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Draft Ease of Doing Business Bill Drawn Up

March 17, 2020

Parliament

A draft private member’s bill designed to provide for the assessment of regulatory measures developed by the executive, members and committees of parliament and self-regulatory bodies is in the pipeline.

The Draft Ease of Doing Business Bill’s explanatory summary was published in Government Gazette 43090.

The proposed legislation was drawn up by Henro Kruger, a Democratic Alliance member of parliament.

According to the explanatory summary, the Socio-Economic Impact Assessment System (SEIAS), introduced by cabinet in 2015, “does not sufficiently address the cost of red tape”.

SEIAS requires all draft bills or regulations placed before cabinet for approval to be accompanied by impact assessments vetted by the central SEIAS Unit.

The DA holds the view that assessing the “impact of regulatory measures on the economy will improve the effectiveness, efficiency and the impact of government interventions”.

Impact assessments can reduce business entry costs and create a friendly regulatory environment for small business.

The draft bill provides for:


• the establishment of a central administrative unit to manage the RIA process. It also provides for the fiduciary duties, functions, powers and reporting duties of the RIA Unit. One of the functions of this Unit will be to provide for assistance to businesses in overcoming red tape;
• the evaluation of new regulatory measures. In this regard, the draft Bill places responsibilities on Ministers, members of Parliament, parliamentary committees and self-regulatory bodies when developing regulatory measures. It also provides for the mapping of such regulatory measures to determine whether a RIA is required and if so, the process to be followed. The draft Bill will also provide for instances that are exempted from these processes; and
• the evaluation of existing regulatory measures by Ministers and self-regulatory bodies. It further requires the development of a plan to reduce red tape and the costs thereof in existing regulatory measures.

Comment is invited within 30 days of the date of publication.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the trade and industry department pointed out that one of the first tasks of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is to “ensure that the tariff schedule listing all products covered by the agreement for tariff liberalisation and the indispensable rules of origin are finalised to ensure that the implementation date of 1 July 2020 is met”.

The deputy minister of trade and industry, Fikile Majola, announced this during a recent Economic Policy Dialogue to unpack the AfCFTA in Cape Town.

The department holds the view that AfCFTA will increase intra-Africa trade and foreign direct investment into the continent.