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Tel: (061) 242350
Fax: (061) 242322
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APO Group - Africa-Newsroom: latest news releases related to Africa

Press releases from Africa-Neswroom.com
APO Group - Africa-Newsroom: latest news releases related to Africa
  1. Road Safety - A Social Responsibilty: Debmarine Namibia embarked upon a long road safety awareness campaign to promote and inculcate road-safety consciousness in Namibia

    Debmarine Namibia (http://DebmarineNamibia.com) embarked upon a long road safety awareness campaign to promote and inculcate road-safety consciousness in the country, primarily among its employees, but also aimed at drivers, passengers and the community members at large.

    Watch the video: https://youtu.be/fZGJox75ODo

    Road safety and accident prevention are recurring, frequently explored subjects, although not always from the same perspective. The campaign conducted by Debmarine Namibia, was firstly rolled out internally among the company’s employees. The Company routinely captures and monitors road-related accident statistics of its employees and came to the realisation that with the rise in road-related risky behaviour, employees are more at risk away from the workplace than in the workplace. This led to the introduction of the internal Safety Ripple Campaign, designed to sensitise employees and create dialogue on the various aspects of risky road behaviour in an effort to encourage responsible safety culture and behaviour. Today, the Debmarine Namibia Facebook page published its locally produced video clip “Driving Safely Is A Social Responsibility”, which is a social experiment dealing with vehicle maintenance awareness. This is part of the Company’s external campaign, as a responsible corporate citizen to encourage other corporates and citizens to weigh in on addressing road safety, as a social responsibility.

    Road Safety requires not only driver fitness, but also vehicle fitness. A well maintained vehicle not only speaks volumes about the owner, but also will protect its driver and passengers on the road. The video shows the diverse reactions of Namibian drivers/passengers from all walks of life, when suddenly being confronted with possible drastic consequences of vehicle failure on roads. It is a clear call-to-action to most Namibian drivers to regularly service their vehicles, especially in December, as fatal accidents are punctually on the rise at this time of the year.

    Spotting risky behavior is part of the campaign, aiming to make the community more aware of the fundamental importance of vehicle maintenance, which could alone reduce road fatalities. For every person killed in traffic crashes, many more suffer serious injuries with life-changing consequences, such as the story showcased in the Debmarine Namibia’s video. Serious injuries are not only more common, but also often more costly to society because of long-time rehabilitation and healthcare needs.

    While it may be obvious that accident-related events are linked to risky behaviour, in Namibia, rollover crashes are mainly attributed to speeding, fatigue, alcohol, but also worn-out tyres, resulting in the loss of vehicle control.

    Drunk driving is only one of the leading causes of road accidents and it contributes significantly to accidents on the road. This led Debmarine Namibia to donate breathalyzers testing kits to the Private Sector Road Safety Forum and the MVA Fund worth N$ 130 000. The donation aims to support efforts to reduce drunk driving accidents and save lives.

    According to the MVA Fund Road Crash And Claims Report 2016, Road crash fatalities have become one of the leading causes of deaths in Namibia. The most concerning fact, is that young people are representing nearly half of persons killed in road accidents; 72% of those killed are male.

    Communications Manager, Stella Auala says: “Short cuts and quick fixes are risky. It is best to leave the servicing of your vehicle in the hands of trained automotive professionals. As they have the knowledge and adequate tools to diagnose and correct problems; and to ensure that you and other road users are safely back on the road.

    This campaign stresses the need to make road-safety a habit rather than an act of compulsion to follow the rules. 

    ABOUT the video clip: https://youtu.be/fZGJox75ODo

    “Driving Safely Is A Social Responsibility”

    The feature is a social experiment aimed at reflecting a generalized attitude towards vehicle maintenance.  When confronted with the reality of possible consequences due to vehicle failures, the spirit of social responsibility emerges unanimously among participants.

    Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Debmarine Namibia.


