To get the South African economy going again we need business sentiment and participation to improve. Four of the most basic requirements for this to happen are:
- Make it easy to register a new business.
- Provide the business with the basic tools like power, water and manoeuvrability.
- Incentivise business with lower taxes and subsidies.
- Ensure taxes collected by SARS do not end up in the pockets of corrupt officials.
In a recent initiative the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) established BizPortal as a platform where a new business can be established with everything in place, from the registration of the name to the certificates for taxes, UIF and BEE, all in one day. That, then, takes care of point number one above. Point number two is hopefully in the process of being addressed with the new CEO of Eskom, Andre de Ruyter, taking over in January 2020 and even the Labour Law being adjusted to change the way Labour Unions go about manipulating the expectations of workers.
Points number three and four are still a bit of a problem. We do, however, see the NPA making some high profile arrests. Ntandazo Vimba, CEO of the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (Misa), was arrested by the Hawks on Thursday morning and the former state security minister, Bongani Bongo, was arrested in Cape Town.
The wheels of change are turning very slowly in South Africa but if we compare ourselves to some of the other players in our league, we are showing at least some promise. While the president of Bolivia recently fled to Mexico; riots are making Chile ungovernable; and the new socialist government of Argentina has to deal with a currency, share and bond market collapse; South Africa has an inflation rate of 3,7%, the lowest in 8 years; the rand has strengthened somewhat and the share market is still fighting the good fight.