and regulations.
    • Currently assisting several municipalities in drafting and implementing water by-laws.
    • Participation in various meetings, conferences and workshops related to the construction and plumbing industries.

    COVID-19 Response.

    • Free webinars on COVID-19 to anyone in the industry. (CPD accredited)
    • Free COVID safety training for the workplace to anyone in the industry. (CPD accredited)
    • 500 masks given to IOPSA members at no charge.
    • IOPSA developed a COVID workplace safety plan which is freely available.
    • Assistance in getting permits during hard lockdown.
    • Assistance in claiming UIF TERS funding.
    • Assistance in sourcing PPE and sanitisers during hard lockdown.
    • Established the Plumbers Support Fund to assist plumbers in need during hard lockdown.
    • Provided legal support to those members who fell foul of law enforcement during hard lockdown.
    • Free mental health webinars during hard lockdown. (CPD accredited)
    • Free COVID-19 prevention posters to anyone in the industry.
    • Provided regular updates, analysis and guidance on COVID regulations.
    • Virtual meeting platform for plumbers’ meetings.
    • Payment holiday for member who were struggling to pay fees.

    Transformation.

    • Established an industry transformation committee.
    • Created an IOPSA Transformation policy.
    • Instituted regular free township plumbers’ meetings, COVID dependant. (CPD accredited)
    • Employed 7 unemployed black staff members, 6 female, 1 male.
    • Instituted a requirement for BBBEE certificates for members.
    • Instituted a preferential employment and procurement policy.
    • Currently undergoing a BBBEE rating exercise for IOPSA.
    • Grew black representation on committees from 11 to 22. Female from 0 to 7.
    • Grew black representation on the NEC from 0 to 3. Female from 1 to 3.
    • The Office Bearers of IOPSA are now 1 Black male, 1 coloured female and 1 white male.
    • Free BBBEE training videos uploaded to our Youtube channel.
    • Free gender equity and social inclusion workshops. (CPD accredited)
    • Assisted in the establishment of South African Women in Plumbing (SAWIP).
    • Signed the SAWIP pledge against sexual harassment in the workplace.
    • Undertook a review of all IOPSA documentation, the plumbing curricula, and the National Building Regulations for any racial or gender bias.
    • Took disciplinary action against members who transgressed the Transformation Policy.
    • Assisted in creating nearly 400 job opportunities for young unemployed mainly black people. Around 150 are women.

    Community. (All free of charge, CPD points were allocated to participants)

    • Installation, repairs and maintenance of the following;

    o An old age home in KZN

    o A police station in KZN

    o A childrens’ home in Western Cape

    o A school in Southern Cape

    o Numerous public toilets in informal settlements in Gauteng

    o A care centre in Gauteng

    o A community centre in Gauteng

    o An old age home in Free State

    o A frail care in North West

    o Sanitation services at an informal settlement in Eastern Cape.

    • Community clean ups

    o 2 parks in Gauteng

    o City clean up in Free State

    o A river in Western Cape

    o A Beach in KZN

    • Donations of various plumbing materials, text books, literature, COVID paraphernalia etc to colleges and schools.

    Commercial. (for members only)

    • Discounts from Health & Safety consultant
    • Discounts on legal services
    • Discounts on material purchases
    • Discounts on tyres, shocks and exhaust purchases.
    • Discounts on motor vehicles
    • Discounts on LPG Gas installers training
    • Discounts on waterproofing training
    • Free listing on “Find a Plumber” which gets around 200 enquiries per day.

    (this is over and above those member benefits listed above)



  • 31 May 2021 11:25 AM | Anonymous

    Persistent and increasingly high levels of youth unemployment in South

    Africa present one of the greatest obstacles to achieving equitable and

    inclusive economic growth. Many young people today find it impossible to

    successfully transition to the labour market, thus joining a growing proportion of people in our society who remain marginalised, and trapped in a negative cycle of exclusion from economic participation.

    One major obstacle to successful transition is the profound disconnect between the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) system and the workplace.

