Browse
  • +2
    [RUFORUM Press Release] Seventh African Higher Education Week and RUFORUM Triennial Conference
    Kampala 17 August 2021: The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) is pleased to announce the Seventh African Higher Education Week and RUFORUM Triennial Conference that will be hosted by the Government of the Republic of Benin in partnership with the University of Abomey Calavi, University of Parakou and the National University of Agriculture, from the 06th – 10th December, 2021 at Palais des Congres de Cotonou, Benin. The Seventh African Higher Education Week and RUFORUM Triennial Conference will run under the theme “Operationalising Higher Education for Innovation, Industrialisation, Inclusion and Sustainable Economic Development in Africa: A Call for Action”   The conference will bring together participants from across Africa and the world to discuss how African universities are working toward improving their mandates of training, research and outreach, to produce innovations and entrepreneurial youth that meet the demands in the global competitive market. The participants will be drawn from Universities, Civil Society Organizations-CSOs, National and International Research Organizations, Development Partners, Governments, Continental and Regional Organizations, African Union Commission, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Non-Governmental Organizations, the Private sector, farmers & farmer representatives, emerging & early career researchers, and young entrepreneurs from especially Benin and other West African countries. Universities, private sector actors and young entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to showcase their innovations, products and services. Due to the restrictions and risks associated with the COVID-19, African Higher Education Week and RUFORUM Triennial Conference is being organized using a blended approach, which will include both face-to-face and virtual meetings. RUFORUM will recognise farmers that have made significant contribution to agricultural transformation in Benin as a way of supporting national advancement and transformation of agriculture. RUFORUM shall also recognise scientists and other actors that have made significant contribution and supported the advancement of excellence in research and higher education for the development of Africa. Young Innovators and Entrepreneurs from Benin will be recognised to promote the contribution of the youth to the economic development of Africa and to provide youth with the forum to demonstrate their innovations. The Conference will be preceded by several virtual side events including: Scientific Data Management training for Post-Graduate Students Using R Programming Language, Evaluating the Impact of Entrepreneurship in Agribusiness Training, Social media training for students, Interdisciplinary Training for Early Career Scientists & doctoral students, and a business & entrepreneurship training for Young Innovators and entrepreneurs. This year, because of the COVID-19 restrictions and risks associated with travel during this period, it will not be possible for all delegates to travel to Benin to participate. Therefore, some delegates will be requested to participate virtually through an online platform. We have therefore designed the attendance Questionnaire for RUFORUM Triennial Conference 2021 to enable the organizers know your preference in terms of traveling to Benin or attending the event face to face or virtually. We will also be happy to get essential information about you to enable effective planning. This questionnaire is expected to take not more than 7 minutes of your time.   Learn more: https://ruforum.wordpress.com/2021/08/19/press-release-seventh-african-higher-education-week-and-ruforum-triennial-conference/?utm_source=RUFORUM+Mailing+List&utm_campaign=d18db56afe-RUFORUM+Weekly+-+Vol.3+No.25_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1fcfbb8a0b-d18db56afe-346973753&ct=t()&goal=0_1fcfbb8a0b-d18db56afe-346973753&mc_cid=d18db56afe&mc_eid=d95cf18a8d 
    By: Madeleine Futter

  • Empowering Youth in Agriculture with Youth-focused Initiatives Webinar
    African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) is hosting a webinar 26 Aug 08:00-10:00 EST (14:00-16:00 CAT). This webinar's objectives include: Provide a platform for knowledge and experience exchange on the importance of Agricultural Technological Innovation for food security and as a catalyst to boost productivity and economic growth on the African continent. Focuses on entrepreneurship, innovation, and education. It is designed specifically for AGRISME Entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs. Awareness creation on the opportunities and how to maximize the opportunities. Promote an Entrepreneurial mindset as a job generation tool Showcase AGRISME success stories - Success breeds success Promote partnerships and leverage strengths among actors in the Agriculture sector The webinar consists of a two-hour live streamed meeting, open to the public, with an expert panel and the opportunity for Q&A.   To Register: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07eifrlae2a9592f0f&llr=m5euwduab 
    By: Madeleine Futter
  • +2
    The Emerging African Scholars' Virtual PhD Workshop 2021: Combined Professional Development Workshop
    ARCOSA has published a recording of their Emerging African Scholar's Virrtual PhD Wrokshop for anyone to view! This video specifically captures the "Navigating the Publication Process: Advice for Junior Scholars from Journal Editors" session.    The session was anchored by Professor Zachariah Mampilly; Marxe Endowed Chair of International Affairs at the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at City University New York.
    By: Madeleine Futter

