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Introduction to the Legal Environment of a Selected Business Sector (13936)

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South Africa’s Economy

This also means that the economy is highly susceptible to trends and developments in the economies of major trading partners


The Government is currently part of an international negotiation process under the auspices of the Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on access to indigenous plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. This will eventually include terms of benefit sharing, should indigenous material be obtained and improved by foreign parties.

The Government has already adopted a national policy on the conservation and sustainable use of plain genetic resources and is currently busy with the implementation of strategies and action plans to enact legislation, which will eventually affect access control and benefit sharing mechanisms in respect of Farmers’ Varieties (land races, traditional cultivators) and indigenous plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. This implies that the developers of plant genetic resources that originated in South Africa will have to negotiate terms of benefit sharing with the legal holder of intellectual property rights, or with the government in the absence of the latter, when such improved genetic resources are eventually commercialized in any way.

These concepts have already been approved in principle by the Executive Committee of the National Department of Agriculture and was deliberated by the National Plant Genetic Resources Committee on 30 September 1998. The relevant policy, strategies and derived action plans will be submitted to the Minister for Agriculture and Land Affairs. In the meantime, existing control measures in the provincial nature conservation set-up are used to restrict access to indigenous plant genetic resources as far as possible.

Centre for Small Business Promotion

The mission of the Centre for Small Business Promotion (CSBP) is to implement an monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the National Small Business Strategy. The aim of the strategy is to contribute to job creation, income generation, the redistribution of wealth and overall economic growth. The Department of Trade Industry is the relevant government department concerned with the CSBP.

The CSBP has set out to achieve the above through the creation of an enabling legal environment and sustainable institutional framework that facilitates increased access to support programmes and services that small, medium and micro enterprises (SMME’s) require in the areas of finance, training, markets, technology, infrastructure and information. Key agencies have been established under the institutional framework. These are Khula Enterprise Finance Limited (Khula), which facilitates access to finance for SMME’s; the Ntsika Enterprise Promotion Agency (Ntsika), which facilitates non-financial support services for small businesses; and the National Small Business Council (NSBC), responsible for SMME representation and advocacy.

The CSBP is responsible for the provision of funding for small business support agencies, the development of support programmes in co-operation with implementing agencies, policy, research, monitoring and evaluating the impact of programmes