Mangaung Metro has been ranked as one of the cities where it is easier to do business by the World Bank Group. This was announced yesterday, 19 September 2018, by the Deputy Minister for Finance Mondli Gungubele at the launch of the `Doing Business in South Africa 2018’ report in Pretoria.
The Doing Business in South Africa 2018 report analyses business regulations for domestic small and medium enterprises across nine of the country’s biggest cities (Buffalo City, Cape Town, Ekurhuleni, eThekwini, Johannesburg, Mangaung, Msunduzi, Nelson Mandela Bay and Tshwane) in the following areas:
- Dealing with construction permits
- Getting electricity
- Registering property
- Enforcing contracts
- Trading across borders
The report measures improvements made in these areas since the last report in 2015, as well as aspects of regulation that enable or hinder entrepreneurs in starting, operating or expanding a business. Of the five categories, Mangaung leads in registering property, narrowly outperforming Johannesburg and Tshwane. Furthermore, the city is the fastest in contract management and where attorney fees are lowest in commercial litigation. Together with Msunduzi, Mangaung remains one of the places where contract enforcement takes just under 16 months – the fastest countrywide.
In 2015, Mangaung’s Finance directorate introduced a new automated electronic financial management and e-application system to issue rate clearance certificates and by simplifying the process, have cut down the process of registering a property by approximately a month. The system has proven to be efficient, accurate and cost-effective for both the municipality and attorneys. It has also improved communication between ourselves and attorneys. Through the online system, a person who is far away can just log onto the system and apply for rates clearance.
Welcoming the report, Executive Mayor Cllr. Olly Mlamleli said: I’m happy that the systems we are putting are beginning to yield results .This automation in our Finance directorate does not only encourage efficiency but it also contributes in revenue collection. As the city, we are slowly practicalising the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“One of the projects I will be looking into is the Ultipay initiative – an application where you can pay rates and taxes without physically visiting municipal offices. I’m also looking at having Ulti-ATMs to be installed in public spaces where you can use card or pay cash at your convenient time. We are doing all this for the convenience of the community and improvement of service delivery,” she said.
Deputy Minister Gungubele emphasised the importance of infrastructure in ensuring in economic growth. He said: “The purpose of city activities to promote economic development should be to provide effective platforms for local economic activity…This should mean providing the essential infrastructure & services that facilitate economic activity and investment. Sophisticated marketing or industrial development schemes will be irrelevant if water and electricity cannot be reliably supplied. Furthermore, if we are to break with our inefficient and inequitable spatial history of urban sprawl, essential infrastructure & services should be provided in such a way that they encourage the agglomeration and `connectedness’ that promotes inclusive economic development,” he concluded.
The National Treasury is supporting Invest SA’s lead in working with the relevant national and provincial departments and government agencies to simplify and speed up the processes involved in starting a business, registering property, dealing with construction permits, and trading across borders. In particular, there are a number of processes that would be made significantly more efficient through the introduction of electronic automation, online accessibility as well as electronic information exchange. These reforms are often complex to initiate and implement but have significant benefit in improving intergovernmental regulatory performance that impacts on doing business.
Paul Noumba Um, World Bank Country Director for South Africa has lauded the reforms and improvements made by South African cities. He said: “This report helps South Africa take its pulse amid efforts to improve conditions for entrepreneurs over the last three years. It specifically identifies which initiatives have been successful and where constraints remain. Moreover, the undertaking represents the country’s commitment to strengthening its business climate. Given the new presidential investment agenda, the time is ripe to use these results to promote smart regulation in favour of business.”
The study was implemented in collaboration with the Cities Support Programme, the Department of Trade and Industry and the South African Cities Network. The Subnational Doing Business work is based on the same methodology as the global Doing Business report published annually by the World Bank Group.
The full report can be downloaded at:
Issued by: MMM Communications