The Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry this week received a briefing on the InvestSA (ISA) initiative from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and welcomed the proposed plans for one-stop shops around the country.
Committee chairperson Joanmariae Fubbs says it is a positive intervention to streamline and reduce red tape. “This will further help in attracting and improving foreign direct investment into South Africa, something the country desperately needs.”
The Committee heard that, in February, the InvestSA one-stop shop was presented and adopted by business.
According to Lionel October, director-general in the DTI, the initial phase of the project will see the roll out of the national one-stop shop, as well as another three in the Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces.
Key government services will be identified and automated as a single window clearance over the next two to three years. “This is mainly to improve the investment climate and ease of doing business by identifying bottlenecks, administrative barriers and to have a plan of action to improve service delivery,” says October.
The committee also heard that this will simplify administrative procedures and guidelines for issuing of business approvals, permits and licences. It will also reduce the silo mentality, turnaround times, red tape and improve service delivery.
ISA will provide the following services to investors: facilitation of the entire investment value chain; specialist advisory services to investors; co-ordination between the various line ministries; communication of these services to potential investors and to be the facilitation window of clearance for registration; licensing; and permits.
Since its launch, ISA has attracted several major investors this year. This includes a R2,5-billion investment from Ford, R1,2-billion from Nestlé, R5,7-billion from Toyota, R5-billion from Acwa Power and R2-billion from Sumitomo Rubber Industries.
The committee heard that foreign missions would be closely involved in the initiative in an attempt to increase the focus on economic diplomacy.
Fubbs says: “This is a positive development for investment in South Africa at a time when many countries are struggling to achieve this.”