In December, the department of small business development released the National Small Enterprise Amendment Bill for public comment. A serious rethink is required, especially chapter 3A, which establishes a small enterprise ombudsman service and grants far-reaching powers to the minister of small business development to determine and prohibit “unfair trading practices”. 

Regrettably, instead of being a piece of legislation designed to answer the question “How can we help you?” — particularly in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown regulations, which have smacked the small segment of SA’s business sector — the proposed amendments create a new layer of bureaucracy by establishing an ombudsman with no supporting business case behind it. ..

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