Mak­ing SA in­vestor friendly

Public Sector Manager - - Contents -

How South Africa is work­ing hard to at­tract in­vestors and im­prove their ex­pe­ri­ence of do­ing busi­ness in the coun­try

South Africa is pulling out all the stops to en­tice in­vestors and make their ex­pe­ri­ence of do­ing busi­ness in the coun­try a has­sle-free one. The In­vest South Africa (In­vest SA) One Stop Shop in the West­ern Cape, which was launched re­cently by Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma, will go a long way in help­ing to achieve this.

The Pres­i­dent said the launch of the cen­tre, where in­vestors can ac­cess a va­ri­ety of ser­vices from govern­ment de­part­ments and agen­cies un­der one roof, is an in­di­ca­tion of how all three spheres of govern­ment can collaborate to cut red tape.

He added that govern­ment, busi­ness and or­gan­ised labour needed to en­sure that this pos­i­tive tra­jec­tory was sus­tained.

Putting the econ­omy first

“Cre­at­ing an en­vi­ron­ment where the econ­omy can grow, and jobs can be cre­ated for our peo­ple, comes first for our govern­ment. Our peo­ple do need jobs, they need to be able to put food on the table. Young peo­ple need jobs, they are sit­ting at home with de­grees and diplo­mas.

“It is for this rea­son that we are fo­cus­ing on cre­at­ing the right en­vi­ron­ment for in­vest­ments into the econ­omy from abroad and from within the coun­try,” said the Pres­i­dent.

It is against this back­drop, of putting the econ­omy first, that govern­ment is es­tab­lish­ing One Stop Shops to make it eas­ier for in­vestors to do busi­ness in South Africa.

Pres­i­dent Zuma said for a long time the in­vestor com­mu­nity com­plained about be­ing met with bu­reau­cratic hur­dles from the state, which made it dif­fi­cult for them to do busi­ness. In­vest SA is govern­ment's con­crete re­sponse to th­ese con­cerns.

“The idea of One Stop Shops is sim­ple. All key reg­u­la­tory and ad­min­is­tra­tive de­part­ments and agen­cies are housed in a sin­gle lo­ca­tion to pro­vide an in­te­grated ser­vice to in­vestors. This is hap­pen­ing for the first time in our his­tory.”

Re­duc­ing red tape

The One Stop Shops pro­vide a con­ve­nient, pro­fes­sional ser­vice for set­ting up a busi­ness.

All an in­vestor needs to do is to make an ap­point­ment with the rel­e­vant govern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tive at the One Stop Shop to ex­plain the ser­vices re­quired and the govern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tive pro­vides guid­ance and sup­port to the in­vestor.

Key De­part­ments such as Home Af­fairs, Labour, En­vi­ron­men­tal Af­fairs, Trade and In­dus­try and agen­cies such as the Com­pa­nies In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Com­mis­sion, South African Rev­enue Ser­vice and a visa fa­cil­i­ta­tion ser­vice, are avail­able at the One Stop Shop.

“From per­mits to wa­ter or electricity ser­vices, tax is­sues,

li­cens­ing – it should be easy for an in­vestor to get all th­ese ser­vices un­der one roof. Of­fi­cials at the One Stop Shops are trained and briefed to pro­vide such spe­cial­ist ad­vi­sory ser­vices.

“They are meant to help po­ten­tial in­vestors find all ser­vices un­der one roof. Our in­ten­tion is to un­block and re­duce red tape in govern­ment.”

This is an ap­proach that is achiev­ing the re­quired re­sults.

“Since the launch of the na­tional One Stop Shop on 17 March this year, we have seen a sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment in the over­all in­vestor fa­cil­i­ta­tion and af­ter ser­vice.

“If we con­tinue in this di­rec­tion, we will con­tinue to see re­sults and achieve the growth rates en­vis­aged in the Na­tional Devel­op­ment Plan (NDP), added the Pres­i­dent.

