At times in our lives, we do ask will things “get better?” as I write a note and message to members, reflecting on a year of more that went wrong, than right, and of the remarkable set-backs, challenges and disappointments. We have survived and we greet the end of the year / era – because we progress into a new decade, i.e. 2020, we seek to wish better circumstances and fewer setbacks.
As in last and previous years, our disruptors have been the electricity, water and general infrastructure interruptions and breakdowns. Elements of each have caused losses and the unabated challenges with Eskom especially, bring fresh challenges for business in 2020. Even though business in Komani won the first application to interdict Eskom, the long term goal will always focus on mediating in a countrywide situation of default payments to Eskom by Local Authority.
In the bigger picture, the constant load shedding and interruptions will reverberate throughout the country, costing the economy R bn’s every day, and worse, some just simply do NOT recover. Add the demise of the remaining SOE’s – most of whom are in trouble, needing bail-outs, the list is daunting and challenging for even the most optimistic
In the middle of all the despair, I share with you good news over the disclosure that our Air-terminal / airport continues to confound everyone, with steady and regular growth in passengers. Well done, mainly, FlySafair. Average growth of 17% is laudable and worth noting.
Last to mention is the Call-2-Action project to clean Settlers Way and beachfront. Chamber will be assuming a more proactive role from the first week of January, but confirm, cannot do justice to this initiative, without business support. We are pleased to advise that an agreement has been signed, taking forward a new partner in C2A. POLYCO are very supportive of our project and have sunk significant resources into growing the overall project aim – of cleaning up the Metro.
Hi-lite survived a challenging year, and taking the role of Publisher into the Chamber was a risk we knew we were treading water on. It has been a remarkable success, thanks to the “new,” team that has taken over. Next year we will continue publishing Hi-lite, using a service provider to help with some of the technical aspects of publishing. Our grateful appreciation to all members especially our Corporate members. To the many sponsors and business partners. To the advertisers supporting our very own Business Hi-lite magazine. Thank you! With your support, we have and will continue to make a difference.
This year we greet and say goodbye to some key staff, including Alana Velida, Jacqui Austin (who finished up in June) and Candi Ferreira (leaving in December). We welcome, Zintle Quntu (Front office, Committee Co-Ordinator & Certificates of Origin), Yanga Ziwele (Marketing and Communications) and Linda Kemp (Membership). We also greet 2 replacement interns for the next 12 months, Anita Dangazele (Marketing) and Mvuyisi Tyiwani (Invest Buffalo City).
(View our staff page here)
Chamber thanks all those who have been involved. We will return in 2020, refreshed and ready to confront whatever comes our way, and wish Seasons Greetings and a Blessed Christmas on all readers / members.
LES HOLBROOK, Executive Director
& The Chamber Staff