Launching a business in SA? Here are the best places to do it


Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg and Tshwane have been named as the easiest South African cities in which to start a business by a new World Bank report.

The report – Doing Business in South Africa – was produced by the Global Indicators Group of the World Bank Group in collaboration with the National Treasury, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the South African Cities Network.

It assesses the business environment and state of regulations for domestic firms in South Africa, reporting that local entrepreneurs face a wide array of business obstacles depending on the city in which they choose to establish their companies.

Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg and Tshwane came out on top when it came to the ease of starting a business, while Cape Town was praised for ease in dealing with construction permits, Mangaung in getting electricity and enforcing contracts, and Johannesburg in registering property.

The report highlighted a number of constructive practices that could be better leveraged within South Africa to improve the business climate for local entrepreneurs, and advised the nine cities surveyed to learn from each other in best practices. It also highlighted notable challenges, with startups and more established businesses across South Africa still facing inefficient and complex red tape securing electricity, registering property and trading across borders.

“We hope the report can draw policymakers’ attention to areas where improvements are possible without major legislative changes,” said Mierta Capaul, lead private sector development specialist with the World Bank Group.

“Sharing experiences across cities and learning from each other are key to promoting business regulatory improvements throughout South Africa.”


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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