    MEDIA ENQUIRIES
    For further information, please contact:
    Debmarine Namibia Corporate Communications
    DBMNCommunication@debeersgroup.com 
    stella.auala@debeersgroup.com 
    Tel: +264 61 297 8000
    Fax: +264 811410538 

    PRESS KIT
    o DEBMARINE NAMIBIA logo
    o Video Clip: “Driving Safely Is A Social Responsibility”
    o Infographics_Road Safety Campaign Artwork (Vehicle Maintenance)
    o Images: breathalyzers testing kits handover to the Private Sector Road Safety Forum and the MVA Fund
    o Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/DebmarineNamibia/

    ABOUT Debmarine Namibia
    Debmarine Namibia (http://DebmarineNamibia.com) is a joint venture marine diamond prospecting and mining company, owned in equal shares by the Government of the Republic of Namibia and De Beers.  Debmarine Namibia became operational in 2002 and mines in the offshore mining licence area off the southern coast of Namibia.  The Company operates five diamond mining vessels, namely mv Debmar Atlantic, mv Debmar Pacific, mv !Gariep, mv Grand Banks and mv Mafuta. The sixth member of its fleet is the exploration and sampling vessel the mv SS Nujoma. Two mining technologies are deployed, the airlift-drill and the crawler mining technology. The mining vessels mine diamonds off the ocean floor using highly advanced drill technology and supported with sophisticated tracking, positioning and surveying equipment. Debmarine Namibia is ISO 14001, ISM and OHSAS 18001 certified, in line with its commitment to safety and environmental management. Debmarine Namibia is a recognised world leader in marine diamond exploration and mining technology.
     

  2. Tax Year End: Is your business pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) compliant and ready for the new tax year?

    West African governments are clamping down on non-compliance among business and individual taxpayers as they strive to improve their low tax-to-GDP ratios or internally generated revenues. As the tax year-end looms in Nigeria and Ghana, companies have an opportunity to evaluate whether their payrolls are fully compliant with the laws and regulations around collection of pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) tax.

    Magnus Nmonwu (http://APO.af/Ik3wAK), Regional Director for Sage (www.Sage.com/africa) in West Africa, says that the tax authorities in both countries are scrutinising more closely whether employers are complying with their tax obligations. 

    The Ghana Revenue Authority has embarked on an education drive to lift tax-to-GDP (http://APO.af/RG9EZX) which currently stands at 16.5%. It has accelerated its drive to bring small, medium and informal businesses into the tax net.

    Nigeria, also seeking to improve its low tax-to-GDP, has launched initiatives such as the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (http://APO.af/GSTBie) -which gives taxpayers an opportunity to voluntarily declare all previously undisclosed assets and income. Some 90% of Nigeria’s 14 million taxpayers are salary earners paying PAYE. Government will be focusing heavily on rich individuals with undisclosed assets for enforcement.

    Tax to fund development

    Says Nmonwu: “Without improving tax collection, West African countries will not be able to effectively finance the building of infrastructure and the provision of public services. We are seeing Nigerian and Ghanaian tax authorities take a more robust approach to registering tax payers and enforcing compliance to help the governments meet their tax collection targets.”

    This means that businesses must ensure that they declare the correct earnings for all employees and that they include the right taxes and statutory deductions in payroll calculations.  It has become increasingly important to ensure that annual returns are filed and submitted promptly and accurately to the relevant tax authorities to avoid penalties.

    “Failing to comply – whether through deliberate evasion, late payment of payroll taxes underpayment as a result of a miscalculation – could cost your business dearly,” says Nmonwu. “You could face large fines and penalty interest, or even imprisonment, for underpayment of taxes and statutory deductions.”

    Out with spreadsheets, in with automation

    Because compliance is complex and the risks of non-compliance are high, West African businesses can no longer rely on spreadsheets and other manual methods to do their calculations and file returns. Automated solutions are becoming more essential for keeping reliable records and performing accurate payroll calculations.

    Payroll solutions available for businesses from start-ups to mid-sized companies and larger enterprises – can help take care of calculating the complex formulas for the various deductions, generating compliance reports, and keeping accurate records. That makes it easier to perform accurate calculations, file submissions on time and generate reports and electronic payslips.

    Tracking changing regulations

    Automation makes it easier to keep track of changes to tax regulations that impact on payroll tax calculations and various changes in legislation. The software is constantly updated to align with the latest tax laws and tables, so one needn’t to update spreadsheet formulas or learn to make new manual calculations when changes are made.

    “Business builders don’t go into business because they love filing tax returns,” says Nmonwu. “Using automated payroll software can help them save dozens of hours a year because they no longer need to worry about doing manual calculations or returns. Plus, they can rest easy knowing that automation reduces the possibility of human error. Payroll software takes the pain out of compliance, allowing business owners to focus on business strategy, customers, and employee engagement rather than on red-tape.”

