March 2016 Members' Business Briefing with Thebe Ikalafeng
Chamber Members were regaled by Thebe Ikalafeng, Founder and Chairman of the Brand Leadership Group, with his creative delivery and presentation on "Africa: the Good News. Peace, Prosperity and Unity."
Going back to 1884, covering the continent's roots and the world view on Africa, Thebe spoke about media coverage and Africa's responsibility on changing the worldwide interpretation of this continent. Shifting perceptions to the vision of Africa for people outside Africa, Thebe made light of Africa being viewed as one big entity, made up of unsophisticated customs, with famine, poverty and war, despite the stark contrast in reality and bright future ahead. As Africans, Thebe emphasized we are not telling our story, our story is being told for us, and it is not being told in a positive light.
The Good News Thebe focused on was Africa's attractiveness to outside investors, war is on the decrease and productivity and growth is on the rise. South Africa's potentional to be a prosperous and competitive country in relation to overseas companies are ever expanding. Africa will need to embrace and integrate our culture and envelop outside the box thinking, to be inspired and not be embarrassed, by where we come from. Branding will need to be relevant to Africa as opposed to adopting Western ideologies and concepts, to collaborate and incorporate Africa into products and services. Africa will need to recognize our strengths and use these to our advantage as this will lead to empowerment and pride within our continent.
February 2016 Members' Business Briefing with Andy Henderson sponsored by BSi
Speaking to Chamber Members last night thanks to the sponsorship of BSi, Andy Henderson, outgoing UKTI Regional Trade Director, for Southern Africa and Board Member of the British Chamber gave a heartfelt and farewell talk. He regaled to Members tales of his time as a Diplomat and his work in South Africa over the last 5 years. From his posting in Algeria to his move to South Africa, and his previous appointments in Brazil and Saudi Arabia, Andy's light hearted banter revolved around stories of his past experiences and the history of the Southern African British Chamber.
Andy thanked Chamber Members for their ongoing support, and asked Members to continue to keep working at growing their business in order to expand and elevate the youth that are in dire need of opportunities and employment. Despite the current economic climate, Andy expressed optimism in South Africa; the potential that has yet to be explored and the bright future ahead. In closing, with this being his last posting, Andy wished Chamber Members well, and to "Keep Calm, Carry on and Prosper". Andy will be greatly missed, especially his vibrant ties.
Chamber members attend Eve of Parliament Reception
Arguably the highlight of the British High Commission's event programme for the year, the Eve of Parliament reception, hosted by British Chamber patron, High Commissioner Dame Judith Macgregor, took place in the gardens of her Bishopscourt residence. Sponsors and Chamber members British Airways and Jaguar Land Rover were to the fore and guests included Thuli Madonsela, Patricia de Lille, Christo Wiese, and of course many of our Cape Town Chamber members.
The Prime Minister's Trade Envoy to South Africa, Baroness Scotland, spoke of her close and fruitful relationship with this country and reassured guests that this would continue with her appointment as Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.
As well as celebrating UK-SA partnerships, Shakespeare was the theme in this, the 400th anniversary year of his death. There were powerful performances of verses from Shakespeare's plays and sonnets by local learners. The guest of honour, Sonny Venkatrathnam, spoke about his so-called 'Robben Island Bible' – a clandestine copy of Shakespeare's Complete Works with notes and passages highlighted by his fellow prisoners on the Island, including Nelson Mandela and Ahmed Kathrada.
Liverpool Chamber of Commerce at Northern Powerhouse Event
David Dawson, Lord Digby Jones and Andy Snell, Liverpool Chamber of Commerce at Northern Powerhouse Event
October 2015 Members' Business Briefing with Premier David Makhura Sponsored by Discovery
Chamber Members were addressed by Gauteng Premier David Makhura sponsored by Discovery, on the environment of the five developing corridors within the Gauteng Province and improving infrastructure within these divisions. Taking the opportunity to speak with British Companies regarding the strengthening of the Bilateral trade and industry relations between South Africa and the United Kingdom, Premier Makhura made reference to his upcoming visit to the United Kingdom in 2016 to further his dedication to this cause.
The viewpoint from the Premier, regarding South Africa as the gateway to Africa and Gauteng, as the commercial Business hub of South Africa, was evident in the video presentation to Chamber members. Many parallels were drawn between the United Kingdom and South Africa, particularly the comparisons between London and Gauteng being the entry way and safe haven for companies considering to expand their businesses into Europe and Africa.
With changes in place, Premier Makhura made mention of the development of the Gauteng Investment Centre as a "one stop shop" to handle all bureaucracy within a timely manner and with ease of movement on a commercial platform going forward. Businesses were encouraged to invest in education and work together with the Gauteng Province to collaborate on broadening these opportunities to the youth.
