Bay needs to cut red tape

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Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is one of the metros leading the pack when it comes to fast-tracking construction permits for new businesses.

NELSON Mandela Bay Municipality is one of the metros leading the pack when it comes to fast-tracking construction permits for new businesses.

But it takes about 10 months to have electricity connected to properties.

This is according to the national Treasury, which conducted a survey on what it is like to do business in South Africa.

This is in a bid to see where the challenges are and what municipalities can do to make it easier for investors to do business with the state.

The Treasury did not look at all aspects of business.

It focused on six indicators, which are:

•Starting a business;

•Dealing with construction permits;

•Getting electricity;

•Registering a property;

•Enforcing contracts; and

•Trading across borders.

According to the research, released last year, the Bay municipality only has about 15 procedures in place before awarding construction permits – fewer than most other metros. The process takes about 88 days.

It also takes about 25 days to register a property in the Bay, but it takes about 333 days to have electricity installed.

On a scale of one to nine, the municipality received a seven ranking when it came to enforcing contracts.

Councillors who attended the joint mayoral and budget and treasury meeting yesterday said more had to be done to cut the red tape and make it easier to invest in the city.

ANC councillor Monde Vaaltyn said: “In 2014, we lost so many businesses because of procedures in the metro.”

He was echoed by economic development political head councillor Zukile Jodwana, who said many investors had complained to him about how difficult it was to invest in the metro.

“[But] I am encouraged to see that there is work being done,” Jodwana said.

DA councillor Retief Odendaal said it was good to see that it was not all doom and gloom in the metro.

Infrastructure and electricity political head councillor Andile Mfunda said: “With the electricity issue, to me that’s not a good story to tell .

“We can’t frustrate our people if they want to invest here. This thing of taking too long to connect electricity is unacceptable.”


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