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What you need to know when you decide to live with your partner

What you need to know when you decide to live with your partner

Introduction
It is a prevailing trend in the 21st century for couples to move in together without any intention of ever getting married, for whatsoever reason. Even though there is nothing wrong with this approach, there are some things to consider in this regard, i.e. what happens when the relationship ends?

As this type of partnership, irrespective of the time the couple had been together, is not currently recognised in our law – there is no legislation governing this situation in order to provide some protection to these partners. The greater issue arises once children are born from these partnerships, which happens more often than not, and the couple then separates – even though the child will be entitled to receive maintenance which is provided for in the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 and the Maintenance Act 99 of 1998, as amended, the mother (in most instances) does not receive the same entitlement to maintenance, irrespective of whether she had, during the subsistence of the partnership, given up her career to care and build the household.

What is the effect of non-recognition of partnerships like these?

In light of the above, it is clear that life partners, as described above, do not enjoy any protection of those who concluded a marriage or civil union. As this is a prevailing trend for couples, the legislature had to find a way in which these individuals can be protected so that they may have a right of recourse against their partner when breaking up, hence the publication of the draft Domestic Partnership Bill in 2008. It is clear that the legislature saw the need for implementation of some sort of safety net for couples who live together as if they are married, who have children and form a family, but never go down that route and thereafter a separation occurs.

Unfortunately, it is now 9 years later and the Domestic Partnership Bill has not been promulgated, which still leave partners with little to no protection in this regard.

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Make your mark

Make your mark

Here’s a great question for everybody: ‘What impact do I want to have on this earth in my lifetime?’

And translating it to our work-life: ‘What impact do I want the work that I do to have on this earth during my lifetime?’

These questions imply that there needs to be more to our existence than earning money to accrue things and keep our perceived needs met. There is a growing awareness and emphasis in the importance of holistic, sustainable living - and business practices - and it is increasingly important to incorporate these into our way of working.

On a pure strategic marketing level, not only will running your business in a socially and environmentally ethical manner improve the lives of others in your community, but it will also do wonders for your brand. Employee and customer loyalty has been shown to increase as well as community support.

But this should be viewed as a positive spin-off and not our driving force. Ultimately, it comes down to a shared belief in the interconnectedness of all things and the belief in the value of all things. Quantum reality is increasingly demonstrating to us that this is a world of oneness and connectivity.

If we are in business simply for our own gain, we will find work a struggle and will continually be striving. If we are in it for the growth and improvement of all – ourselves, our families, our communities, our country, our environment – we will be able to connect to far more opportunity, possibilities will open up to us; and our reach will be greater. We will be able to tap into more than just ourselves and our own aims…

So, ask yourself, how can I run my business in a way that honours and lifts up the people and environment in my community?

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Entrepreneur, market your brand by telling your story

Market your brand by telling your story

I met with a client this week and asked her very important question... What is your story? She initially said she didn't have one. She is health and wellness professional offering her clients support in the weightloss arena. No, she is not a MLM business. She sells physical and mental support in loosing between 15-50kgs. Excellent - I could be your market... But what is your story?

Really!!! Why do you need to know that? Because I'm interested - and I'm your potential customer. Because I need to know where you've come from in order to decide where you can take me. Because it adds to your credibility. Because we are spoilt for choice in the world that we live in and telling your very personal story differentiates you from your competition. Because you matter as much as I matter in the transaction.

Sometimes people only have your story to help them make a final call on their purchasing decision. Humans connect to people and to brands emotionally. Telling your story is another way to make an emotional connection and to start your 'fan' base...tribe or community.

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Registering an NPO, PBO or NPC - what does it mean?

Registering an NPO PBO or NPC

Introduction
The Non-Profit Organisations Act 71 of 1997 (hereinafter “NPO Act”), came into operation on 1 September 1998 as a result of a lengthy process of policy and legislative reform negotiated between the state and civil society organisations.

Primarily, the NPO Act’s objectives are to create an enabling environment for nonprofit organisations (NPOs) and setting and maintaining adequate standards of governance, accountability and transparency by creating a voluntary registration facility for NPOs.

An NPO is defined in Section 1 of the NPO Act as a trust, company or other association of persons established for a public purpose and of which its income and property are not distributable to its members or office bearers except as reasonable compensation for services rendered.

The Non-profit Organisations Directorate was established in terms of the NPO Act to administer the Register of NPOs in South Africa. The NPO Directorate is a public office and holds information about registered NPOs that is accessible to the public.

Non–profit organisations
To register as a NPO, organisations are required to complete a prescribed application form and submit same to the Directorate for NPOs, which forms part of the Department of Social Development, with two copies of the organisation’s founding document, i.e. a constitution for a volunteer association; memorandum of incorporation with the company’s registration letter for a non-profit company; and a deed of trust with the trustees authorisation letter for a trust.

This founding document of the organisation must meet the requirements of Section 12 of the NPO Act, which shortly, includes the following:
- the organisation’s main and ancillary objectives;
- that the organisation’s income and property are not distributable to its members or office-bearers, except as reasonable compensation for services rendered;
- make provision for the organisation’s continued existence notwithstanding changes in the composition of its membership or office-bearers;
- ensure that the members or office-bearers have no rights in the property or other assets of the organisation - specify the organisational structures and mechanisms for its governance;
- set out the rules for convening and conducting meetings
- set out a procedure by which the organisation maybe wound up or dissolved;
- and provide that when the organisation is being wound up or dissolved, any asset remaining after all its liabilities have been met, must be transferred to another non-profit organisation with similar objectives.

The status of registering the organisation as an NPO is furthermore a funding requirement for most donor and funding agencies.

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How to be streetwise when you are a first-time home buyer

How to be streetwise when you are a first-time home buyer

Purchasing one’s own property is an important milestone in every person’s life.

It is therefore in the interest of the prospective buyer to have, at least, a basic understanding of the process when investing your hard-earned money into purchasing your first house/property.

It will certainly benefit first-time home buyers to empower themselves by going onto the internet and researching the process involved, for example “Tips for First Home Buyers” or any other related topics. Having a basic understanding of the step by step process followed in purchasing your own house or simply the terminology used, will instantly make it easier to engage with the key role players in the process, like estate agents, banks/financial institutions, conveyancers, etc.

In addition to property prices, it is important for the first-time home buyer to know and understand the transfer costs involved when purchasing your property, e.g. deposit amount, transfer duties, bond registration fees, transfer fees, etc.

It is therefore important to realise that the decision to invest in an asset like your own property, must not be made hastily but should rather be a well-considered and planned process.

Discussed below are a few tips on what to look out for when investing in a property.

Crunch the numbers first
As part of the aforementioned empowerment process, it is advisable to use the internet and other resources available to familiarise yourself with the property prices in the residential areas you wish to buy in. Affordability plays a key role when a first-time home buyer contemplates purchasing his/her own property. Developing a realistic home budget that includes the rental you are currently paying, is an important exercise to undertake.

Armed with the information of property prices in your preferred residential area, mandatory transfer costs, insurance costs and your personal housing needs (like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, etc.), the prospective home buyer can decide whether his/her gross income will allow him/her to purchase the desired property.

To assist with your affordability forecast, it is advisable to use bond originators that will take into account your affordability. These systems will not focus merely on the primary banks but additionally take into account other banks or financial institutions that may offer you different credit and interest rates. Alternatively, one’s own personal banker can also assist in calculating the overall bond costs and the monthly premium that the prospective buyer will pay.

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