National Business Act: Draft National Business Licensing Policy published for comment

The Minister of Small Business Development has published a draft National Business Licensing Policy for public comment. Essentially the policy outcomes will influence the contents of future business trade licensing legislation.

Key areas of intervention (gazette pages 43 to 54) will be of specific interest.

Broadly speaking the policy provides:

  • the background and history of trade licensing in SA
  • trade licensing comparisons with other countries
  • an analysis of trade licensing at municipal level
  • international trade rules and regulations to which SA is required to comply
  • objectives of the draft policy
  • business licensing principles
  • key areas of intervention – problem statements, nature of the proposed intervention and anticipated outcomes

Objectives of the policy encompass:

  • the constitutional rights of citizens
  • business licensing conditions for foreign nationals
  • sectors in respect of which a license may only be granted to SA citizens.
  • effective licensing legislation, by-laws and administrative procedures
  • fair, transparent and ethical allocation of business licenses
  • coordination of concurrent national and provincial legislative competencies
  • preferential business licensing for SMME’s and for historically disadvantaged communities
  • measures to mitigate the effects of economic shocks, crises or disasters

Key areas of intervention (gazette pages 43 to 54) providing a problem statement, the nature of the proposed intervention and the anticipated benefits and outcomes under each of the following headings:

  • Legislative and regulatory review
  • Business licensing governance and intergovernmental support and monitoring
  • Preferential business licensing
  • Mitigating economic shocks and disasters
  • Training and awareness
  • Development of an integrated electronic business licensing system
  • Research, monitoring, and evaluation

Submission – Anyone wishing to make comment on the draft policy may do so within 30 days of publication (1st March 2024). Email address Mhlanganisi Masoga at


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