Government's delay in approving projects hampers business growth - Black Business Council CEO Matabane

The Black Business Council says local government needs to function efficiently for businesses to thrive
The Black Business Council says local government needs to function efficiently for businesses to thrive
Image: 123RF/ Matthias Ziegler

Local government has to function efficiently in order to enable small business to grow and create the much needed jobs for the economy.

This is according to Black Business Council (BBC) CEO Kganki Matabane who spoke to Sowetan on the sidelines of the organisation’s summit held in Midrand on Thursday.

“For example, if you want to dig a hole, it takes long to get approval from the city. If you want to get a water license, it takes forever as well.

“When you do business in local government, you need a lot of approval from the municipality. If you want to convert your house into a business, you need to apply for rezoning. Those things take long… opportunities do not wait for bureaucracy; you have to take opportunities while they are still hot. That needs to be address by government in order grow small businesses,” said Matabane.

He told Sowetan that BBC is establishing a research team to do a list of all legislation that is stifling the growth of small businesses in the three spheres of government. After the research has been completed it will be given to government for consideration.

BBC members met in Midrand just days after Statistics SA announced that South Africa was in a technical recession as the economy shrank by 1.4% in the last quarter of 2019. In the third quarter of 2019, the economy declined by 0.8%.Matabane said government needed to reprioritise its spending as the country was facing serious financial strain.

“The country is in trouble. Revenue is not enough but our expenses keep on rising. We have to spend on infrastructure so that people can trade. But the spending on salaries and travel that should be reduced,” he said.

He added that Eskom, which is seen as the major contributor the economic decline, needed to turn its tide on electricity supply.

“We need energy supply to be secured for businesses to trade. If you are running a restaurant, you need electricity. If you operate a mine, you need electricity. Electricity should be the single priority for government at the moment. Unreliable supply of electricity is really hampering economic growth at the moment,” Matabane said.

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