The CSP (IGR-NT) convened a SNDB Re-Launch Event on the 1 – 2 October 2019 attended by 92 participants from the metros, the Presidency, National Treasury, the DTIC and representatives from the programme partners, namely the World Bank Group (WBG), the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), and the UK Prosperity Fund .
The meeting highlighted the key role that metros perform in driving the national economy. It was emphasised that competition for global resources is growing fiercer and that South Africa has an immense task in clawing back its position as the continental economic powerhouse. The Presidency emphasised that the SNDB Reform programme re-launch takes places at a time when South Africa is accelerating short-and medium-term reforms for faster economic growth, including the necessity of reducing regulatory impediments to business activity. It was argued that it is critical that South Africa changes current investor perceptions and reinforces the idea that South Africa is a leading emerging economy. Government's efforts in this regard include the development of an Economic Growth Strategy, Operation Phakisa, the Stimulus and Recovery Package, the President's Investment Mobilisation Drive and putting in place Economic Advisory Councils.
Regulatory reforms, such as the Sub National Doing Business (SNDB), complement government's ongoing efforts to addressing investment climate constraints to encourage both domestic and foreign investment. The President has set an ambitious target for South Africa to rise from its current rank of 82nd out of 190 countries measured in the World Bank's annual Doing Business Survey to among the top 50 ranked economies in the next 3 years. Cities have a vital role to play in SA's economic performance and improving city performance in basic administrative and business regulatory processes is key to creating an environment where firms are willing to invest and create jobs. The importance of City political and administrative leadership taking ownership and being accountable for driving the reform process was stressed, as was the collapsing of silos to enable interdepartmental and intergovernmental collaboration around a common agenda and objective.
The re-launch event covered in detail World Bank's Doing Business Programme and how the Sub-National Doing Business programme relates to this. Cities shared their own experiences with implementing the reforms with the cities of Cape Town, eThekwini, Johannesburg and Mangaung showcasing best-practices.
Day Two of the event focused on the alignment of the metro SNDB reform action plans with the broader strategic plans and budget of the cities, and what support was required by the individual metros in fast-tracking the SNDB programme. The inputs received through these discussions informed the re-designing of the SNDB reform support programme currently being rolled out by the CSP within the metros.