Unlocking opportunities for businesses
An increase in investment is expected in KwaZuluNatal following the launch of the latest InvestSA One Stop Shop
The business community in KwaZulu-Natal is anticipating an increase in investment after the launch of the InvestSA One Stop Shop in the province recently.
The primary aim of the provincial One Stop Shops is to coordinate and incorporate special economic zones, provincial investment agencies, local authorities and the relevant government departments involved in regulation, registration, permits and licensing matters.
The InvestSA One Stop Shops are one of government's initiatives aimed at improving the business environment by reducing red tape, lowering the cost of doing business and improving the ease of doing business in South Africa in order to create a sustainable and competitive economy.
Speaking at the launch of the One Stop Shop in Durban, Chairperson of the KwaZulu-Natal Business Chambers Council, Dominic Collett, said: “This centre provides the people of KwaZulu-Natal with a hope of prosperity and job creation through the injection of investment from outside the province.”
Preferred destination for investment
It is envisioned that the One Stop Shop would strengthen the province's value proposition to investors as a preferred destination for investment, he added.
“It will also attract new markets in KwaZulu-Natal through creating a conducive environment for trade and investment, making the province a gateway to Africa and the world,” said Collett.
KwaZulu-Natal and specifically Durban's competitiveness in attracting foreign direct investment has been unsatisfactory compared to the other major cities such as Johannesburg and Cape Town.
According to Collet, the weak performance has been attributed to the barriers of doing business in the province which include obtaining permits
for water and electricity services as well as tax issues.
He says all that is set to change thanks to the One Stop Shop.“We look upon new or expanding businesses to contribute to muchneeded job creation for our people. For us to be able to draw in new investments, we need to create a conducive environment.
“It is for this reason that the InvestSA One Stop Shop Centres are being established,” explained President Jacob Zuma at the launch.
He noted that businesspeople in various forums had informed government about challenges they face when seeking to establish businesses in South Africa due to various bureaucratic requirements.
“The One Stop Shops will not immediately resolve all the challenges experienced by investors, however, every concerted effort is put in place to remedy the challenges,” said the President.
The InvestSA One Stop Shops will be the point of contact for investors to obtain permits, licences and other regulatory requirements.
Services offered by key departments such as Home Affairs, Labour, Environmental Affairs,Trade and Industry and agencies such as the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission, South African Revenue Service,Visa Facilitation Service centres, among others, will be available at the One Stop Shop.
“Government wants to make it easier for citizens to establish businesses as well. As a result, the registration of businesses has been made quicker and easier.The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission has rolled out self-service terminals
“The Department of Home Affairs has partnered with banks to roll out smart ID cards and passports with a turnaround
time of five working days.”
in partnership with banks, local economic development agencies and chambers for company registrations,” he noted.
Earlier this year, self-service terminals were introduced to all provinces and are also accessible to small businesses in rural areas.
The Department of Home Affairs has partnered with banks to roll out smart ID cards and passports with a turnaround time of five working days.
“The establishment of these new services should assist to further enhance our country's attractiveness as an investment destination,” President Zuma said.
The President noted that in light of the current economic challenges, government needs to do more to create an environment that supports investment and helps the country reach the growth targets mentioned in the National Development Plan.
The KwaZulu-Natal One Stop Shop will be housed at the offices of Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal which is the agency that carries the provincial mandate to attract and retain investment.
The province has also established satellite offices at Dube Trade Port and Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone.The satellite office at Dube Trade Port is ready for operation while the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone is still under construction.
In March 2017 the national InvestSA One Stop Shop opened in Gauteng and in September the Western Cape InvestSA One Stop Shop opened its doors.
President Jacob Zuma opens the InvestSA One Stop Shop in KwaZulu-Natal.