    *For more information about how to remain compliant, visit: http://APO.af/4na9RL 

    Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Sage.

    For media queries:
    Idea Engineers (PR agency for Sage)
    Thuli Lamani
    Tel: +27 (0)11 803 0030
    Mobile: +27 (0)83 716 2572
    ThuliL@IdeaEngineers.co.za

    Del-Mari Roberts
    Tel: +27 (0)11 803 0030
    Mobile: +27 (0)72 5958 053
    Delmari@IdeaEngineers.co.za

    About Sage
    Sage (FTSE: SGE) (www.Sage.com/africa) is the global market leader for technology that helps businesses of all sizes manage everything from money to people – whether they’re a start-up, scale-up or enterprise. We do this through Sage Business Cloud - the one and only business management solution that customers will ever need, comprising Accounting, Financials, Enterprise Management, People & Payroll and Payments & Banking.  
    Our mission is to free business builders from the burden of admin, so they can spend more time doing what they love – and we do that every day for three million customers across 23 countries, through our 13000 colleagues and a network of accountants and partners. We are committed to doing business the right way, and giving back to our communities through Sage Foundation.
    Find out more: www.Sage.com/africa 

  3. Payroll compliance high on the agenda for East African tax authorities

    The Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax year-end is looming in most East African territories, and governments are clamping down on non-compliance among businesses and individual taxpayers as they strive to raise more funding for public spending. That means businesses must ensure that their payrolls are fully compliant with the laws and regulations around collection of PAYE tax.

    Commenting on compliance in Kenya and Tanzania, Nikki Summers (http://APO.af/XqAkPU), Regional Director for Sage (www.Sage.com/africa) in East Africa, says that the tax collection authorities in both countries are scrutinising more closely whether employers are complying with their tax obligations. 

    With a tax collection shortfall of Sh40 billion (http://APO.af/EFw1HL) in the first four months of the 2017/18 fiscal year—which ends in July next year—the Kenya Revenue Authority can be expected to take tough line on enforcement in the months to come. What’s more, the Treasury is currently reviewing the Income Tax Act with a view to increasing revenue, improving tax administration and sealing tax loopholes.

    In Tanzania, PAYE accounts for about 17% of gross tax (http://APO.af/qdJbZn), accounting for the biggest share of tax revenues. This is due to increased focus on controlling of revenue leakages in recent years.

    Building infrastructure

    Says Summers: “Without improving tax collection, East African countries will not be able to effectively finance the building of infrastructure and the provision of public services. We are seeing Tanzanian and Kenyan tax authorities take a more robust approach to registering tax payers and enforcing compliance to help the governments meet their tax collection targets.”

    This means that businesses must ensure that they declare the correct earnings for all employees and that they include the right taxes and statutory deductions in payroll calculations.  It has become increasingly important to ensure that annual returns are filed and submitted promptly and accurately to the relevant tax authorities.

    “Failing to comply – whether through deliberate evasion, late payment of payroll taxes underpayment as a result of a miscalculation –could cost your business dearly,” says Summers. “You could face large fines and penalty interest for underpayment of taxes and statutory deductions.”

    Manual processes are no longer good enough

    Because compliance is complex and the risks of non-compliance are high, East African businesses can no longer rely on spreadsheets and other manual methods to do their calculations and file returns. Automated solutions are becoming more essential for keeping reliable records and performing accurate payroll calculations.

    Payroll automation software—with solutions available for businesses from start-ups to mid-sized companies and larger enterprises—takes care of calculating the complex formulas for the various deductions, generating compliance reports, and keeping accurate records. That makes it easier to perform accurate calculations, file submissions on time and generate reports and electronic payslips.

    Getting ready for changing laws and regulations

    Automation makes it easier to keep track of changes to tax regulations that impact on payroll tax calculations and various changes in legislation. The software is constantly updated to align with the latest tax laws and tables, so one needn’t to update spreadsheet formulas or learn to make new manual calculations when changes are made.

    “Business builders don’t go into business because they love filing tax returns,” says Summers. “Using automated payroll software can help them save dozens of hours a year because they no longer need to worry about doing manual calculations or returns. Plus, they can rest easy knowing that automation reduces the possibility of human error. Payroll software takes the pain out of compliance, allowing business owners to focus on business strategy, customers, and employee engagement rather than on red-tape.”

