Endeavor White Paper 2013: The State of Entrepreneurship in South Africa

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Page 9 of 17

I think things are really quite good in South Africa. I think we have good road infrastructure and there is a lot that can be done, but we need to spend sustainably. Nobody disagrees that we have a lot of opportunities. INFRASTRUCTURE infrastructure South Africa faces a number of severe infrastructural challenges in the areas of telecommunications, transport, logistics and energy. Some analysts include health, education and the entire information society under the heading as "soft infra- structure". But most entrepreneurs will expand these notions of "hard" and "soft" infrastructure to include affordable, quality services and advice – all the "stuff" that assists their businesses to grow. Infrastructure must enable entrepreneurs to try; it must allow the men and women who spot opportunities to access them as quickly and as affordably as possible. With the right infrastructure these entre- preneurs will create jobs and boost the economy. The South African Government is not unaware of the important role that infra- structural development can play in en- suring future economic competitiveness and growth. It has, for this very reason, committed R825 billion to infrastructure over the next three years. But there is a question as to whether it is committing the funds to sustainable projects and, further, whether it fully understands the importance of "soft" infrastructure. Does it appreciate to what extent its policies and inefficiencies prevent entrepreneurs from building high-growth businesses that can scale into global ventures? Entrepreneurs would like to see infrastruc- tural improvements that are accompanied by appropriate legislative and regulatory frameworks as well as the kinds of checks and balances that will minimise corruption. They want to be able to access opportuni- Richard Dewing " 10

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