InBrief is designed to bring a summary of the latest research in the field of policy and entrepreneurship into easy reach. Through briefs accompanying workshops we see how research relates to entrepreneurial experiences and what policy recommendations can better enable enterprise.
EPP, conceived as a Cape Town Global Shaper Initiative, is sponsored by the Independent Entrepreneurship Group (INENG). EPP seeks to bring the voice of entrepreneurs into public policy through engagement with decision-makers. Though based in Cape Town, we have focused on issues across South Africa with a view to the continent as a whole.
South African cities can use the powers they have to set targets for improving the Ease of Doing Business through annual published rankings, giving the public the ability to monitor progress and keep officials to account. An enabling environment for entrepreneurship cannot be rhetoric. It is time to measure if we want to improve. Zoning laws, infrastructure and a host of permits are all important areas in the control of local government that are critical for the ease of doing business.
Local Government Matters
Devolving regulatory compliance down to local government at one central point was a policy resolution of the Ineng Ease of Doing Business workshop on Red Tape. Local government is accessible and the closest point of contact between the state and citizens.
Increasingly cities are playing central roles in economic development as drivers of growth. More people live in cities than not for the first time in human history.
Historically countries were compared with each other and competed with each other. The world is a better place with healthy competition. But it needs to improve.
Cities should compete too. However, before you can measure success, you need to measure in the first place. The economist F.A. Hayek noted that “nowhere has democracy ever worked well without a great measure of local self-government”. Noted intellectual Benjamin Barber’s book, If Mayors Ruled the World, shows local governments and cities are the primary drivers of economic development and addressing issues often left to national government.
Ineng recognises the National Treasury’s recent World Bank Ease of Doing Business study conducted across South Africa’s metropolitan municipalities. The aim to measure how large municipalities are performing their responsibilities to make doing business easy. We commend the study. The ease of doing business is a key part of overall economic freedom in any country.
The performance between provinces and states in some places also show how local or regional cooperation can improve competition by governments to create a conducive environment for entrepreneurs – as Ineng’s Michael Howe Ely points out. Competition between Texas and California in the United States has yielded some interesting results for entrepreneurs.
- the findings of the National Treasury are publicized, and
- the methodology is used every year to keep track of progress annually so cities can be ranked and compete for the highest levels in the ease of doing business
These recommendations will be made through a submission to the National Treasury Portfolio Committee
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About the Ease of Doing Business: http://www.doingbusiness.org/rankings