The NDP en­vis­ages that the com­bined in­vest­ment by the pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tors rises from the cur­rent lev­els of around 19 per­cent of gross do­mes­tic prod­uct to 30 per­cent by 2030.

Trade and In­dus­try Deputy Min­is­ter Bule­lani Mag­wan­ishe said since the launch of the na­tional In­vest SA cen­tre, 101 walk-ins had been recorded at the cen­tre and 277 in­vestor con­sul­ta­tions had been done. Four in­vestor block­ages were iden­ti­fied, es­ca­lated to the rel­e­vant de­part­ments and they were later re­solved.

Over­com­ing chal­lenges

Pres­i­dent Zuma said govern­ment ac­knowl­edged that in­vestors, both for­eign and do­mes­tic, as well as other busi­ness own­ers, shared con­cerns about the state of the coun­try's econ­omy.

“Th­ese con­cerns in­clude the con­tin­ued slow eco­nomic growth, ris­ing govern­ment debt, and poor per­for­mance by some state-owned com­pa­nies and en­ter­prises.We share th­ese con­cerns. They are our con­cerns too, and we are tak­ing steps to ad­dress them,” he stressed.

To ad­dress th­ese chal­lenges and for­mu­late con­crete mea­sures to turn the sit­u­a­tion around, the Pres­i­dent con­vened a meet­ing of the Eco­nomic Clus­ter Min­is­ters ear­lier in the year.

“I called the meet­ing to also com­mu­ni­cate to the Min­is­ters that we need to act with a strong mea­sure of ur­gency. It is sim­ply not suf­fi­cient to say we have the

NDP any­more. We need to move faster to im­ple­ment it,” he added.

Govern­ment is ac­cel­er­at­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the NDP be­cause it be­lieves that it is the only plan that will lead to in­clu­sive growth and help cre­ate jobs.

Nine-Point Plan

The meet­ing agreed on clear im­ple­men­ta­tion time­lines for the key struc­tural re­forms re­lated to the Nine-Point Plan to reignite eco­nomic growth.

The Nine-Point Plan pri­ori­tises ac­tion in a num­ber of ar­eas.

There is an in­creased fo­cus on in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion, min­ing and ben­e­fi­ci­a­tion, agri­cul­ture and agro-pro­cess­ing, en­ergy, small, medium as well as mi­cro en­ter­prises, at­tract­ing in­vest­ments, grow­ing the oceans econ­omy and tourism.

In addition, cross-cut­ting ar­eas such as sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy, wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion, in­fra­struc­ture, trans­port in­fra­struc­ture and broad­band roll-out have also been pri­ori­tised.

A spe­cific pro­gramme also fo­cuses on the devel­op­ment of black in­dus­tri­al­ists, as part of pro­mot­ing rad­i­cal so­cio-eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion. This ini­tia­tive aims to ex­pand the in­dus­trial base of the coun­try and grow the econ­omy by bring­ing the ma­jor­ity to pro­duc­tive sec­tors such as man­u­fac­tur­ing.

“The Eco­nomic Clus­ter has pro­duced mea­sures to add im­pe­tus to the Nine-Point Plan,” the Pres­i­dent added.

While Fi­nance Min­is­ter Malusi Gi­gaba has an­nounced some of th­ese mea­sures, more are ex­pected when he de­liv­ers the Mid-term Pol­icy Statement.

While there is no deny­ing the chal­lenges fac­ing the econ­omy, the Pres­i­dent stressed that it was not all doom and gloom.

“Our coun­try is do­ing well on many fronts and life is im­prov­ing for many peo­ple on a daily ba­sis, as ba­sic ser­vices are ex­tended on an on­go­ing ba­sis. We need to unite as South Africans and put our coun­try first,” he urged.

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Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma with West­ern Cape Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment MEC Alan Winde, City of Cape Town Ex­ec­u­tive Mayor Pa­tri­cia de Lille and Trade and In­dus­try Deputy Min­is­ter Bule­lani

Mag­wan­ishe at the open­ing of the In­vest SA One Stop Shop.

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