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- Volume 7, Issue 1, 2014
Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences - Volume 7, Issue 1, 2014
Volume 7, Issue 1, 2014
Source: Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences 7, pp 13 –34 (2014)More Less
Despite the surging demand for imports in South America in recent years, South Africa's exports to the region have shown relatively low growth. A contributing factor is the prevalence of trade barriers between South Africa and various South American countries. The aim of this study is, firstly, to measure the trade barriers to South Africa's exports to South America and, secondly, to identify high-potential export opportunities in the form of product-country combinations that can best surmount such barriers. The investigation, which uses a reconstructed Decision Support Model (DSM), reveals that Brazil, Argentina and Chile offer the greatest potential as export markets (in US$ terms) for South Africa, while the most promising product categories are transport-related goods, minerals, vegetables and chemicals. The results of this study should be a useful guide to South Africans planning export initiatives in South America.
Source: Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences 7, pp 35 –52 (2014)More Less
This article provides an account of the extent to which South African annual reports, as at the end of 2010, comply with the fundamental and enhancing qualitative characteristics of decision-useful information. Using the frameworks provided by the International Accounting Standards Board and Integrated Reporting Committee of South Africa, the research provides a normative assessment of the quality of South African annual reports at the transition to integrated reporting, which can be used by future researchers wishing to study the effect of an integrated reporting model on corporate reporting. Based on the views of a selection of corporate reporting experts, the article finds that certain aspects of South African companies' corporate reports are regarded as providing useful information to users. There are also areas in need of improvement, most notably the disclosure of non-financial information and the integration of this information with the financial performance and strategic vision of the organisation.
Author Eloise De JagerSource: Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences 7, pp 53 –72 (2014)More Less
South Africa has a shortage of black (African and coloured) chartered accountants. The Thuthuka Project, initiated by the South African Institute for Chartered Accountants (SAICA), aims to increase the number of black accounting students. The Thuthuka Project includes funding, as well as a comprehensive support programme, for black students to study BCom Accounting (or equivalent) at a SAICA-accredited university. This article reports on research into the factors that promote and hinder the academic success of Thuthuka students. The findings of this study might help other students to achieve success and may assist in the transformation of the chartered accountancy profession. A questionnaire was used to gather data on the perceived success factors of Thuthuka students (from all the SAICA-accredited universities in South Africa). It was found that Thuthuka students believed that support was the main factor contributing to their success, followed by individual commitment.
Author Kafayat AmusaSource: Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences 7, pp 73 –88 (2014)More Less
Growth theories highlight the importance of domestic savings for Economic growth. The savings and growth literature points generally to a positive growth effect of domestic savings. For a country like South Africa, where the level of domestic saving is low, the question of the role of savings in economic growth becomes critical. An understanding of the contribution of the different forms of savings in an economy to its economic growth is important, especially to be able to make the proper policy addresses. This paper applies cointegration analysis within a multivariate framework to establish the effect of household, government and corporate savings on economic growth in South Africa. The result indicates that corporate saving has a significant positive relationship to growth in both the long and short run, while household and government saving have no significant impact on growth. There is need for policies that increase the level of domestic savings and also a need to address government policies that impact on both public and household savings rate.
Source: Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences 7, pp 89 –102 (2014)More Less
This article investigates exchange rate pass-through to domestic prices in Namibia. The study covers the period of 1993:Q1 - 2011:Q4, and employed the impulse response functions and variance decompositions obtained from a structural vector autoregressive model. The results from the impulse response functions show that there is a high and long-lasting effect from changes in exchange rates to inflation in Namibia, or high exchange rate pass-through into domestic inflation. The results from the forecast error variance decompositions also reflect that changes in the price level evolve endogenously with changes in the exchange rate. The results are in agreement with the findings of the impulse response functions regarding the significant effect of the exchange rate variable on domestic prices (inflation). The results confirm an incomplete pass-through, indicating that the purchasing power parity theory does not hold, with regard to the price level, in the context of Namibia.
Author Munyaradzi ChawanaSource: Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences 7, pp 103 –126 (2014)More Less
A number of researchers have sought to test the theoretical prediction of Modern Portfolio Theory that asserts that Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) under-performs conventional investing. In contrast to the majority of literature, which focuses on comparing SRI funds' performance to conventional funds, this study compares the performance of South Africa's JSE SRI Index to the performance of local conventional market indices in the period 2004-2012. Using Sharpe ratios, the results of the study indicate that in comparison to conventional indices, the JSE SRI Index generally exhibits an inferior risk-return trade-off in both bull and bear market conditions. Furthermore, spanning tests based on the single-factor Capital Asset Pricing Model provide evidence that the JSE SRI Index is only likely to earn similar risk-adjusted returns to the Synthetic Conventional Index (a self-constructed index tracking non-overlapping conventional stocks). However, if the assumption of a non-restricted investment universe for a non-socially conscious investor is considered, there is a risk-adjusted return penalty for investing in the JSE SRI Index.