Photos courtsey of Andronica Nedzamba
British Chamber of Business Breakfast with Rt. Hon. Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Allan Yarrow
This event provided a forum to discuss the investment environment in the UK for South African companies and the role of the City of London. The British High Commissioner to South Africa, Judith Macgregor, and the Prime Minister's Trade Envoy, the Rt. Hon. Baroness Patricia Scotland of Asthal QC and Andy Henderson, Regional Trade Director - Southern Africa UK Trade & Investment were also present.
September 2015 Members' Business Briefing with Dr Anthony Turton Sponsored by Brandhouse
Dr Anthony Turton delivered a passionate presentation on the future risks posed by South Africa's current water status and the long term effects thereof. He delved deeper into Uranium contamination, Yellow Boy and Cyanobacteria Bloom with ease of explanations for members.
By making reference to and showing figures on South Africa's total national resources of water and the full supply capacity of dam storage, Dr Turton highlighted the relevance of water shortage. He continued to state that geologically South Africa no longer has the capacity to build dams for house water as the effects of climate change and increased temperatures mean water is evaporating at a cumulative speed and alternative plans must be implemented for the contingency of future generations. Many inconvenient facts were placed before chamber members to show a holistic outlook of the situation that will be in effect for the future of South Africa.
South Africa's current water treatment system and sewage works are at a substandard rate thus posing serious water limitations for the future. Covering the negative effects of acid mine drainage, microcystin and saline level build ups, requires interventions to be made to salvage the current situation. The drought in KwaZulu Natal (KZN) and illegal sand minding, available water in the province sights a steady decline and requires effective monitoring. In Closing, Dr Turton stated the solutions to water shortage: Recycling, harvesting of sewage water, technologies and skills will be needed to assist with the contamination of this natural resource to ensure sustainability in generations to come.
Cape Town August 2015 Members' Business Briefing with Tim Harris
Tim Harris's talk on the 27th of August set to prove that The Western Cape is indeed not just a pretty place to do business, but increasingly a first choice for company headquarters, entrepreneurs and business start-ups. The Western Cape truly does have it all: low operational costs, prime locations and excellent skills set with access to students from UCT and Stellenbosch.
Statistics show that young professionals are heading to The Cape attracted by the lifestyle and the opportunities available; which makes for a dynamic place to do business.
Of course there are issues that need resolving: a reliable power supply, the need for more direct flights, a review of the new visa regulations, improvements in education and to address the weakening Rand. Tim shared a few comical Tweets trending from this week's hashtag Stronger than the Rand. Nando's mild chicken, the chances of the Nkandla fire pool actually being a fire pool and Lesotho's Navy are all #stronger than the Rand. Tim's talk was inspiring and left the audience feeling very positive about a company's ability to excel in The Western Cape.
August 2015 Members' Business Briefing Sponsored by Anglo American
This month's Members Business Briefing covered 2 speakers, Boitumelo Ngutshane from KPMG and Lucy Sutcliffe from Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs. Tumi Ngutshane gave a presentation on the revised BEE changes for compliance for domestic and foreign entities. This overview of BEE covered topics such as reviewed codes, equity equivalents, enterprise, supplier development and empowering suppliers. Tumi also made reference to the B-BBEE Management Development Programme offered by UNISA and the benefits this would offer to all South Africans.
Lucy Sutcliffe spoke on the promotion of compliance on a global scale to disrupt and dismantle organised crime. Tobacco smuggling was a major point of her talk and how this goes towards the funding of drug cartels and terrorism. Her presentation also showed the significant harm of money laundering and tax evasion and the impact of "victimless crimes" from an economic standpoint. The solutions focused on preventive and punitive tools and the Amendment of the Crime Act of 2002 along with the continuous efforts of persistent enforcement on this matter.
July 2015 Members' Business Briefing with Mmusi Maimane and Toby Chance from the DA
Topic: "The DA's Vision 2029 and its implications for business"
Chamber members were invited to a talk from Toby Chance, Shadow Minister for Small Business Development and Mmusi Maimane, Leader of the opposition party.
Mmusi Maimane addressed Chamber Members on the subject of Vision 2029 and Toby elaborated on his opinions on the nationalisation of industries. Concern centered around South Africa's entrepreneurial deficit and the similarities of challenges experienced between South Africa and Greece. A description on the plans for Vision 2029 included sustainable energy, tax incentives to businesses that employ youth and a reduction of government departments for efficiency a more streamlined approach. He highlighted the importance of education and the DA's strong need to protect South Africa's constitution. Toby Chance discussed the comparisons of South Africa to Britain during the '70s and the nationalisation of industries. He expressed his views about the political maneuvers between government and the labor relations.This was then followed by a short Q&A.
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