Red Tape Reduction Intervention Saves Jobs
An intervention by the Western Cape Government’s Red Tape Reduction Unit has prevented the country’s largest diamond-cutting manufacturer from relocating elsewhere, saving 85 jobs.
Gert Janssen, the chief executive officer of Stellenbosch-based AMC Daneel-Diamond Ventures, had been battling to obtain a permanent residency permit for several years and was at his wits' end when he contacted the Western Cape Government’s Red Tape Team for assistance. In addition to creating 85 jobs for locals, AMC Daneel-Diamond Ventures has an annual turnover of close to R300 million.
“Gert Janssen, a Belgian citizen, applied for permanent residency six years ago. In June this year, he was still waiting for approval from the Department of Home Affairs. He was repeatedly told to be patient and had reached a point where he was seriously considering relocating his business to another country.
"The Red Tape team stepped in to assist and after several tactics failed to yield results, Premier Helen Zille wrote directly to the National Minister of Home Affairs, Naledi Pandor, to advise her of the risk to our economy and the jobs that were on the line if the approval was further delayed. Minister Pandor helped us to finalise the application within two weeks,” said Minister Winde.
Janssen said he was “grateful” for the efforts of the Red Tape Reduction Unit.
“It was a simple application, but things finally started happening once they (Red Tape Reduction Unit) put some pressure on it,” said Janssen.
Minister Winde said the Red Tape Team was dealing with several other cases involving work permits or temporary residence applications for international investors, which were significantly delayed.
“The delays are threatening growth and the creation of jobs for residents of our province. We take this very seriously,” said Minister Winde.
The Red Tape Team had flagged these with the National Department of Home Affairs.
“Businesspeople are experiencing lengthy delays in obtaining permanent residency and work permits. We are still waiting for a few to be resolved but, finally, following interventions by the Premier and the Red Tape Team, the applicants have been contacted and these matters are closer to being resolved after years of delays. In order to achieve our aim of reducing poverty in the province, we need to create growth and jobs for our people. We can only do this if we prove to investors that we are a business-friendly environment,” said Minister Winde.