Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel is to be commended for seeking to promote small and new companies (Patel seeks to open door for small business, December 4). However, it does not require amendments to empower the Competition Commission to achieve this. There is no need for costly or lengthy inquiries either. Just deregulate, remove barriers to entry and reduce red tape. By removing complex, inflexible labour laws and high taxes, as well as relaxing local zoning restrictions, small business will flourish.
In the same edition there was a story of an entrepreneur opening franchised container chicken shacks as mini restaurants. This type of venture would be replicated by creating a more business friendly environment.
The high-level panel review highlights the obstacles to entrepreneurial activity. The minister should study it, chat to a few start-ups, visit the townships and find out what the obstacles are to setting up small businesses, and what causes their failure. The solution does not include penalising big firms that create jobs and pay taxes.
Gail Daus-van WykGeorge