tackling Red tape a priority [Cape Argus (South Africa)]
(Cape Argus (South Africa) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) BUSINESS and government have welcomed Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu's budget vote speech, saying tackling issues such as red tape will boost the small business sector.
Zulu, who was appointed to head the new ministry in May, delivered her maiden speech to Parliament this week.
Provincial Economic Opportunities MEC Alan Winde welcomed Zulu's references to reducing red tape.
"This is the biggest hindrance to small business growth. Unnecessary regulations cost our economy R79 billion each year. That is why we have prioritised red tape reduction in the Western Cape, establishing a dedicated unit to tackle this problem."
Winde said he was particularly encouraged that Zulu highlighted the green economy and information and communication technology (ICT) as a focus area.
"These are key industries in the Western Cape. To this end, we have launched the Green Economy Strategy Framework and our R1.3bn broadband plan."
He said the SME sector generated 57 percent of the gross domestic product and was a key job creator. Partnerships between different spheres of government were central to growing small business. "I look forward to working with Minister Zulu to create a conducive environment for our entrepreneurs to grow their business and employ more residents."
Janine Myburgh, president of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the development of the sector was of critical importance.
The sector bore a huge burden of red tape, and it needed to be freed up to grow. Zulu needed to look at all factors that discouraged small business from employing more workers.
She said high minimum wages were a problem for business, and virtually all new posts were filled by inexperienced and unskilled workers.
"Small business cannot afford to pay high wages to unproductive employees. On-the-job training costs money and that is a further difficulty… This problem is recognised by the government and that is why we have the youth wage subsidy."
She said small businesses needed practical support to grow and expand, and the best way to encourage them was to help them to train their workers and develop their skills.
"Small businesses will be happy to pay good wages to productive workers. More productive small businesses will grow and they will take on more employees."
Nazeem Martin, managing director of Business Partners Limited, said what was important was that South Africa now had a champion in the small business sector at ministerial level.
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