Ramaphosa to business: 'Fed up with red tape? So am I.' | Fin24
 
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Ramaphosa to business: 'Fed up with red tape? So am I.'

Apr 09 2019 17:01
Khulekani Magubane, Fin24

President Cyril Ramaphosa told business leaders at a meeting in Beyerskloof Wine Estate in Stellenbosch on Tuesday that he knew the bite of government bureaucracy and red tape all too well.

Ramaphosa was responding to questions from business leaders about the challenges they face when investing in SA and operating their businesses in the country. Ramaphosa said he too had his fair share of grey hairs from waiting for processes to be approved. 

In a frank meeting, business people were candid with the president about the role government offices played in worsening their problems.

Ramaphosa is on the election campaign trail and hopes to lead the ANC to yet another national election victory in May, after nearly a decade of credibility challenges during the "wasted years" of former president Jacob Zuma.

However businessman Ockie Oosthuizen told the president that business’ challenges were largely related to red tape such as licensing offices being too slow.

"You said we should all do our part in creating more jobs, stimulating the economy and preventing crime," Oosthuizen told Ramaphosa.

"We as farmers want to exploit every opportunity to create jobs. You said you would make it easier for small business and farms to do just that, but there is so much red tape ... How do you see yourself closing that gap?"

Ramaphosa told business leaders that as a farmer himself, government processes have given even him, an ANC National Executive Member, the runaround.

"I have experienced red tape too. I am a farmer and my farm applied for a water licence. I did not want them to know it was me applying, so I applied through a trust and you would not believe the difficulty in the process," said Ramaphosa.

He said his application was in terms of applying to government offices for permission to use water connected to a dam near one of his farms for irrigation purposes and the process dragged on for years.

"It took us three years to get someone to sign that we can utilise the water that gathers in our farm and into a river for irrigation. There is a lot of red tape and bureaucracy and it impedes on the growth of our economy.

"My approach is that bureaucratic rooms puts brakes on the growth of our economy. Last year we had a wonderful occasion to speak to business leaders. They raised a number of constraints including visa regulations [and that] processes for approval take too long," he said.

Ramaphosa said that when the next administration took power, no form of laziness or bribery from government offices dealing with business applications would be tolerated.

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