Chamber confers special recognition to Board members for Outstanding Service

2024-06-06
Press Releases

The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber has conferred special recognition to outgoing Board Members for their outstanding service to the Chamber.

Dr Andrew Muir

Globally recognised conservationist Dr Andrew Muir, who chairs the Nelson Mandela Bay Climate Coalition and is also the CEO of the Wilderness Foundation Africa, was awarded for his role as President and Immediate Past President.

Dr Muir played an active role in leading the Chamber during Covid-19 with regards to supporting hospitals with increased bed capacity, the storage and distribution of medical supplies and securing of much-needed protective gear and other key medical supplies. 

In 2021, Dr Muir led a study to assess how climate change will impact Nelson Mandela Bay. The study provides an outlook from 2021-2040 and highlights the impact that extreme storm surges, rising sea levels and temperature increases will have on the Metro.

He is also leading a team of local Bay experts under the auspices of the Wilderness Foundation Africa who have been tasked, to not only assess the best science and data on the Metro as it relates to climate change, but to engage as wide a range of stakeholders across the Metro to develop the Climate Change Resilience Development Strategy Framework (CRDS) which serves as a crucial "toolbox" to guide local stakeholders and development initiatives towards climate resilience. The framework not only aims to prepare the metro for climate-related threats but also seeks to identify pathways for positive development.

Gugu Nxiweni

A qualified chartered accountant and executive chairman of Improvate Group, Gugu Nxiweni’s financial expertise and leadership as Treasurer have played a crucial role in maintaining the Chamber's fiscal integrity, ensuring that it continues to operate effectively and responsibly. His track record in both the public and private sectors speaks to his professionalism and commitment to excellence. During his tenure, he has contributed to the Chamber’s achievement in attaining unqualified audit opinions.

Nxiweni ensured that the Chamber’s sound financial management and control prevailed at all times. His contribution to the Chamber’s Finance Committee has been immense given his experience as a qualified auditor, risk management practitioner and businessman. Additionally he played an important role in the Chamber’s Human Resources REMCO committee.

Other Recognitions

Other recognitions included the Chamber President Loyiso Dotwana and outgoing Board Members Dr Sibongile Muthwa and Mike Neubert for outstanding service and loyal service, respectively.

Dotwana is who is currently the NAKO Group and NAKO ILISO Board Chairman, and before this, he was the executive director responsible for business development at NAKO Group and NAKO ILISO since November 2000. He is Chairman of Blackwood Power, a renewable energy business, as well as a founder and director of the listed mining company Afrimat Limited and an independent non-executive director of Hyprop Investments Ltd.

In this role as President, he is responsible for leading the Chamber Board in determining its strategic direction, to drive for economic growth and an enabling environment for Nelson Mandela Bay. He has lead the charge in bringing relevance to the Chamber and its members through a re-energised, agile and action-orientated strategy. 

Though his tenure comes to an end soon, he will not be lost to the Chamber as he will step into the Immediate Past President role where he will continue providing leadership expertise as part of the Board.

Dr Muthwa is Nelson Mandela University’s current Vice-Chancellor and has worked in both development and public sector institutions, as well as in academia. She will be stepping down as a board member after serving a seven-year tenure which saw her contributing in advancing the Chamber’s mission and vision.    

Neubert, a qualified chartered accountant and current Managing Director for Momentum Health, also serves in the Chamber’s Beachfront Cluster Manco. Both Muthwa and Neubert have been recognised for the invaluable contribution to the Chamber.

Commenting during the ceremony, Chamber chief executive Denise van Huyssteen said the recognitions underscored the important role played by business leaders who serve as volunteer in helping to drive the Chamber’s vision of strengthening its position as a leading catalyst for Nelson Mandela Bay to retain and attract investment.   

“Too often, talks and plans just lead to more talks and more planning, with little action and implementation. However, we are privileged as to have the caliber of the leadership we have with business leaders who have selflessly dedicated their time and resources in helping to achieve the ease of doing business in the Metro. Their out-of-the-box and action orientated thinking has contributed immensely in the success of our interventions to benefit our members and the Metro at large,” says Van Huyssteen.

Van Huyssteen further highlights that “as a business community we have hope in the future – we know that this is the Bay of Opportunity. It starts with all of us believing in the potential and taking action to drive things forward in the right direction.”