    While significant numbers of school leavers enter the TVET sector every year, there are few pathways from the system into workplaces. In fact, the TVET system does not necessarily increase employment prospects, which further contributes to sustained youth marginalisation.

    The Green Skills TVET programme, implemented by the National Business Initiative (NBI) together with a range of partners, seeks to intervene at the interface between the supply and demand for skills. This approach unlocks opportunities for dual training (integrated institutional and workplace training) and employment in the industrial economy, while addressing the disconnect between TVET provision and skills demands in the workplace. The programme forms part of the broader Installation, Repair and Maintenance (IRM) Initiative.1

    Click here to download the full report

  • 15 Apr 2021 1:49 PM | Anonymous

    DO MUNICIPALITIES HAVE THE CAPACITY TO ADEQUATELY CONTROL PLUMBING WORK CONDUCTED IN THEIR AREAS.

    Background

    The Institute of Plumbing South Africa (IOPSA) is a NPO which represents the interests of approximately 1000 companies active in the plumbing industry in South Africa. Around 80% of our members are plumbing companies and 75% of those are SMME’s.

    In 2018 IOPSA recognised that there was a lack of research in the industry and as such we embarked upon an ongoing research program to gain better insights into the industry. In the research to date there has emerged a common theme; the plumbing industry is under threat from non-compliance to legal requirements.

    Download the full report here

  • 08 Apr 2021 10:20 AM | Anonymous

    The following is an article by Yolandi Esterhuizen, who is responsible for the interpretation and implementation of tax and labour law requirements for Sage HR & Payroll’s products in South Africa and Africa. It is not directly aimed at plumbers, but any small business.

    “Developing a product or service that people need, want, and are willing to pay for takes skill, hard work, and of course, some luck. And in your first year of business, working on what you sell can be all-consuming. But there are other areas of your business that, if left unattended, can derail your hard work – tax compliance is among the most important.

    By understanding your business’s tax responsibilities and putting the right systems in place to meet those requirements, you’ll avoid costly mistakes and frustration and, most crucially, improve your chances of running a successful business.

    We’ve put together a guide to help you navigate the tax during your first year in business.

    To register or not?

    The type of business structure you choose will impact how you pay tax. The simplest is to run your business as a sole proprietorship, which comes with the following tax-related benefits:

    Less paperwork – you are not required to legally register your business because a sole proprietorship is not a legal entity, i.e., there’s no separation between the business and the owner/proprietor. However, you will still be required to register with SARS, as an individual, for the relevant taxes.

    Easier tax returns – your business’s taxable income is simply included in your personal tax return, though you will be required to make provisional tax payments (more on this in the next section).

    Lower effective tax rate – the profits your business makes will be taxed at your individual marginal tax rate, whereas profits in a registered company are subject to corporate income tax (CIT) of 28% (27% from next year). Below a certain revenue threshold, you’ll pay less tax as a sole proprietor.

    Of course, there are some good reasons to register your company: it adds an element of credibility to your business; it allows your business to access funding and creates a separate legal entity that protects your personal assets from creditors.

    If you decide to register your business, the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) has an easy-to-follow online registration process. Once registered, SARS will automatically generate an Income Tax number for your business that you’ll use as a reference when submitting your tax returns and payments.

    Welcome to provisional tax

    So that you aren’t lumped with one large tax bill every year, businesses are required to pay their annual income tax in three separate instalments, known as provisional tax, as per the below schedule:

    First: six months from the start of your financial year

    Second: at your financial year end

    Third: six months after your financial year end

    The first two payments are based on estimated taxable income because you are required to submit before the end of each period so you can’t know the exact amount. The third payment exists in case you underestimated your income and, as a result, paid too little tax.

    Similarly, if you overestimated your income, the third submission may lead to a tax refund. The form that substantiates your calculations for each period – detailing your income and deductible expenditure – is called an IRP6. You will need to submit three of these forms in every tax year.

