The past five years have been a roller-coaster ride for South African companies trying to grow their business and create value for shareholders. During tough economic times, having support from the government was crucial for business to survive, said Mark Stevens, CEO of Fortress Income Fund, which came second in the 2016 Sunday Times Top 100 Companies rankings, based on total returns to shareholders over five years. "Red tape and bureaucracy are a barrier to doing business. The solution would be more dialogue between government, local authorities and business," said Stevens. There is a lot of distrust from all sides and Stevens believes that breaking down political influence in business could help concerned parties trust each other more. "When business knows that local authorities and government want to work together to get ahead, and business wants to contribute to that - and everyone's motives are pure - then I think you'll get to the point where everything moves quickly," he sai...

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