Author Claire VermaakSource: Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences 7, pp 127 –144 (2014)More Less
The issue of energy poverty or the lack of access to modern energy has received increasing attention in the development literature, including specific reference in the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Measures based on just energy expenditures ('energy burden') are shown to be rather inadequate when identifying energy-poor households. This paper uses an access-adjusted energy poverty measure that allows for varying energy efficiencies and access to different fuel types used by sampled households from a 2008/9 Department of Energy survey. Taking three pre-assigned thresholds of household energy use among LSM1-LSM3 households, all the South African provinces are mapped showing spatial incidences of energy poverty for electrified households. It is proposed that these access-adjusted indicators are methodologically more robust and informative for policy than conventional, purely expenditure-based indicators.
Source: Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences 7, pp 145 –186 (2014)More Less
The South African Revenue Service (SARS) implemented a more aggressive reporting system in 2008 by introducing new reportable arrangements ('RA') provisions in the Income Tax Act. In March 2010, SARS issued a revised Draft Guide to Reportable Arrangements for public comment. More than three years after its release, there is still no finalised, updated guide available to address the 'new' RA provisions. Determining when arrangements should be reported to SARS therefore remains both problematic and onerous. It is the purpose of this article to examine some of the problematic terminology in an attempt to afford South African taxpayers greater clarity in the identification and disclosure of RAs. The research findings are tested through a survey conducted among tax partners and directors at a sample of 40 leading audit and legal firms in South Africa. The majority of respondents agreed with the conclusions drawn from the literature study.
Source: Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences 7, pp 187 –212 (2014)More Less
Professional bodies such as the International Federation of Accountants and related bodies such as the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants require Information Technology (IT) to be integrated with the professional subjects, which includes Management Accounting. This has been a recent development in the training of professional accountants. Historically, universities have mainly focused on numerical problem-solving, but there has been a shift in focus from numerical problem-solving only to integrating numerical problem-solving with strategic and business matters. The Department of Accounting at Stellenbosch University developed a management accounting simulation in the form of a business plan project covering the entire process of launching a new business idea. Students select a new business concept, research the viability thereof and prepare various sets of financial information and a business plan. The learning objective of the simulation is to integrate management accounting with IT, and expose students to a real-life business experience. A questionnaire was developed to evaluate students' perceptions of the benefits and disadvantages of a simulation, including a business plan project as a teaching tool. Responses to the appropriateness of a simulation as a teaching tool were favourable. Respondents felt that it helped them to understand both management accounting as well as IT functionalities better.
Author Sophia BrinkSource: Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences 7, pp 213 –230 (2014)More Less
For income tax purposes, a taxpayer operating a business will account for discount received differently from a taxpayer not operating a business. When a taxpayer operating a business obtains goods or services at a discount, the taxpayer can claim a section 11(a) deduction at the value of the goods or services, net of the discount received. The discount reduces the value of the net reduction of taxable income and the taxpayer is effectively taxed on the discount received. A taxpayer who is not operating a business will not qualify for a section 11(a) deduction (read together with section 23(g)) for goods or services obtained (it does not meet the requirements 'for the purposes of trade' and 'in the production of income'). Discount received in the hands of a non-trading person (often a natural person) is currently not subject to normal South African income tax. The main objective of this article is to investigate whether the existing provisions in the Income Tax Act No. 58 of 1962 and related case law provide a basis for taxing discount received in the hands of the non-trading individual. In order to meet this objective, local literature was analysed to determine the correct income tax treatment and it was found that discount received by a non-trading person meets all the requirements of the 'gross income' definition and consequently should be taxable.
Emerging trends in reporting : an analysis of integrated reporting practices by South African top 40 listed companiesSource: Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences 7, pp 231 –250 (2014)More Less
Companies should behave as responsible corporate citizens and conduct their business in a manner that meets existing needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Thus they should protect, enhance and invest in the wellbeing of the economy, society and the natural environment in which they do business. Annual reporting format of financial reporting does not take cognisance of stakeholders' needs in this regard, and there is a need for reporting that brings together financial, sustainability, management commentary and governance aspects in a coherent, simplified and concise manner.The objective of this paper is twofold: it aims, firstly, to provide a brief overview of the development of integrated reporting, and, secondly, to provide evidence regarding the integrated reporting practices at the largest listed companies in South Africa. This is done through a literature review of current corporate governance and sustainability developments, supported by empirical evidence obtained from assessing, through content analysis, the integrated reporting practices of the top 40 companies on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange, South Africa. The study found that although integrated reporting is evolving, inconsistencies still exist regarding the process to follow, format, content, and value thereof. The study is of specific relevance for Africa with its rich mineral resources, as it is of vital importance that companies that do business on the continent behave as responsible corporate citizens, respect the environment and society, and provide accurate, reliable and credible reporting on their financial and sustainability performance to all of their stakeholders in a simplified and integrated manner.