    *For more information about how to remain compliant, visit: http://APO.af/4na9RL

    Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Sage.

    For media queries:
    Idea Engineers (PR agency for Sage)
    Thuli Lamani
    Tel: +27 (0)11 803 0030
    Mobile: +27 (0)83 716 2572
    ThuliL@IideaEengineers.co.za

    Del-Mari Roberts
    Tel: +27 (0)11 803 0030
    Mobile: +27 (0)72 5958 053
    DdelMmari@IideaEengineers.co.za

    About Sage
    Sage (FTSE: SGE) (www.Sage.com/africa) is the global market leader for technology that helps businesses of all sizes manage everything from money to people – whether they’re a start-up, scale-up or enterprise. We do this through Sage Business Cloud - the one and only business management solution that customers will ever need, comprising Accounting, Financials, Enterprise Management, People & Payroll and Payments & Banking.  
    Our mission is to free business builders from the burden of admin, so they can spend more time doing what they love – and we do that every day for three million customers across 23 countries, through our 13000 colleagues and a network of accountants and partners. We are committed to doing business the right way, and giving back to our communities through Sage Foundation.
    Find out more: www.Sage.com/africa 

  4. UNWTO World Tourism Barometer: Southern and Mediterranean Europe, North Africa and the Middle East drive tourism growth through October 2017

    Destinations around the world welcomed 1.1 billion international tourists between January and October 2017, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. This represents a 7% increase on the same period of last year, or 70 million more international arrivals. Strong demand for international tourism across world regions reflects the global economic upswing.

    The strong tourism demand of the earlier months of 2017, including the Northern Hemisphere summer peak season, was maintained through October. Destinations worldwide received a total of 1,127 million (+7%) international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) in the first ten months of the year, 70 million more than in the same period of 2016. Results were driven by sustained growth in many destinations and a firm recovery in those that experienced declines last year.

    In particular, destinations in Southern and Mediterranean Europe, North Africa and the Middle East showed extraordinary strength. Growth in international arrivals exceeded 7% in all destinations of Southern and Mediterranean Europe, with a rapid recovery seen in Turkey and double-digit increases for most of the region's other destinations. In North Africa and the Middle East, Egypt, Tunisia and Palestine rebounded strongly from previous years’ declines, while Morocco, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman and the United Arab Emirate of Dubai all continued to report sustained growth. Strong demand for international tourism across world regions reflects the global economic upswing.

    “These robust results, the best we have seen in many years, reflect the sustained demand for travel around the world, in line with the improved global economy and the rebound of destinations that suffered declines in previous years,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai at the 2nd UNWTO/UNESCO Conference on Tourism and Culture, held on 11-12 December in Oman.

    “As we gather in Oman for this important event, we must acknowledge the strong resilience of tourism reflected in the continuous growth in many destinations of the Middle East, and the rapid recovery in others. Tourism brings benefits to local communities and visitors through the promotion of peace and mutual understanding and, as this event highlights, respect for cultural heritage and values.” Mr. Rifai added.

    Regional Results

    Europe (+8%) led growth in international arrivals in the first ten months of 2017, driven by remarkable results in Southern and Mediterranean Europe (+13%). Western Europe (+7%) rebounded from weaker results last year, while Northern Europe (+6%) enjoyed ongoing solid growth. Arrivals in Central and Eastern Europe grew 4% between January and October 2017.
    “Europe and Africa (+8% each) are the fastest-growing regions in international tourism.” Africa (+8%) was the second fastest-growing region over this period, thanks to a strong recovery in North Africa (+13%) and the sound results of Sub-Saharan Africa (+5%).

    In Asia and the Pacific (+5%) results were led by South Asia (+10%), with South-East Asia (+8%) and Oceania (+7%) also enjoying a robust increase in arrivals. North East Asia (+3%) recorded more mixed results, with some destinations reporting double-digit increases, and others, declines.
    South America (+7%) continues to lead growth in the Americas, where arrivals overall increased by 3%. Central America and the Caribbean both grew 4%, with the latter showing clear signs of recovery in October in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria. In North America (+2%), robust results in Mexico and Canada contrast with a decrease in the United States, the region’s largest destination.
    Results in the Middle East (+5%) through October were mixed, with some destinations rebounding strongly and others continuing to report sustained growth, but the regional average was weighed down partly by a few that showed declines.