    Within 12 months of your financial year end, you are also required to submit an ITR12 (if you’re running your business as a sole proprietor) or an ITR14 (if you’ve registered your business). In this form, you are required to declare your total income and deductible expenses for your financial year so that SARS can calculate whether you’ve paid the correct amount of tax, or if an additional payment or refund is due.

    Deductible expenses

    In calculating your taxable income for your provisional payments, you are permitted to deduct certain business-related expenses from your turnover. Here are some examples of the expenses you may be allowed to deduct from your revenue to reduce your taxable income and, by extension, the taxes you pay:

    • ·       Day-to-day business expenses (rent, salaries, equipment, office supplies, etc.)
    • ·       Capital expenses (business vehicles, renovations, hardware, etc.)
    • ·       Entertainment expenses
    • ·       Business start-up expenses
    • ·       Education expenses
    • ·       Losses accrued in previous periods

    If you run your business from home, you’ll be able to deduct a portion of certain expenses when calculating your taxable income.

    What you’re permitted to deduct is often nuanced so involving a tax practitioner to remain compliant is advisable.

    What’s the deal with VAT?

    You are only required to register for VAT once your business generates or is expected to generate taxable supplies in excess of R1 million over any rolling 12-month period. Once that threshold is crossed, you have 21 days to submit your VAT registration either via eFiling or by completing a VAT101 registration form and handing it in at a SARS branch. If your business has made more than R50,000 in the last 12 months but remains under the R1 million threshold, you may still register for VAT voluntarily – in some cases this makes sense.

    Once you’re a registered VAT vendor, you’ll need to add 15% to invoices you send to your customers, making sure to collect (and not spend) those monies. Then, you are required to submit a VAT 201 form, accompanied by a payment to SARS for the VAT you’ve charged and collected on behalf of the government.

    As a VAT vendor, you are entitled to offset the amount of VAT you owe to SARS (known as output tax) against your business-related expenses on which you were required to pay VAT (known as input tax). If the latter is in excess of the former, SARS will need to refund you the difference within 21 days of you submitting your VAT return.

    The frequency of your VAT submissions and payments depends on the ‘taxable period’ your business qualifies for. As a general rule, businesses with less than R30 million in annual turnover will be required to submit every second month, while businesses with revenue above that threshold must submit monthly.

    Manual VAT payments – via post and SARS branches – must be made no later than the 25th of each month, while electronic VAT payments can be made on the last day of the month.

    How to handle PAYE, SDL, and UIF

    You may need to hire people in your new business. As soon as you employ someone, you become responsible for certain deductions from that employee’s remuneration and/or contributions, which are subsequently paid to SARS.

    These include:

    • ·       PAYE (pay-as-you-earn): This is the personal income tax, owed to the government by the employee on their remuneration, that you as their employer must withhold and then pay over to SARS. You have 21 days from hiring your first employee to register for PAYE, unless their level of income exempts them from paying taxes.
    • ·       UIF (Unemployment Insurance Fund): An amount equal to 2% of your employee’s remuneration must be paid to SARS on a monthly basis. 1% is deducted from the portion of your employee’s remuneration that is subject to UIF, while the other 1% is contributed by your business. You are required to register for and pay UIF if you are registered at SARS for PAYE. You can register directly at the UIF if you are not required to register for PAYE, and make direct payments to them.
    • ·       SDL (Skills Development Levy): If your total employee remuneration is expected to exceed R500,000 over the next 12 months, your business will need to register and pay the SDL. An amount equal to 1% of your employee’s remuneration, subject to SDL, must be contributed by you as the employer. This levy is paid to SARS which is then allocated to a SETA (sector education and training authority) for learning and development initiatives within South Africa. As the employer, you can claim back some of your SDL contributions by submitting your Annual Training Report (ATR) and Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) to the SETA you are registered with before the end of April each year.

    These provisions, and the payment thereof, are handled in a single form. An EMP201 must be submitted on a monthly basis, no later than the 7th day of the following month, or the Friday before that day if the 7th falls on a weekend or public holiday declaring the total amounts due for PAYE, UIF, and SDL. A payment to SARS for that amount must be made within the same timeframe.

