Ex-mining boss to head ‘red tape team’ to boost small business

via times live (https://www.timeslive.co.za/politics/2022-02-10-ex-mining-boss-to-head-red-tape-team-to-try-boost-small-business/)

President Cyril Ramaphosa has put together a task team, led by former mining boss Sipho Nkosi, that will look at cutting the red tape that is making it difficult for small business to operate in SA.

The team, which will be based in the presidency, will among other things look into immediate ways the government can ensure suppliers are paid within 30 days.

This has been identified as one of the things killing small businesses in the country, especially those doing business with the state.

“We are working to improve the business environment for companies of all sizes through a dedicated capacity in the presidency to reduce red tape,” Ramaphosa said during his state of the nation address on Thursday night.

“If we are to make progress in cutting unnecessary bureaucratic delays for businesses, we need dedicated capacity with means to make changes. I have therefore appointed Sipho Nkosi to head a team in my office to cut red tape across our economy and government.”

Nkosi is former CEO of mining giant Exxaro.

Delivering his sixth state of the nation address, Ramaphosa said the “red tape team” will go a long way to ensure small and medium businesses thrive.

He also announced financial support for small and medium businesses affected by the unrest and looting in July last year and by the Covid-19 pandemic. This loan scheme will assist businesses to bounce back. It will be similar to the one put in place during the pandemic.

He said the loan had not operated the way he would have liked, but the government had drawn lessons and refined it.

“This year we are undertaking far-reaching measures to unleash the potential of small businesses, micro businesses and informal businesses. These are the business that create the most jobs and provide the most opportunities for poor people to earn a living.”

According to Ramaphosa, discussions were under way to see the introduction of the loan scheme. He said minister of finance Enoch Godongwana would provide more details when he delivers the budget speech later this month.

“This new bounce-back scheme incorporates lessons from the previous loan guarantee scheme which did not work as well as I had anticipated when we launched it under the stimulus programme we launched, which was quite unprecedented in the history of our country.”