The implementation of government’s red tape reduction initiative – aimed at lessening the often devastating challenges small businesses owners face when dealing with municipalities – is well under way across South Africa.
The initiative was launched by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in collaboration with the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the South African Local Government Association (Salga) in July last year.
The aim of the partnership is intended to reduce the barriers entrepreneurs face and to increase opportunities for small businesses.
“The guidelines are being rolled out throughout the country through workshops currently under way.
It is anticipated that they will cover all nine provinces in the near future,” says spokesman for the DTI, Sidwell Medupe.
The guidelines highlight the wide-ranging negative economic impact of municipal red tape on the development of small businesses.
“The guidelines highlight how municipalities can improve service delivery that supports small business development through context-specific action plans.
The guidelines also serve as a practical implementation tool for a local business environment monitoring mechanism,” Medupe says.
According to Medupe, the major red tape issues hampering small business development include lengthy and inefficient supply chain management processes.
He says it is this which ultimately affect the 30-day payment system to these businesses.
Medupe says there is still a long way to go before the initiative bears real fruit.
However, the ultimate outcome is to enhance best practice in terms of policy and procedures, to encourage public-private partnerships (PPPs), and to institutionalise red tape reduction practices at the local government level.
Some positive outcomes highlighted by Medupe include reduction of duplicate procedures and prioritising payments to small businesses.
Other institutional benefits will include skills enhancement to apply red tape reduction methodologies by municipal officials and the development of action plans, including proposed solutions reflecting each municipality’s unique context.
- Go to www.thedti.gov.za for more information.