Letter to DTI on Licensing of Business Bill: “Is This What We Call Freedom?”

From: Chris Becker [mailto:chris@etmanalytics.com]
Sent: 17 April 2013 02:32 PM
To: ‘bdalasile@thedti.gov.za’
Subject: Re: Licensing of Business Bill
Importance: High

Dear Ms Baneka Dalasile,

I demand that the Licensing of Business Bill be scrapped in its entirety.

It will protect the wealthy elite already established in business enterprises at the expense of the poor who would like to start a business to compete with them. The poor cannot afford to deal with red tape, and need to have the freedom to invest all of their time and effort on the already difficult task of starting a business. Red tape raises the cost of starting a business even further. It will destroy thousands if not millions of potential jobs from being created.

South Africa was supposed to have become a “free” country in 1994. According to this bill, supposed free individuals who would like to engage in mutually beneficial and voluntary exchange will now be forced to register with the DTI. Why should the government have a say over whether we can engage in trade with one another? This is not “freedom”. This bill will drive a wedge between people of all races and languages who want to do business with one another. That wedge, as always, will be government.

For a “free” country, it also creates an excessive amount of power of the police and other government agents to interfere in people’s private affairs. According to the bill, an inspector may “enter any premises” where there is a “reasonable suspicion” that a business is being conducted. The definition of “sell” includes anything that is “exchanged”, or “disposed of to any person in any manner.” That means if I buy give my wife a gift and give it to her in the privacy of my home, that a government agent could legally come barging into my house, and “take samples” thereof. It also means that police will have the power to raid and steal from poor and unsuspecting street vendors. It will also fuel corruption even further as government agents will be paid to stop harassing people.

According to this bill, a person can receive jail time for up to 10 years if, he/she grows a mealie in his back yard and sells it to supplement his/her income.

Is this what we call “freedom”? The only kind of freedom I can see here, is the freedom of government to do whatever it pleases.

On both a social and economic level, this policy will be utterly destructive for South Africa. It must be scrapped.


Chris Becker
ETM Analytics (Pty) Ltd
o.+27 11 875 8556
w. etmanalytics.com