Minister Winde Launches Red Tape Reduction Listening Tour
The Western Cape Government's Red Tape to Red Carpet Programme has assisted over 300 businesses in just two months during its most recent awareness campaign.
Alan Winde, Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, revealed the figures at an event to mark the start of his week-long Red Tape Reduction Listening Tour, which kicked off today with a visit to the dedicated Red Tape Call Centre.
In May, Minister Winde launched a province-wide campaign to raise awareness about the services that the Western Cape Government is providing to ensure that in our province it is quicker and easier to do business.
Minister Winde said: "Because we understand that small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and because we know that entrepreneurs from previously disadvantaged areas play a vital role in providing jobs in their communities, these residents were the target of our latest campaign. We advertised the services we are providing on major community and regional radio stations and ensured that information was circulated in these areas. It is my firm hope that residents make use of this service, which is designed to help them to grow their businesses."
"As a result of the campaign, the number of calls we received escalated to 207 in May and 117 in June. Of the total number of 364 cases that were recorded over the two-month period, 64% of the queries have already been resolved. The remainder are in the process of being resolved.
"For the first time, as a result of this focused campaign, Khayelitsha featured as one of the areas from which we received the highest number of calls.
"These stats show us that we are succeeding in extending the Red Tape to Red Carpet Programme to those residents who can benefit from it the most. It's encouraging that small businesses are approaching government for assistance and they are receiving it. This will help them kick-start their businesses, which will increase employment opportunities in their communities," said Minister Winde.
The majority of the queries received in the first quarter of this financial year were for information on funding and training (685 queries). Other common queries were around permits and licences (91) and business registration (88).
"We are monitoring the types of calls we are receiving very closely so that we can look toward the design and implementation of large-scale interventions that address transversal areas of concern," concluded Winde.
Small business owners shared their experiences of working with the Red Tape team.
David Hoffman, a tour guide in the Cape Winelands, had been struggling to obtain a permit from the Transportation Board. This permit was integral to him being able to operate and delays left Hoffman uncertain about how he would be able to run his business.
"I'm self-employed and this is how I put bread on the table," Hoffman explained to Minister Winde.
The Red Tape Reduction Unit intervened and Mr Hoffman received his permit a few weeks later.
On Tuesday, 23 July 2013, Minister Winde will visit the Western Cape Government's Walk-In Centre for an update on how the facility is streamlining several administrative processes for small business owners.
Minister Winde will then visit a small business in Pinelands, which was able to secure a multi-million deal after red tape blockages were removed.