The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has launched the pilot phase of a new business website which aims to significantly improve the ease of doing business in South Africa.
In a statement on Monday (4 November), Trade and Industry minister Ebrahim Patel said that the Biz Portal means that an entrepreneur will be able to register a business within a day in South Africa, a dramatic improvement on turnaround times of 40 days recorded by the World Bank 2020 Ease of Doing Business Report.
The current price for registering a company through the portal is R175.
However, Patel said that the Biz Portal was not limited to just registration, and that South Africans will also be able to access several business-related services to help in starting their company.
This was done through a collaboration with the South African Revenue Services (SARS), the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and the Compensation Fund (CF), he said.
Patel said that this collaboration means that users will be able to access the following features through the portal:
- Company registration;
- Tax registration number;
- Domain name registration;
- B-BBEE Certificate;
- Compensation Fund registration;
- Unemployment Insurance Fund registration;
- Business bank account.
Currently four major banks are participating on the platform and customers will be able to make a direct payment in relation to the registration services at the end of the transaction, be routed into a safe banking platform to apply for a business account or opt for their personal details to be passed on to a bank of their choice.
In the current pilot phase, the system is being tested and strengthened, said Patel.
He said that the next phase of the Biz Portal will make provision for other services related to running and maintaining a business.
Identity authentication will be via the real-time Home Affairs Population Register and other sophisticated measures would serve as a necessary buffer to ensure the integrity of the system.
“The applicants will also have an option to apply for a Domain Name and Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Certificate, thanks to the partnerships CIPC has with the Domain Name Authority, ZADNA and the DTI, respectively.
“From a customers’ perspective, there is no need to visit multiple government institutions, saving them time and money.
“Such seamless registration services will enable entrepreneurs to focus on transforming innovative ideas into beneficial products and services, which will contribute to the creation of jobs in our country,” he said.