South Africa idyllic platform to venture into Africa

17 September 2015

South Africa’s established infrastructure and its sophisticated accounting, banking, medical and legal environments, leverages the country as the ideal platform for foreign businesses to establish a presence and venture into the rest of Africa, a group of panellists said on Wednesday.

Speaking at Trade Winds Africa, a business development conference and trade mission by the US Commercial Service, in Johannesburg, water technology solutions provider Maskan Water director Gerhard Cronje noted that South Africa had forged many relationships with other countries on the continent, which ensured ease of doing business.

He pointed out that entering a country through a specific port anywhere in the world was problematic, but, in South Africa, the customs systems were “functioning really well” with road and inland customs offices being more efficient and quicker than the seaports.

“We found that, when exporting products to Angola, it is a lot quicker and cheaper to bring a product in through Cape Town and then send it to Angola, as we can get through the border post there within one to three days. However, trying to get through the harbour in Angola can take anything from three to six months.”

He added that South Africa also had an established supply chain, which also made it easier to do business.

“In most other African countries, there isn’t a supply chain, where you can drive down the road to a store and find what you need,” Cronje stated.

Judin Combrick director Micheal Judin said South Africa was an “easy place for an international group to come and set up a head office and to move north from here.”

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