Pretoria - Government has launched a one-stop-shop for investors aimed at improving the ease of doing business in the country.
This is according to President Jacob Zuma, who was speaking at the launch of Invest South Africa, a division of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) which is part of government’s nine-point development plan. The one-stop-shop (OSS) aims to increase foreign and domestic investment in South Africa and the rest of Africa.
It was first proposed by Zuma in August 2015 in a meeting with the presidential working group. The service will be launched in three provinces, Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, said Zuma. It will be rolled out to other provinces in the next three years.
“The South African government is determined to improve the business environment by lowering the cost of doing business and improving the ease of doing business in South Africa,” he said. “We are aware that it is imperative to maintain and improve in these areas in order to have a sustainable and competitive economy.”
The OSS was established in response to calls by business people to reduce the bureaucratic red tape they experienced when trying to set up businesses. “Bureaucratic red tape has been stifling the growth of business,” said Zuma.
“We will not make headway with regard to investments unless we do something to make it easier to do business in our country,” he added.
Various departments and agencies will be “housed” at the OSS. Business people will be able to meet with representatives from home affairs, labour, environmental affairs, trade and industry as well as the South African Revenue Services (SARS) and Eskom, among others. This will help them obtain required registration, permits and licencing to set up businesses, he explained.
Through an automation processes, a company can be registered within a day, in the past this happened over five to seven days. Foreign registrations will also be fast-tracked.
“South Africa is an attractive destination and government is committed to improve the investment climate and ease of doing business,” he said. “Let us unlock the economic growth potential of our country by making it easier to do business in South Africa,” he added.
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies added that the OSS will ensure investors have a “fairly seamless process” of interaction with different agencies, to ensure investments become a reality. “We are going to improve the efficiency of how things are done,” said Davies.
In addition to facilitation of investment, aftercare services will be provided to address issues that may “crop up” after investment is provided. Davies mentioned that there are hopes that the OSS will help improve South Africa’s World Bank rating on the ease of doing business, which is currently at 74.Read Fin24's top stories trending on Twitter: