BKCOB Concerned About the Level of Law Enforcement In BCMM

Residents of the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM) continue to show blatant disobedience of Covid-19 regulations as well as municipal bylaws despite multiple warnings of a looming Covid-19 third wave.

The Border-Kei Chamber of Business recently witnessed crowds of beach goers at three of East London’s popular beaches drinking in public, with zero social distancing, and wearing no masks.  Beach signs restricting certain beach activities were also ignored.

Despite all this, there was no sign of any law enforcement officers at either of the beaches, namely Bonza Bay, Nahoon, and Eastern Beach.

Dr Ntobeko Stemele, GM at BCMM’s Public Safety and Protection Services department, told the BKCOB that they were aware of increasing lawlessness among residents, and that they would intensify law enforcement.

“It has been observed by LES and other law enforcement agencies that the public’s behaviour versus the enforcement efforts to enforce Municipal Bylaws and Covid-19 Regulations, lawlessness has increased. Law Enforcement Agencies will be intensifying the patrols,” said Stemele.

Whether or not patrols have been increased, and the reason for the failure to enforce bylaws, remain unknown.

BKCOB Executive Director, Drayton Brown said that the organisation was concerned as any failure to curb the spread of the virus would have serious repercussions, as seen in the past year, for business at large.

“We are deeply concerned that the lack of order within the city might result in a resurgence of the virus, and further restrictions on business operations. Our members have already taken serious strain over the past year, and if law enforcement does not play its part in making sure that protocols are adhered to, we may see more dire effects on life and livelihoods within the city,” said Brown.

The Border-Kei Chamber of Business continues to engage with the municipality on these matters.

Productivity SA – Business Turnaround and Recovery

GMR Strategic Management Executive Director, Guy Rich, has recently been appointed to the Productivity SA Business Turnaround and Recovery Panel (BRT). 

BTR has been running since 1998 and seeks to assist distressed businesses by providing support, guidance, assistance and advisory to prevent job losses, help business to “reinvent” themselves and, in so doing, stabilise and grow the economy.

The mandate of BTR is aligned to section 32(g) of the Employment Services Act and seeks to “minimise retrenchment and prevent job losses”

Given the current climate, one imagines that there are many business in and around the Border-Kei region that are distressed.  If you or a business you know needs assistance, kindly get in contact with Guy – BTR may be able to help.

Qualifying criteria include (this criteria could be amended if warranted):

  • Must be a registered entity, with 2 years operation and minimum 20 employees (BTR criteria)
  • Must have a physical premises
  • Be compliant with UIF regulations
  • Valid tax clearance
  • 2 years audited financials or independently reviewed management accounts proving decline/distress

Process to follow:

  • Distressed company to get in touch with Guy Rich
  • He will arrange an on-site interview with the relevant persons to gather key information
  • He will complete a report on the company in distress, assist the company to complete the application form and application letter and then submit to Productivity SA BTR
  • He will then provide feedback on the outcome of the application (successful or unsuccessful)
  • If successful, Productivity SA BTR will then appoint the turnaround specialist(s) – possibly including Guy Rich as a BTR panellist – and the intervention will start

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Guy Rich on 082 491 0139, or send him an email to guy@gmrsm.co.za.

Hope Schools Looking to Partner With Local Business for Careers Programme

East London based NPO Hope Schools want to let you know about a new Careers Program they are piloting this year. Their senior class is now in matric (with grades 10 and 11 close behind) and the students are considering their options for next year.

Hope Schools, a NPO, prides itself on providing full academic education along with technical training to develop well rounded students. The goal for the Careers Program is to partner with local businesses to give students the opportunity to gain real-world work experience in different industries. For this to happen Hope Schools are seeking partnership with businesses that are willing to host their students. The Careers Program is for Grades 10-12 and the work placements will be from June 21st-25th. Businesses have a choice of how many days (between 3-5 days) and how many students they would like to take on.

Would you and your business or organization be willing to take on one or more students for their work placement portion of the Careers Program? This is an opportunity to invest into the next generation while connecting with potential future employees at no cost to you. 

Hope Schools are a donor-funded school, supported locally and internationally. They believe that real-world experience will greatly benefit their college students. Please contact Philip Wayne on 084 057 2667, or philipgwynne@gmail.com, if you would like to partner with HS’s Careers Program or have any questions.

SANRAL promotes responsible road user behaviour and road infrastructure development

The South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL’s) has urged all road users to exercise extreme caution ahead of and during the Easter holidays. SANRAL’s head of stakeholder relations, Siphiwo Mxhosa, says South African road users, including motorists and pedestrians, can save lives by practising responsible behaviour.

