SA slips in key ranking despite progress

SA HAS fallen four places to 73 out of 189 countries surveyed in the World Bank’s 2016 Doing Business Report released on Tuesday night.

This was not an indication that SA was not progressing in making it easier for companies to do business, but rather that other countries were implementing reforms quicker, private sector development specialist at the bank Frederic Meunier said.

The report is compiled from several indicators such as starting a business, access to electricity, and paying taxes, and from consultations with industry players.

SA does well in areas such as resolving insolvencies and paying taxes. It takes an entrepreneur in SA less time to file all necessary taxes than it does in most other countries, making it one of the top performers on the paying taxes indicator, according to the report.

This backs comments by the South African Revenue Service that it has been improving its process to make it easier for businesses to file taxes.

SA does poorly and needs to improve on dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, enforcing contracts, registering property and trading across borders.

“For example, on the new registering property index, the reliability, transparency and geographic coverage of land administration system is still far from the standards set in high-income economies,” the report said.

SA was one of the economies in which it took the longest time to get a new electricity connection. It took 226 days.

The sub-Saharan regional average was 130 days.

Border compliance in SA was considered very time-consuming, taking 144 hours to comply with border procedures on the import side compared to 87 hours on average at the global level.

In sub-Saharan Africa, Botswana overtook SA in third place on doing business while Mauritius and Rwanda maintained their first and second positions.

Singapore took first position globally.

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