FOREWORD A new dimension in organised business A fortnight ago the SACCI president called a meeting with all affiliated and disaffiliated chambers in the country. Spanning from township chambers right through to the large metros, they were all there. A meeting of this magnitude has not taken place in decades. The purpose of the meeting was to draw a common thread between the face of the Covid-19 crisis and the catastrophic effect it has had on our economy, and indeed that of the global economy. The purpose of the meeting was to work towards unity within the chamber movement. At the heart of the debate were several key topics. One of which was tapping into the broad membership base of the chamber collective to use muscle in negotiating discounts and special products engineered for this market segment. From buying clubs from the township chambers to fuel cashbacks to our members; to special insurances for smaller business in terms of wallet for life and insurance cover for one-man operators like plumbers and electricians: SACCI had heeded the call from our members to use the leverage of the chamber movement to arrange for these new initiatives to be offered to the broad membership. These were the core new responsibilities tabled with the audience. SACCI is also in the process of initiating workstreams focused on the 11 sectors hardest hit by the lockdown and pandemic, from small business to agriculture, mining and manufacturing are all in there. Calls have gone out for volunteers with the experience and skills sets to help re-calibrate the economy and come out of this situation in a way that delivers on the economic growth needed by South Africa to place us in a less compromised environment. And these calls were heeded, from people well known in the business community with the gravitas to drive our initiatives. As has been confirmed by the SACCI Business Confidence Index and Trade Conditions Survey, things are starting to improve. There is a greater willingness for cooperation between the private sector and government, and indeed between our country and the block of African countries making up the African Continental Free Trade Area. The crisis has made partnerships SACCI President, Adv Mtho Xulu, with the new Ambassador of the Ukraine, HE Ms Liubov Abravitova. _____________ __ ___ __ _ _ The need to survive and come out stronger is a universal thread driving the new configuration brought about by this unexpected crisis ___ __ ___ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 4 | www.opportunityonline.co.za
FOREWORD ___ __________________ __ _ _ Cooperation is what SACCI is advocating as we continue to engage with our colleagues in business, government and the broader community of labour and society at large ___ __ ___ __ _ __ _ __ _ __ _ __ __ between adversaries, friends and competitors. The need to survive and come out stronger is a universal thread driving the new configuration brought about by this unexpected crisis. Africa has thus far weathered the pandemic better than the rest of the world. Infection rates have generally resulted in fewer deaths than in the northern hemisphere, or indeed the South Americas and the East, where one of the larger economies is battling a massive rise in infections, the so-called third wave of infections. For us at the tip of Africa, the situation as we go into winter must be carefully monitored and managed so that we can hopefully avoid the crushing effects of a third wave. But we need to look on the positive side. Cooperation is what SACCI is advocating as we continue to engage with our colleagues in business, government and the broader community of labour and society at large. Much like WWII, this threat has affected everyone without exception. The time is ripe for the new drive for growing our trade, expanding our economy, facilitating and assisting our small businesses to grow jobs as well as to develop the substance of our dynamic township economies and to cut through all the encumbrances that have plagued this sector of our economy for decades. The time is now, SACCI’s call is for everyone to work towards the common purpose of getting our economy on a sound footing again. Alan Mukoki, SACCI CEO Images: Facebook/SACCI, The Diplomatic Informer Magazine/Calvin Modirapula On 14 April 2021, the Memorandum of Economic Cooperation between the Council of Exporters and Investors under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry was signed, during the trade mission visit to the Republic of South Africa, headed by Deputy Minister for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine, Trade Envoy of Ukraine, Ms T Kachka, at the Ukranian embassy in Pretoria. The economic cooperation between the Council of Exporters and Investors under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine was represented by Liubov Abravitova, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the Republic of South Africa and South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry was represented by Adv Mtho Xulu, President of the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The aim of the memorandum is to establish relations between SACCI and EIC to promote collaboration and productive engagements within the respective business sectors for mutual benefits, industrial interests and to promote economic development and growth of the members and associates of EIC and SACCI.