Trade ministry to foster business growth

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One Stop Business Facilitation Centre director Monaheng Monaheng

By Neo Kolane

The ministry of trade and industry will implement the new Business Licensing and Registration Act which will regulate businesses starting from August 1 2022.

The Business Licensing and Registration Act 2019 and its Regulations of 2020 repeal the old Trading Enterprises Act 0f 1993 and the Trading Enterprises Regulations of 1999 and its amendments

The Business Licensing and Registration Act brings about changes to trade landscape and aims to create an enabling environment for business and investment in the country.

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Some of those are a licence issued to a naturalised or registered citizen of Lesotho or an enterprise of which the proprietor, shareholder, partner or director is not a citizen of Lesotho shall remain in force until expiry of the licence.

The director of the One Stop Business Facilitation Centre at the ministry, Monaheng Monaheng, this week said the ministry enacted the law to pave way for investment and encourage Basotho to start their own businesses.

Monaheng said foreigners will not be able to conduct business intended for Basotho such as transport and logistics and restaurants.

He revealed that people who are willing to venture in such businesses will be given a period of 12 months to prepare for foreigners to vacate such businesses.

However, new applications and renewals done after August 1 2022 will be under the new regulations.

“Only business activities that are deemed harmful to human health and have negative impact on the environment will be licensed.

“For business premises, Maseru City Council will issue occupancy certificate not health certificates as it was previously.

“A license issued to a naturalised or registered citizen of Lesotho or an enterprise of which the proprietor, shareholder, partner or director is not a citizen of Lesotho shall remain in force until the expiry of the licence,” Monaheng warned.

He urged Basotho to invest in such businesses that are intended for Basotho to avoid extinction of such businesses.

He said this will give Basotho an opportunity to grow their businesses in other sectors without fear of facing stiff competition from foreign firms, companies and individuals.

Monaheng said the law will facilitate promotion of private sector development through inclusion of all types of businesses into the formal sector , provide for simple and short business licensing and registration procedures; facilitate speedy issuing of licenses and registration of businesses.