Active steps to encourage entrepreneurship must be taken

Johann Krog, MPP

DA KZN Spokesperson on Economic Development

In its recent report the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor found that entrepreneurial activity in South Africa had dropped from 9.1% to 7.3% – an almost 2% drop from the previous year and the lowest in four years.

The stats are disheartening given that entrepreneurship is a key component in helping to grow economies.  Our country is currently facing unprecedented unemployment and poverty and government must urgently find ways to encourage entrepreneurial activity.

The Western Cape has recently announced a programme aimed at doing away with excessive bureaucracy and promoting entrepreneurial spirit in that province.  The introduction of the “Red Tape Reduction Programme” will see business sectors and targeted government officials informed about steps that the Western Cape provincial government is taking to reduce red tape.

In its May publication of ‘Fast Facts’, the South African Institute of Race Relations argues that increased entrepreneurship could provide a much more effective means of addressing apartheid -legacy imbalances, rather than the current affirmative action policies so favoured by the ANC-led government.

Instead of focussing on trying to address past ills and, in so doing, creating increasingly burdensome, ‘gate-keeper’ legal hurdles, government would do well to smooth the way for small to medium entrepreneurs to go about their business – without a big stick overseeing and admonishing their activities.

When it comes to providing an environment which is conducive to entrepreneurship, surely the time has come when ‘less is more’ regarding legislative interference by the state?

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