Private member’s bill intends to cut business red tape
This follows Parliament publishing a notice recently of DA MP Henro Kruger’s intention to introduce the Ease of Doing Business Bill in the national legislature.
In his notice, Kruger said the Cabinet had, in 2007, recognised a need for the consistent assessment of the socio-economic impact of regulatory measures. This had led to the Presidency issuing guidelines called the Socio-Economic Impact Assessment System (Seias), which provided for a central unit within a department in the Presidency with corresponding functionality to be created in individual departments.
“From June 1, 2015, all Cabinet memoranda that sought approval for draft primary legislation or secondary legislation had to include an impact assessment vetted by this central Seias Unit.”
Kruger said the Seias estimated the costs and benefits of legislation, focusing on the different socio-economic groups created by inequality in South African society.
“It accepts that because of inequality, some costs may be unavoidable. Although this approach is commendable, Seias by itself does not sufficiently address the cost of red tape.
“Assessing the impact of regulatory measures on the economy will improve the effectiveness, efficiency and impact of government interventions,” he said.
“Specifically for developing countries, impact assessments have the potential to contribute to poverty alleviation by reducing business entry costs and creating a regulatory environment that is friendly to small businesses, thus driving economic growth. It is necessary for South Africa to entrench this duty in legislation, as it allows for certainty and uniformity.”
He said his draft private member’s bill sought to provide for the assessment of regulatory measures developed by the executive, members and committees of Parliament and self-regulatory bodies.
He added the draft bill also provided for the establishment of a central administrative unit to manage the regulatory impact assessments process.
“One of the functions of this unit will be to provide assistance to businesses in overcoming red tape.”
Kruger said the bill provided for the evaluation of existing regulatory measures by ministers and self-regulatory bodies.