There are days when running a business in South Africa can be particularly frustrating. Especially when it comes to the Admin/Red Tape side of things. I mean, let’s be honest: No one goes into business for themselves so they can spend a day a week doing Admin and Paperwork.
But somehow Government and Banks think that is exactly what we do – and what we want to do. In reality most business owners I know really hate paperwork and it’s a reason why so many people are behind in their tax submissions, PAYE, SARS, banking, etc. etc.
Let’s take the example that SARS requires a cancelled cheque to prove my bank details. Never mind the fact that no one uses cheques anymore. Well, I certainly don’t and my bank has given me an electronic business bank account which means everything is run online. Even a document from my bank manager didn’t help. It had to be a “wet-ink” letter which we submitted to SARS – and I’m still holding my breath waiting for them to accept it.
And then of course there is the case of applying for a bond or loan of any sort. Banks tend to think us self-employed people are criminals. It is virtually impossible to get money from the bank because I don’t have a salary slip. Never mind that my business has been running for 10 years and I’ve survived the worst recession since World War 2!
I’m applying for a bond and my repayments on my bond will be LESS than the rent I am paying on my house. LESS. And yet the banks have declined by bond. I’m self-employed, you see. I’m a high-risk.
Since the large majority of people in South Africa are employed (as opposed to being self-employed) the banks just don’t have a set of rules to work with us. When I arrive at the bank they measure me up against employed people who, they seem to think, have less risk than me.
Well an employee can lose his job overnight in the current economic climate. How is that less risky than me owning a business?
We’re always hearing about unemployment in South Africa and how we need to find a way to combat the 40% unemployment in this country. The Unionists, Marxists and Socialists want a big government where we all work for the state. The Capitalists wants big corporations with thousands of
minions employees. But history has shown over and over again that the Free Market, the small-business owners, the self-employed is the true ticket to economic freedom.
If the government and banks are truly serious about helping small business owners, then for goodness sake, start decreasing the amount of paperwork required to get anything done. I don’t want to stand in a queue at the bank for 3 hours to collect a card. I’d rather pay the R70 for a courier (if that option was available to me).
Help simplify the loan application process (my last bond application was 28 pages long!) You have access to my bank records, you can see the money coming in and going out. Decrease the tax burden on business owners. Encourage small businesses to employ more people .
We’re a special breed of people, us self-employed people. We’re hard-working, tenacious, pioneering. Please don’t squeeze us into the same box as everyone else.