    In addition, you’ll be required to submit an EMP501 twice a year. This form essentially reconciles the EMP201’s you’ve already submitted with the payments you’ve made, and the employee tax certificates (known as IRP5’s, the document your employees need for their own tax submissions) you’ve generated. Here’s a SARS guide to accessing the new features for Monthly Employer Declaration (EMP201) on eFiling.

    Registering for PAYE, SDL, and UIF can be done simultaneously on the eFiling website.

    One step at a time

    We know this looks daunting. But registrations are once-off events, and many of the submissions discussed above can be simplified with the right software. Take small steps. Breathe. Check things off your to-do-list. You will get there.

    If you need help, speak to a registered tax practitioner and/or a payroll specialist. There are many cost-effective, time-saving solutions that will give you the comfort of tax compliance, and the energy and motivation to tackle your next business challenge.”

    WRITTEN BY Eamonn Ryan

  • 09 Mar 2021 10:12 AM | Anonymous

    Unqualified people doing plumbing work may come cheap and one will end up paying more in the long run. If you have money to throw away carry on!

    But an unqualified person installing a geyser is irresponsible on the part of the homeowner as this can be a potential bomb. As the homeowner the law is clear, any installation done in ones home is the homeowner’s responsibility. Sure, one cannot do the installation but you must ensure, and this includes insurance company plumbers, that the installer is qualified. Qualified, being he/she has completed an apprenticeship/learnership and passed a trade test.

    Confirmation of this can be done on the PIRB.CO.ZA website. No one may install a geyser if they are not registered with the Plumbing Industry Registration Board (PIRB). They will supply a certificate of compliance (CoC) to you or to the insurer. Best you have a copy as well as the insurance company. A certificate from the local authority is a certificate of completion between plumber and municipality, not compliance as provided by PIRB which is between plumber and homeowner.

    Here is an example of a recent installation and the comments from the manufacturer. NB it is the installation that is the problem not the geyser!

    Gives an idea of  how one can be placing the lives of one’s family at risk, never mind the fact that the insurer will not pay out.

    Here are the comments from a manufacturer:

    “Yes, I would not sleep in that house with that installation. It is potentially a bomb.

    The following is very dangerous:

    1. The safety valve that is in the top of this geyser should be plumbed out with a 22mm metallic pipe directly to the outside of the building with no obstruction. SANS 10254 allows for 2 x 45 degree bends on such installation. In this example it is clearly a 15mm copper pipe that goes into a 90 degree bend and then t’s into a pex pipe in conjunction with the relief valve – very illegal and dangerous.
    2. The most scary part of this installation is the fact that there is a shut off valve that has been closed. Should this geyser overheat or over pressurise, the shut off valve would prevent the safety valve to function
    3. The vacuum breakers are not at least 300mm above the tank. This is not dangerous, but will possibly case damage to the tank and shorten its lifespan.

    In this installation – should the thermostat fail, the geyser will boil, over-pressurise and ultimately burst. At least there is a thermal cut off fuse inside the thermostat that will cut electricity to the element should the tank start boiling.

    If the pressure reducing valve fails, the geyser’s safety valve would also not be able to de-pressurise through the safety valve as it is blocked by the shut off valve.

    The illegal shut off valve is also restricting the Cobra Masterflo 2 valve from relieving excess pressure from the tank. As the tank heats the water inside it expands and the valve drips out up to 1 litre per day to make sure the geyser stays within operational pressure.

    This installation is extremely dangerous and entirely to blame on the very poor installation. The safety aspects is completely bypassed.

    Have a look at this clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbreKn4PoAc

    In this clip both the safety valve was blanked off, as is the case here and they bypassed the thermal fuse. Luckily the thermal fuse in SA geysers will prevent boiling. “

    JUST REMEMBER GOEDKOOP IS DEURKOOP – ESPECIALLY IF YOUR FAMILY IS PART OF CHEAP!!!!!!!!


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