“SANRAL urges all South African road users to help save lives by complying with the basic rules of the road. Motorists must not drink and drive, nor should they use cell phones whilst driving. We still find that many people text whilst driving; this is not only illegal but illogical because you will cause an accident when you take your eyes off the road and don’t have both your hands on the steering wheel. Pedestrians can also prevent accidents by using only safe crossings. We can all save lives by doing such basics and respecting the rules of the road,” said Mr Mxhosa.

SANRAL participated in a drive to promote responsible road user behaviour ahead of the Easter holidays and to showcase road infrastructure development during the SUV Challenge – Eastern Cape Tour, which ended at Baviaanskloof on Saturday. The SUV Challenge is a public-private partnership incorporating a host of private sector entities partnering with state entities such as Brand South Africa and SANRAL, as well as various municipalities.  

The SUV Challenge provided SANRAL with a platform to engage a broad range of stakeholders participating in the event, collaborating on areas of mutual interest on infrastructure development and, through the WHOA Activation at the proposed Kokstad Interchange, encouraged responsible road user behaviour.

“SANRAL encourages responsible road user behaviour and as participants in the SUV Challenge we shared this message with stakeholders in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Part of the SUV Challenge was to participate in a heritage tour, putting on display for participants the region’s attractions and thereby promoting tourism, whilst also showcasing SANRAL’s world-class infrastructure. We also shared information on SANRAL’s scholarship and bursary programmes,” said Mr Mxhosa.

Mbulelo Peterson, SANRAL’s Southern Region Manager, said the roads agency was focussed on ensuring that the road network in the Eastern Cape promoted economic development in support of government’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Programme in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The infrastructure development programmes emphasised by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his recent State of the Nation Address, as well as in the Budget Speech of Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, makes it clear that the road network is critically important to economic growth. In addition to promoting regional economic growth and job creation, SANRAL’s mandate extends beyond the design and construction of safer roads. Our Horizon 2030 Strategy also stresses road safety as a national priority and ensures our role in road safety education and awareness,” said Peterson.

The SUV Challenge – Eastern Cape Tour is a social initiative that was launched in 2018 by the Honourable Premier Oscar Mabuyane, then the MEC for Finance, Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism.

The SUV Challenge – Eastern Cape Tour started with a WHOA Activation at the Kokstad Interchange on Wednesday, 03 March.  WHOA, which is a SANRAL campaign to communicate road safety messages to the public was launched in Kokstad ahead of the Easter holidays.

Included in the heritage tour was a visit to Mbongweni, the birthplace of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. SANRAL will construct a 32km access road to Mbongweni from the R61 near Bizana, in Mbizana Local Municipality within the Alfred Nzo District.

SANRAL also shared messages of responsible road user behaviour and scholarship and bursary information with residents at Nkantolo, the home of the late Oliver Tambo, as well as Mqhekezweni Great Place, home of the late President Nelson Mandela.

INVITATION | Florida International Trade Expo – March 16-18, 2021

A Multi-Sector Virtual Showcase of Florida’s Leading Products and Services

Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI), the official economic and trade development agency for the State of Florida, USA is pleased to present the first-ever Florida International Trade Expo, a virtual showcase of 150+ of the state’s leading products and services providers.

Who Should Attend? 

Agents, distributors, buyers, representatives, and wholesalers seeking high-quality products for distribution and sale in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Canada, Mexico, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

Benefits of Participating

  • Connect with Florida exhibitors in a wide range of industries
  • Text and video chat directly with Florida company representatives
  • Arrange virtual business meetings during the expo
  • View live webinars with Florida industry leaders and other experts
  • Engage with a network of Florida professionals who can help buyers and sellers connect

Expo Industry Sectors

The Florida International Trade Expo will connect you with decision makers from a wide variety of industries.

  • Automotive
  • Aviation & Aerospace
  • Building Products
  • Clean Technology
  • Consumer Goods
  • Educational & Training
  • Financial & Professional Services
  • Fires & Safety
  • Food Products
  • Government
  • Health & Beauty
  • Industrial Equipment & Supplies
  • Information Technology
  • Life Sciences & Medical Technology
  • Logistics, Distribution & Infrastructure
  • Marine Equipment & Boats
  • Seaports
  • And More!

For further information about the Florida International Trade Expo, please email floridaexpo@enterpriseflorida.com.