The Acting of Head of Invest South Africa, a branch of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic), Yunus Hoosen says significant reforms have been made to improve the ease of doing business in South Africa.
Hoosen was speaking during the South Africa Investment Technical Session at the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) currently taking place in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.
The session was aimed at unpacking South Africa’s ease of doing business and investor financial support packages.
South Africa has taken note of the World Bank’s study on the ease of doing business and is currently developing a comprehensive Ease of Doing Business Programme in South Africa.
“At the advent of the 6th administration, President Cyril Ramaphosa outlined that South Africa needed to improve ease of doing business and set out the investment improvement programme by which government champions the ease of doing business programme through the Treasury and other government departments and entities,” said Hoosen.
“In the past two years South Africa has looked at the World Bank rankings and worked with those indicators. We looked at starting a big business, construction permits, electricity and paying taxes amongst others. We looked at the three levels of government in terms of time, procedures and process and then we started the modernisation programme in government,” said Hoosen.
He added that together with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), a Bizportal platform was developed in order to offer company registration and related services in a simple seamless digital way, which is completely paperless.
Hoosen said company registration in South Africa previously took 40 days and seven processes. Today the process is fully automated on Bizportal.gov.za.
Any person or entity can register for R175 only, and can get a company registration certificate, register with South African Revenue Service, Unemployment Insurance Fund, Compensation Fund and also get a Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment certificate.
He added that businesspeople no longer needed to stand in long queues as they can do everything in the comfort of their homes within a day. The second phase of the process is to integrate this with the Department of Home Affairs.
Hoosen also said that the Invest SA’s was committed to facilitate, promote and fast-track investments into the country working with the provincial agencies.
“As a point of contact we assist both domestic and foreign investors throughout the journey of an investment lifecycle, to progress into a project and importantly to advice on policies, regulatory environment, financial support that is available and non-financial assistance, support programmes in terms of the industrial parks and Special Economic Zones,” added Hoosen.
The Acting Head of Research at Brand South, Ms Shamiso Hlatswayo, highlighted South Africa’s strengths as a middle income country and an ideal gateway to the rest of the continent, during her Nation Branding for Competitiveness presentation.
Some of the most notable points made during the presentation were South Africa’s growing innovation and technological capabilities, while also reiterating its role as a leading infrastructure and manufacturing hub.
Through indices such as the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index and the latest Global Innovation Index, South Africa continues to be well respected as an investment destination of choice.
The Lead Administrator of the South African Bureau of Standards, Ms Jodi Scholtz says when standardised conformity assessment processes are implemented, this can facilitate the movement of products and services across borders, quality standard provides the end-users a product or service with the assurance that global or national specifications and regulations have been complied with.
“the dtic has called upon the Quality Infrastructure institutions (QIs) to chart a course that would help modernise manufacturing, helping to drive economic growth and the development objectives of national government, against the backdrop of international standards and quality requirements to help facilitate greater trade,” said Scholtz.