  • To Tax or not To Tax? Questioning Customer Loyalty Programmes
    South Africa, like many other countries, needs additional sources of tax revenues. Recent debate indicates that one potential source of revenue is the taxation of customer loyalty rewards in the hands of customers. The arguments for the taxation of these rewards have been put forward from a principled perspective and not from a legal basis. We argue that while the taxation of these rewards would increase tax revenue, legislative reform is required as there are strong arguments that the rewards are actually not taxable. We suggest tax reforms that attempt to provide certainty and equity in the treatment of such rewards as a whole in order to provide additional revenue for the fiscus.
    By: Teresa Pidduck
    post image

  • The Sasol Oil case – Would the present South African GAAR stand up to the rigours of the court?
    South Africa finds itself vulnerable to exploitation by the measures taken by multinational enterprises (MNEs) who seek to enter into tax avoidance schemes that artificially shift profits to low- or no-tax jurisdictions. While common law, specific and general anti-avoidance measures may be used as a defence against these schemes, there has been no judicial consideration of the current South African general anti avoidance rule (GAAR) since its replacement in 2006. In this context this paper makes two contributions. First, the paper applies the current GAAR to a recent case where the predecessor to the current GAAR was applied to a scheme entered into by an MNE. This is done in order to determine if the current GAAR (unlike its predecessor) is able to stand up to the rigours of court when presented with similar facts. In doing so it demonstrates how the untested GAAR may be interpreted and applied. Second, the paper makes suggestions for amendment to the current GAAR in order to improve its efficacy in an international context.
    By: Teresa Pidduck
    post image

  • Tax research methodology for untested legislation: An exemplar for the tax scholar
    Tax scholars using typical doctrinal and reform-oriented methodologies often struggle to articulate the process undertaken in their research and at the same time, these methods often require an analysis of legislation that has already been the subject of judicial inquiry. However, this raises the challenge of what method to employ in the absence of such judicial inquiry. The tax environment has become so dynamic that law reform occurs rapidly and the law has to be researched, in the absence of case law post legislative amendment. This article provides tax scholars with a methodological approach described as a structured pre-emptive analysis that overcomes this problem (in other words an adaptation of typical doctrinal reform-oriented approaches). Using an exemplar of an actual tax law problem, the paper demonstrates how to conduct rigorous research in the absence of case law dealing with legislation that is the subject of enquiry. The article makes two contributions. First, it gives transparency to the traditional doctrinal reform-oriented methods primarily used in law. Second, it illustrates a method that can be used to overcome the absence of case law.
    By: Teresa Pidduck
    post image

  • Progressive tax: A proposal for customer loyalty programmes
    PurposeThe South African Government needs to increase fiscal revenues to cater to increased government spending. This paper aims to argue that the South African Revenue Service (SARS) has an opportunity to tax the receipt of customer loyalty programme awards in the hands of customers, with little amendment to current tax legislation or administration. This provides the South African Government an opportunity to increase much needed tax revenue in spite of limited resources.Design/methodology/approachFive instrumental case studies were used and analysed from a financial reporting perspective to quantify customer loyalty points earned by customers. These can form a basis for deriving the potential benefits from the taxation of customer loyalty programmes in the retail industry. The multiple instrumental case studies used and the application of accounting guidance in International Financial Reporting Standards allow generalisations to be made to highlight the amount of customer loyalty awards granted and possible tax revenues forgone in just one sector of the South African economy.FindingsShould the proposals for taxation of customer loyalty programmes be implemented, the fiscus would be able to collect over R 234.35m (US$16.91m) in tax revenue from only five companies providing customers with loyalty awards. This indicates that this proposal for taxation is critical for investigation by the South African Government, as it may aid in achieving revenue goals for South Africa.Originality/valueThis paper contributes to the literature on taxation legislation within South Africa by proposing a model that may be used by the SARS to increase tax revenues to meet the Government’s needs.
    By: Teresa Pidduck
    post image

