Small businesses require a conducive operating environment and access to financial and nonfinancial support interventions. THE HERALD
Small businesses require a conducive operating environment and access to financial and nonfinancial support interventions. THE HERALD

THE Democratic Alliance plans to table a bill in Parliament which will require the government to conduct red tape assessments on proposed laws.

It says red tape is strangling the emergence and growth of small businesses, which should be the engine of job creation and economic growth.

DA deputy spokesman on small business development Henro Kruger said at a media briefing Friday that small businesses in SA more often than not failed to get off the ground because of the weight of rigid regulatory requirements.

President Jacob Zuma acknowledged in last week’s state of the nation address that the government needed to remove red tape, and review legislative and regulatory blockages to investment. But Mr Kruger said the ruling African National Congress had been speaking about the need to cut red tape for over a decade without doing anything about it.

The DA’s Red Tape Impact Assessment Bill is aimed at assessing legislation in order to identify and reduce the regulatory burden it places on small businesses.

"By providing for the mapping and assessment of regulatory measures in legislation, the bill seeks to create a business-friendly environment by reducing negative unintended consequences and their cost on business," Mr Kruger said.

He said the bill would aim to emulate the success of the DA Western Cape Red Tape Reduction Unit, which has received has achieved a 90% success rate for the almost 4,000 cases it has assisted with since its launch in 2009.

Government, he said, estimated that small and medium enterprises generated about 42% of SA’s gross domestic product and accounted for 47% of total paid employment.