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It is without a doubt that South Africa is Africa’s most industrialized market. It is also one of the most technologically advanced markets, a fact which explains why its capital Cape town was recently ranked Africa’s digital city.
With the most high-level, broad-based economy in the continent, the Southern African country’s infrastructure matches any developed country.
Given that the country is well established not only technologically but also in its physical infrastructure, it remains a competitive market attracting investors from all over the world. But navigating through when setting up a business has proven to be cumbersome and complex for a number of investors.
According to World Bank data, South Africa ranks 82 out of 190 economies in the ease of doing business.
In a move aimed at improving the ease of doing business, President Cyril Ramaphosa in his weekly address has announced the introduction of a common application form across development funding institutions.
“While many entrepreneurs struggle to mobilise capital and access markets, they also find it difficult and costly to meet the regulatory requirements for starting and running a business,” he said.
Ramaphosa affirmed that the government is working to make it easier for people looking to open businesses in South Africa.
“We are making it easier to start a business, register a property, deal with construction permits, pay taxes and trade across borders. To promote greater efficiency, we are reducing the time it takes to grant licenses and permits.”
He disclosed that plans are underway to ensure that the conditions attached to licenses are not too complicated or costly.
To promote investments that will boost South Africa’s weak economy, Ramaphosa announced that in the near future, visitors will have the option of applying for an e-visa online.
“To attract the investment we need to make it easier to do business in South Africa. In a competitive global environment, investors are looking for countries that can provide stable and sustained returns, while minimising risks and cost,” he noted.
In his address, Ramaphosa said, “We want to be a destination of choice for foreign direct investment.” Given the ugly attack on foreign-owned businesses that took place recently, the SA president will have quite a huge task to restore trust. Economists say the recent xenophobic attacks that took place in South Africa could have huge impacts on foreign investor confidence.
Key to note, the President highlighted South Africa’s improvement in the World Economic Forum in its 2019 Global Competitiveness Report ranking which he said is “a noteworthy achievement within a relatively short period of time.”
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