Mangaung named best business city, but. . .

David Uwah

Mangaung Metro has been named as the best place in the country to do business in but the local economy leaves much to be desired according to Black Management Forum’s (BMF) David Uwah. The metro was announced as an ideal place to register property as well as the enforcement of contracts by the World Bank Group’s `Doing Business in South Africa 2018′ report last week.

In a statement, Mangaung spokesperson Qondile Khedama, said that Mangaung leads in registering property, narrowly outperforming Johannesburg and Tshwane. It is also the fastest in contract management and where attorney fees are lowest in commercial litigation. According to Khedama this is an indication that the city is indeed one of the best in the country for business.

However, Uwah revealed that the local economy was hampered by a decline in small businesses and their development. “There is a lack of SMMEs (Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises) and the ones that exist are not making much because we do not have enough of a corporate sector in the Free State. The only place that people see business is within the public sector,” explained Uhaw.

The BMF Chairperson also indicated that the local economy is divided against racial lines hindering the growth of businesses. “Corporates consist mainly of white businesses who in turn give business to one another. On the other hand, black businesses look to government for business,” elaborated Uwah. He stated that a solution for Mangaung to become a business hub would be for these divisions to subside allowing for more opportunities for all.

World Bank Country Director for South Africa, Paul Noumba Um, said that the report helped the country to improve conditions for entrepreneurs over the last three years. “It specifically identifies which initiatives have been successful and where constraints remain. Moreover, the undertaking represents the country’s commitment to strengthening its business climate,” he explained. – Nomaqhawe Mtebele