  • Avoiding tax in South Africa's retail industry via customer loyalty programs
    The Medium Term Budget Policy Statement presented by the South African Minister of Finance in late 2013, highlighted that government expenditure substantially exceeded revenues collected. In investigating the possible broadening of the South African tax base as well as improving revenue administration, there is evidence of a gap in the taxation of customer loyalty programmes within many industries. The problem is that customer loyalty award credits is currently not being taxed by the revenue authority in South Africa. This study uses a multiple instrumental case study design to identify the tax leakages resulting from inadequate revenue administration within the South African retail industry’s use of customer loyalty programmes. The study has found that the loss to the fiscus in the non-taxing of customer loyalty award credits is substantial.
    By: Teresa Pidduck
    post image

  • Customer loyalty programmes: The loss to the fiscus in South Africa
    The 2013 Budget Speech presented by the South African Minister of Finance highlighted that the best way to generate resources is to grow the economy and increase the tax base. In investigating the possible broadening of the South African tax base, as well as improving revenue administration, there is evidence of a gap in the taxation of customer loyalty programmes. The complexity of identifying and administering the receipt of customer loyalty award credits for millions of individuals has led to the receipt of customer loyalty award credits not being taxed whilst the expenses related to these award credits are being deducted by businesses. In closing this gap, the South African Revenue Service may be able to increase the tax base and limit fiscal leakage. For this reason, any gaps in the taxation of receipts and accruals is of interest to any researcher, taxpayer and government interested in understanding where current administration of legislation may be failing. In this study, the authors consider the tax leakage from a legislative and administrative perspective as well as investigate possible solutions. The revenue authorities in South Africa are urged to make changes to the current tax administration in order to prevent inconsistencies in treatment and tax leakage without negatively impacting the essence of the customer loyalty programmes.
    By: Teresa Pidduck
    post image

  • GAAR’s in Australia and South Africa: Mutual Lessons
    While the South African and Australian general anti-avoidance rules ('GAARs') differ in their structure and design, each is directed towards the same end. Although the South African GAAR was substantially amended in 2006 to address perceived inadequacies, there has yet to be any judicial consideration of the 'new' provision. While it is a highly prescriptive provision (at least in comparison with its Australian counterpart) considerable uncertainty as to its effectiveness remains, especially as an earlier attempt to remedy many of the same deficiencies in 1996 was spectacularly unsuccessful.Meanwhile, after a slow start, the jurisprudence on the Australian 1981 GAAR continues to gather momentum. Although many of the application and interpretative issues have gradually been resolved, others seem insoluble.In this paper the authors examine these two GAARs with a view to identifying if any lessons for their application and interpretation can be gathered from each other. The authors argue that, notwithstanding design differences, there are some remarkably similar issues to be resolved. Some of the Australian case law may therefore be instructive as to the approach that could be adopted in South Africa, while some of the prescriptions in the South African legislation could be of value in assisting the Australian judiciary to direct their attention to relevant considerations or, possibly more likely, could form the basis for further legislative prescriptions in the Australian GAAR.
    By: Teresa Pidduck
    post image

  • STEM Education in the United States: Progress without a Plan
    An overview of K-16 STEM education in the United States
    By: Christopher Reimann
    post image

  • New and Improved Bridge Website
    AAP is excited to announce the new and improved website AAPBridge! Our Bridge website provides opportunities for early career researchers, African scholars, and others to connect and share on many topics. Look out for information about #BridgeLaunchDay on our social media ahead of the official release on Aug 16. Watch this promo video to get a sneak peek into the Bridge 2.0!
    By: Madeleine Futter
  • AAP logoAAP logo