Un­lock­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for busi­nesses

An in­crease in in­vest­ment is ex­pected in KwaZu­luNatal fol­low­ing the launch of the lat­est In­vestSA One Stop Shop

Public Sector Manager - - Contents: -

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.

Re­solv­ing chal­lenges

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.

Self-ser­vice ter­mi­nals

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.

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