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Key takeaways from the President’s State of the Nation Address for SMEs

By Shephard Dube

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February 14, 2020

Capetown – President Cyril Ramaphosa used his State of the Nation address on Thursday to demonstrate the government’s success in promoting the commercial sector, SMEs in particular. There are three key takeaways from his speech for business owners.

Rapid increase in power generation

The ongoing power outages are an issue affecting everyone in the country. The President noted this problem and announced that the government will allow private power generation to assist Eskom in meeting the demand for electricity in the country. This is a welcome development for businesses, especially SMEs. In this era of digital economy it can prove impossible to operate without power.

Six pronged plan to tackle unemployment

The President went on to announce a six-pronged plan to deal with the issue of youth unemployment. The plan includes focusing on skills development, expansion of the existing Youth Employment Service, and reallocation of 1% of the national budget to a youth employment initiative.

The implementation of this plan will be a big win for SMEs. Many are struggling to find skilled and affordable talent locally, sometimes resorting to employing foreigners which can be costly. See the full plan here

Digitizing compliance

The main highlight of the state of the nation address was the announcement of the full digitization of company incorporation and corporate tax system. The Companies Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) and the South African Revenue Services (SARS) are now fully digital. They have been made fully accessible through online platforms and company incorporation is now achievable within one day. This is a big win for SMEs who may not have the capital to hire professionals to handle their basic compliance needs.

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