News

South African Engineers’ and Founders’ Association

7 April 2020

NEW SETA GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES

The Department of Higher Education and Training has issued new guidelines and procedures applicable to the SETAs in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic (attached). The announcement was made in terms of the Disaster Management Act (Act No. 57 of 2002) and related regulations. These apply to all the SETAs including of course the MerSETA. The key provisions in these guidelines which could affect SAEFA members are as follows:

The date for mandatory grant submissions to the SETAs has been extended from 30 April to 31 May 2020 because of the pandemic.

Measures will be put in place to extend SETA deadlines and contracts where necessary and payments to providers and projects may be significantly delayed.

 
In terms of 42.4 of the guideline document, companies are required to continue to pay learner stipends at full value during this time. The duration of the learning contracts may have to be extended as a result of the suspension of workplace learning programmes.
 
Trade testing has also been suspended until further notice and the issuing of trade and other certificates will be delayed.
 
While employers facing a host of economic and social challenges as a result of the current lockdown measures may welcome the one month extension of the deadline date for mandatory grant submissions, they may also not have the time or resources to plan training interventions or consult with their training committees.

Any queries should be directed to the SETA through SETA systems or normal electronic communication channels.

26 March 2020

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Ebrahim Patel has announced that all businesses that will be allowed to provide essential services are required to seek approval from the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)  in order for them to trade during the period of the lockdown in terms of the regulations published today by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Ms Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in Regulation Gazette No. 11062

Such businesses are required to apply to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) Bizportal website at www.bizportal.gov.za and obtain a certificate from the Commission that allows them to continue trading. The Bizportal website will contain a menu icon listed as “Essential Service Businesses” through which an application can be made to the CIPC.  The application will be a simple declaration requiring minimal registration details, type of business/trade involved in, what trading name if any is used and whether it meets the requirements contained in the essential services list, the contact details of the person applying as well as the number of employees that will be working during the lockdown period.  The CIPC registry will then pre-populate the remaining company information and email a certificate stating that the business is allowed to remain trading.

The certificate can then be used as evidence to authorities requiring same that indeed the business has been given government permission to trade and that its employees are able to have unrestricted movement ONLY in the course of that trade.

2 April 2020

Please see below the Explanatory Memorandum on the Draft Disaster Management Tax Relief Bill:

Draft Explanatory Memorandum on the Draft Disaster Management Tax Relief Bill

For more information and to view a copy of the Bill:

http://www.treasury.gov.za/public%20comments/DMTRB2020/

26 March

On 17 March 2020 the Minister of Employment and Labour, Mr. TW Nxesi announced that UIF’s Temporary Employer/ Employee Relief Scheme will be used to ensure that workers are not laid off, as one of the  measures the Department will put in place to contain the spread of the Corona virus pandemic and its impact.

Below is the information outlining  conditions and the  processes for the  Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS).

  1. THE CURRENT TERS PROCESS

1.1.      The current TERS process came into effect on 11 December 2019 when it was approved by the Director General.

1.2.      In terms of the current TERS process, the UIF may fund the distressed companies directly in relation to the TERS Allowance.

1.3.      The distressed company will only be funded if it meets the key requirements of the UIF being:

1.3.1.     distressed company is able to demonstrate that it has been compliant with the relevant UIF legislation;

1.3.2.     if not compliant, the distressed company undertakes to pay outstanding contributions and bring its declarations up to date within a stipulated timeframe;                    

1.3.3.     the distressed company is able to demonstrate that it will/or has embarked upon a turnaround or sustainability programme which will result in job preservation at the expiry of the funding agreement; and

1.3.4.     the distressed company will be able to meet its obligations in relation to the UIF legislation.

30 March 2020

SAEFA and Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr Inc. have teamed up in an effort to guide companies through this difficult period.  We are running a free webinar on Wednesday, 1 April 2020, from 13h00 until 15h00 to answer all your questions around the Covid-19 pandemic, the lockdown and the effects on the sector and companies. 

25 March 2020

The latest set of lockdown regulations has been released and is found below:

Final Lockdown Regulations

All advice issued by SAEFA is in line with the regulations.

Please contact the office should you have any queries.

 

27 March 2020

Please find the amendment to the lockdown regulations below:

Amendment of Lockdown Regulations

25 March 2020

In announcing the lockdown a few days ago, President Ramaphosa stated that certain categories of businesses will be exempt from the lockdown.  These businesses should continue to operate in order to provide critical products and services to the country.  It has been announced that an official list of categories will be released later today. 

Please note that the lockdown applies to all businesses and that the list of exclusions will refer to specific critical business activities only.  Therefore, should an activity of any business not be listed, such activity must be ceased as per the lockdown regulations.

However, should your business form part of the supply chain in a critical area, you will be permitted to continue, subject to continuing to observe social distancing and suitable Occupational Health and Safety rules to prevent the spreading of the virus.

In the interim, employers are advised to provide their employees with a letter of confirmation.  A template for this purpose is available on request.