The inaugural Red Tape Reduction Awards brought to an end a month-long challenge by government employees to identify and solve problems involving over-bearing bureaucratic procedures.
The ceremony, held in Cape Town last month, was attended by a number of public servants, many of whom took part in the competition. They were joined by aspiring entrepreneurs.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism Minister Alan Winde said the reduction of red tape does not mean the removal of the government’s responsibility to monitor and manage policies, but rather the easing of the barrier between people and business to work progressively together.
Winde invited business owners to participate in the initiative by submitting their ideas and to collaborate with government or with each other to lighten the load of bureaucracy in the province.
The competition is an initiative of the Red Tape Reduction Unit, formed to reduce bureaucracy that involves excessive paperwork and long waiting periods.
“We’re looking to businesses to become ambassadors of the move to amend or replace policies and other regulatory processes,” said Winde.
The unit believes South Africa is still behind on being a flexible place for business investors, with strict regulatory processes impeding investment from both inside and outside the country.
Said Winde: “Countries such as Singapore are leading harbours of export and import control, solely because their policies allow for expansion of business interaction in the country and far-off regions.
The country has opened itself up for fair and hurdle-less trade and we must (go) the same route.”
Hans Ohle of the Cape Chamber of Commerce said the attitude among directors and managers at government departments required a mind-shift.
“There needs to be a change in policies and not just improvement on electronic systems,” he said.
Jason Mingo, a participant working at the provincial department on finance, said he was concerned about paperwork arrangement when dealing with suppliers. His solution is based on reworking official government-supplier paperwork to ensure that services are delivered quickly.
- Call the Red Tape Reductions Unit on 086 888 126.