    Strong recovery of outbound tourism demand from Brazil and Russia

    As for outbound markets, 2017 is marked by a strong pickup of expenditure on international tourism in Brazil (+33%) and the Russian Federation (+27%) after some years of declines.
    Most of the other source markets continued to grow at a sustained pace. Among the top 10 source markets, China (+19%), the Republic of Korea (+11%), the United States and Canada (both +9%), and Italy (+7%) reported the fastest growth in international tourism expenditure. Expenditure from Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, Hong Kong (China) and France grew between 2% and 5%.

    Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

    Media files
    World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
    Download logo
  5. Kaspersky Lab detects 360,000 new malicious files daily – up 11.5% from 2016

    The number of new malicious files processed by Kaspersky Lab’s in-lab detection technologies (www.Kaspersky.co.za) reached 360,000 a day in 2017, which is 11.5% more than the previous year. After a slight decrease in 2015, the number of malicious files detected every day is growing for the second year in the row.

    The number of daily detected malicious files reflects the average activity of cybercriminals involved in the creation and distribution of malware. This figure was calculated for the first time in 2011 and totaled 70,000 at that time. Since then it has grown five-fold, and as the 2017 data shows, it is still increasing.

    Most of the files identified as dangerous fall into the malware category (78%). However, viruses – whose prevalence significantly dropped 5-7 years ago, due to their complex development and low efficiency - still constitute 14% of daily detections.

    The remaining files are advertising software, which is not considered malicious by default, but in many instances, can cause private information exposure and other risks. Protection against this kind of threat is essential for better user experience.

    Approximately 20,000 of all dangerous files detected daily, are identified by Astraea – Kaspersky Lab’s machine-learning malware analysis system, which identifies and blocks malware automatically.

    “In 2015, we witnessed a visible drop in daily detections and even started thinking that new malware could be less important for criminals, who have instead shifted their attention towards reusing old malware. However, over the last two years the number of new malware we discovered has been growing, which is a sign that interest in creating new malicious code has been revived. The explosive increase in ransomware attacks over the last couple of years is only set to continue, as there is a huge criminal ecosystem behind this type of threat, producing hundreds of new samples every day. This year, we have also seen a spike in miners - a class of malware that cybercriminals have started to use actively, in light of the ongoing rise in cryptocurrencies. The reason for the increase in detections could also be attributed to the constant improvements we are making in our protection technologies. With every new upgrade, we can identify more malware than before and this could account for a rise in numbers,” says Vyacheslav Zakorzhevsky, Head of Anti-Malware Team at Kaspersky Lab.

    Other annual threat statistic highlights of 2017 include the following:

    • Kaspersky Lab solutions repelled 1,188,728,338 attacks launched from online resources located all over the world.
    • Kaspersky Lab’s web antivirus solution detected 15,714,700 unique malicious objects.
    • 29.4% of user computers encountered an online malware attack at least once over the year.
    • 22% of user computers were subjected to advertising programmes and their components.

    In order to stay protected, Kaspersky Lab recommends the following:

    • Pay close attention to, and don’t open any suspicious files or attachments received from unknown sources.
    • Do not download and install applications from untrusted sources.
    • Do not click on any links received from unknown sources and suspicious online advertisements.
    • Create strong passwords and don’t forget to change them regularly.
    • Always install updates. Big ransomware outbreaks, such as WannaCry and ExPetr have shown that delays in installation of patches can take months.
    • Ignore messages asking to disable security systems for Office software or antivirus software.
    • Use a proper security solution appropriate to your system type and devices.

    Read more about annual threat statistics on Securelist.com (http://APO.af/Q2d7YJ).

    Kaspersky Lab’s ‘Number of the year’ is part of the Kaspersky Security Bulletin 2017.

    To learn more about threat predictions for 2018, read our reports, which are available here (http://APO.af/BttLWw), and watch our webinars on APT threat predictions (http://APO.af/RcTkiE) and Industry & Technology predictions (http://APO.af/VtYLnm),

    Story of the year: Ransomware (http://APO.af/XeMvwP), and the review of the year (http://APO.af/inpbPx) are also available on Securelist blog.

    Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Kaspersky.

    For further information please contact:
    Princess Tsambo| Orange Ink (www.Orangeink.co.za)| 
    Cell: +27 76 544 6703 Tel: +27 11 465 4075; +27 11 465 4030
    princess@orangeink.co.za

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