MEC Alan Winde visits Franschhoek Wine Tram as part of the Red Tape Unit programme, 7 Dec

Red Tape Unit helps to create 100 jobs in Atlantis

Cutting red tape is helping Western Cape businesses to create more jobs, and reduce admin costs.

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, is highlighting success stories of the Red Tape Reduction Unit this month.

Tomorrow (7 December 2017), Minister Winde will visit the Franschhoek Wine Tram, as part of his programme.

Last week, the team visited Phoenix Marine in Atlantis. Due to the unit's intervention, the firm was able to create job opportunities for just under 100 people, mostly for residents in Atlantis.

In 2016, Phoenix Marine, a yacht manufacturer, was battling to obtain an abnormal load permit from the Department of Transport and Public Works.

The company needed the permit so it could take a R12.5 million yacht, via road, to Cape Town Harbour and ship it to the Annapolis boat show in the United States of America.

With only a few days left before the show, the unit worked with the Department of Transport and Public Works, to approve the permit.

As a direct result of this intervention, the manufacturer sold two yachts worth R29 million and received two awards from the prestigious SAIL magazine. This marked a critical turning point in the business. The intervention came at just right time for the business. Their display at the international show garnered the attention of many international boating enthusiasts and a number of subsequent orders.

It secured foreign investment of US$2 million. Its annual production is set to triple, and turnover is set to climb from R38 million to R62.5 million by 2019. Before this deal, the company was facing the prospect of retrenching 40 employees. The business has since moved premises to larger accommodation, increased employment to 54 employees. In the short-term, they are planning to employ 81 manufacturing staff and an additional 18 administrative staff.

Clinton Johns, Phoenix Marine CEO, said: Attending the show was a pivot point for us. If we didn't get the boat there, it is unlikely we would be in existence today.

The Red Tape unit also assists government to improve its own processes.

In partnership with the Drakenstein Municipality, the unit developed an online portal where businesses and residents can submit their building plan applications online.

This portal has reduced the approval time for plans from 32 days to 15 days.

The Department of Economic Development and Tourism has also rolled the portal out to more municipalities along the West Coast including Matzikama, Saldanha Bay, Bergriver and Cederberg.

Laura Waring, Executive Director: Planning and Development at Drakenstein Municipality, said the partnership with the Department of Economic Development and Tourism was a valuable one, and that the new system significantly boosted staff morale: It was also interesting seeing the rise in the number of compliments by satisfied applicants that the unit started receiving.

Minister Winde's programme continues tomorrow.

Franschhoek Wine Trams (RSVP is essential)

The unit resolved an issue with the company's operating permit, which was disrupting its service. The unit also assisted the business by facilitating the required signage to ensure safe operation.

Source: Government of South Africa

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