BUSINESS: The New Licensing of Business Bill
Recent Western Cape Business News
THE new Licensing of Businesses Bill, which has been published for public comment, is an unnecessary new measure that will do nothing to help businesses grow and create more jobs, says the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“All it will do is create more red tape and add another cost for people who want to start new businesses,” said Fred Jacobs, President of the Cape Chamber of Commerce. “ We should be encouraging them, not inventing new controls.”
He said the present system, which was introduced in 1991, had greatly simplified the business licensing process, restricting it to businesses where health and safety issues were involved and there was little reason to scrap it as proposed by the legislation.
The only reasons given for the Bill were that it would help the authorities deal with unspecified illicit practices and that it would give the government an idea of what business activities are taking place across the country in all the municipalities. This would be achieved as a matter of course if CIPC was working efficiently.
“It is difficult to avoid the impression that the information on business activities will lead to more controls and interference with business and we have quite enough legislation to deal with illicit activities. If people are selling fake goods they can be charged with fraud and be sued in the civil courts by their victims. If they are selling liquor without a licence they can be charged. The government ought to be looking for ways to reduce red tape not add to it,” said Mr Jacobs.
A further problem was that the legislation would add to the work of the municipalities which were already overstretched with many of them already failing in their basic service delivery tasks.
“The essential question is why do we need this legislation? Who asked for it? And what will it achieve?”
The Chamber said that before contemplating any legislation involving business, the Government should ask: Will this encourage entrepreneurs to start new businesses or expand existing ones and employ more people? Will it attract foreign investment?
If the answer was NO then there was no case for the new law.
The Chamber supported the analysis of the legislation by Busa which confirmed that it would lead to additional red tape especially for the major retail chains which had stores in hundreds of towns throughout the country and employing many thousands of people.
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