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Reflecting on 2016

Kevin Hustler

REFLECTING on 2016, South African economists predicted that this year would be a tough one for business. In fact, some economists predicted that this could be the toughest year in decades for the country thus forcing businesses around the country to tighten their belts. 

Despite the predictions of doom and gloom and the tough decisions that many business owners had to make this year, it is encouraging to see the Good News stories that came out of Nelson Mandela Bay, such as the national and international investments into our region. The positioning of Nelson Mandela Bay as an attractive destination for international investment is vital to the building of a competitive and sustainable city.

Collaboration is crucial for business, the private sector and government when it comes to development and planning - we simply cannot operate in a vacuum and need collaboration and partnership to secure growth and development in the economy, leading to the well-being of all citizens.

It is important to acknowledge and celebrate the partnerships formed on a strong foundation of trust, integrity, and with the best interests of the city at heart, driving the Nelson Mandela Bay economy on its path to sustainability.

We have an excellent partner in the NMMU Business School, and this is clear by the work done on the Business Vision 2030. The Business Chamber is integrating activities across several critical stakeholders and this year we were proud to present our Business Vision 2030 to the former and new Executive Mayors of Nelson Mandela Bay, who both received our presentations well.

It has been a busy year at the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber, where we offer an excellent value proposition to our membership base of almost 700, who together employ over 60 000 people in this metro.

We have also been fortunate this year to have the support of Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) in launching our third phase Enterprise Development Programme, where we recently welcomed 20 entrepreneurs ready to grow their businesses and stimulate progress in the region. 

The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber’s Board, Task Teams, lobby groups and strategic stakeholder interest groups are run on the backs of volunteers who give selflessly of their time, energy, resources and expertise to address issues critical to the economic growth and development of Nelson Mandela Bay. These groups provide a platform for action, to enable business leaders – in all sectors, from the largest to the smallest companies – to interact and engage with role players in government, the parastatals, non-governmental organisations and others, in pursuit of a unified vision for the city.

We cannot deliver to the needs of business without relying heavily on this generous spirit of volunteerism. It takes an army of volunteers giving of their time, expertise, experience and company resources to ensure the broader needs of the business community are served. 

Through this action arm’s focus on priority areas, a conducive business environment is created enabling business to flourish and thrive towards greater future economic development. 

Kevin Hustler,

Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber