Chamber Interventions

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The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber is committed to providing leadership in areas where its intervention could benefit its member companies and the Metro.

  •  The Chamber will continue to lead in lobbying for reasonable electricity tariffs for business with the Metro and in the Nersa public hearings, and is currently actively engaged in the 2021/2022 tariff discussions. In 2017 we were successful in getting the North Gauteng High Court to set aside the 9.4% tariff hike granted to Eskom, thus restricting electricity increases to 3.5% (versus the approved 8%) – representing a big saving to businesses and consumers across the country.
  • Realising the importance of water for business sustainability, we facilitated a number of interventions aimed at ensuring the City’s water supply into the future. To this end we forged a relationship with the GIZ NatuRes initiative, which culminated in various programmes benefitting the City. Amongst these was a study done by the Toulouse University (France) on the economic impact of sustainable water supply in the region. This report was handed over to the Metro for adoption of recommendations.
  • The Chamber established an Adopt a School initiative and member companies are assisting with fixing faulty or damaged plumbing systems at schools across the Metro that have been flagged as high water consumers. Currently 35% of the Metro’s water is lost due to leaks, while 10% of the total water loss in the city happens at schools. To date, 11 companies have adopted 35 schools that urgently need assistance.
    At the outset of the covid-19 pandemic, together with some of our members we provided critical support which saved countless lives, among which included getting 160 beds operational at Livingstone Hospital, upgrades to Provincial Hospital, the establishment of a field hospital and storing and distributing PPE and supplies as donated by business to the hospitals. Through the Chamber’s Ubuntu Covid-19 Fund, a total of R130 million was raised to support the hospitals.
  • The Chamber’s Enterprise Development programme (funded by ECDC) has entered in its 8th phase and has benefited over 186 businesses in the Metro since inception.
  • The Chamber’s Eastern Cape Exporters Development Programme, which was implemented last year, has already attracted the participation of 29 emerging exporters. The programme has migrated smoothly from the initial pilot of last year and has been extended to cover the Buffalo City area.
  • We launched BayGrow, a dedicated one-stop-shop to effectively facilitate and promote trade and investment in the BayThe Chamber established a helpdesk which has already assisted in unlocking over 200 red-tape/bottlenecks experienced by businesses.
  • The Business Chamber Think Tank, which was initiated in 2021, has begun rosbustly brainstorming ideas to kick-start new business opportunities.
  • Through our partnership with GIZ NatuRes, the GIZ/NMBBC Covid-19 Response we received R1.54 million to support our Covid-19 response effort. The fund enabled us to drive an awareness campaign across different communities in the Metro and to hand out protective facemasks and sanitisers to less fortunate communities. This initiative demonstrated the extent of impact which can be achieved through stakeholders working together to support a common cause.
  • The Chamber also collaborated with other key stakeholders like the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, E’Zethu Development Trust and other civil society organisations to facilitate much-needed interventions and discussions affecting the local economy. These led to valuable projects implemented by the Chamber such as the development of a comprehensive restoration plan of the Baakens Valley corridor to harness it for economic benefits.
  • The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber, together with eight other chambers of commerce and industry - was instrumental in the formation of a collaborative partnership under the auspices of the Association of South African Chambers (ASAC). ASAC is a voluntary apolitical association, established to promote collaboration between member Chambers in order to broaden and strengthen their capabilities by sharing information, best practice and contributing to a collective lobby on key business issues. In addition, ASAC’s nine signed-up founding members, also seek to support the promotion of initiatives to develop business and establish linkages with government and other stakeholders in their respective regions, nationally and internationally.Our membership base has diversified over recent years with respect to sectors and segments.
  • Our members have demonstrated a great deal of resilience amid challenges caused by the pandemic – with a significant number of jobs saved.
  • We have lobbied our member companies to open up their premises as vaccination sites to help expand the Metro’s vaccination programme.
  • We have signed an MOU with the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Municipality for the Adopt-a-Station initiative which has paved the way for the private sector to assist the municipality with safeguarding this key infrastructure against vandalism.
  • The Chamber issued 8127 Certificates of Origin during the last seven months of this year, with the biggest drivers being the Wool and Mohair, and the Perishables and Fruit sectors.

 

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