Doing Business in South Africa

South Africa participates in the World Bank’s Doing Business Benchmark study which is part of 190 economies. It has also participated in the Sub National Doing Business (SNDB) which benchmarks the 9 Metros in South Africa.

What is Doing Business?

The Doing Business benchmark looks at a small to medium sized enterprise (SME) life cycle and measures the regulations that applies to it. The whole purpose of the benchmark is to compare how easy and cost effective it is to do business in a country. Each country can then learn from each other and make it easy for business owners or entrepreneurs. Small and medium businesses help countries’ economies grow and prosper. The South African Government therefore supports this programme and even more so in the COVID situation. 

The lifecycle of an SME in Doing Business

The formal life cycle of a business obviously starts with registering a business with CIPC. By example, CIPC has recently launched BizPortal which is a much easier site for registering a business. It only takes a few minutes to do so without the need to upload any paperwork, and you can even open a business bank account.  This is a great example of how CIPC has looked at Starting a Business and made it easier for the citizens of South Africa.

The life cycle of a SME has multiple indicators (12 of them) but South Africa is concentrating on 6 of the indicators, which is starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, paying taxes and trading across borders.


Source: Doing Business Database

Doing Business typically measures four dimensions per indicator, namely:

  1. Number of Procedures – this measures the number of steps it will take an SME or an entrepreneur for a particular indicator. For example, what will be the steps to register a business and operate the business.
  2. Time – this measures how long each step or procedure takes.
  3. Cost – this measures how much each step would cost the entrepreneur or SME.
  4. Quality – some of the indicators have a quality dimension that measure the quality of the laws, professional qualifications of Officials, the use systems, performance statistics, etc. 
Doing Business Reports
Doing Business 2020/2021 Interim Results
Comparing Business Regulation for Domestic Firms in 189 Economies.
Doing Business in SA 2020
Comparing Business Regulation in 190 Economies
Doing Business in SA 2018
Comparing Business Regulation for Domestic Firms in 9 Urban Areas and 4 Maritime Ports with 189 Other Economies.
Doing Business in SA 2016
Comparing Business Regulation for Domestic Firms in 189 Economies.