President sings to DA’s tune on small businesses

President Cyril Ramaphosa used his State of the Nation Address (SONA) to announce a new red tape strategy to ease the doing of business – a page right out of the DA’s suite of solutions.

The DA has strived to reduce red tape regarding businesses since the 5th parliament, and has always been thwarted by members of the ruling party.

First, we introduced the Red Tape Impact Assessment Bill in April 2016. While ANC committee members agreed not to reject the Bill in principle, they were of the opinion that the Department of Small Business Development was not the appropriate department to handle this Bill.

In March 2020, the DA tabled another private members bill, the Ease of Doing Business Bill. This time, however, the ANC members in the parliamentary portfolio committee of public administration dismissed the plan to establish a red tape unit in the President’s office, and voted against the Bill.

Then, out of the blue, the President announced the establishment of a red-tape unit in his office during his SONA speech. An idea he presented as his own, but one clearly born from the DA-playbook.

It’s obvious that the President thought the Bill tabled by the DA in 2020 was an excellent idea and based on sound principles. Hence, the copy and paste exercise in his speech and reply on the debate.

The DA will monitor the implementation of this unit to ensure it’s not another empty promise. We will also continue to drive the Ease of Doing business for small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs) because we care for small businesses. We want them to prosper and create jobs.