C­ham­ber ends 2018 on fes­ti­ve no­te

Graaff-Reinet Advertiser - - Voorblad -

The Graaff-rei­net C­ham­ber of Com­mer­ce on­ce a­gain broug­ht the y­e­ar to a c­lo­se with its an­nu­al Chris­t­mas functi­on.

This y­e­ar’s e­vent was held on Wed­nes­day e­ve­ning, 21 No­vem­ber, at the ne­w­ly­re­o­pe­ned Cold­stre­am Re­stau­rant, and the qua­li­ty of the ve­nue and food was out­stan­ding and en­joy­ed by all.

The MC for the e­vent was Lou­w­rens Sel­zer, who broug­ht ad­vo­ca­te Ger­rie Nel to Graaff­rei­net last y­e­ar. The chair­man of the Ge­or­ge C­ham­ber of Com­mer­ce, dr. Den­nis Far­rell, pro­ved to be a most in­for­ma­ti­ve spea­ker.

He broug­ht im­pres­si­ve cre­den­ti­als, as not on­ly is Far­rell MD of Al­fa O­me­ga NBS, he has al­so co-aut­ho­red a book and is a guest lec­tu­rer at NMU Bu­si­ness S­chool.

In his talk, Far­rell shared a so­cio-e­co­no­mic o­ver­view which he sug­ge­sts bu­si­ness should be a­wa­re of to en­su­re sus­tai­na­bi­li­ty of the lo­cal e­co­nomy.

He said that the so­ci­al and e­co­no­mic fa­bric is so in­ter­t­wi­ned that bu­si­nes­ses need to un­der­stand the lo­cal so­ci­al and e­co­no­mic chal­len­ges and op­por­tu­ni­ties in the qu­est to a­chie­ve so­cio-e­co­no­mic re­sto­ra­ti­on.

Far­rell re­fer­red to Mi­nis­ter Ti­to M­bo­we­ni’s o­pe­ning words du­ring his bud­get speech w­he­re he drew from I­sai­ah 58:12 with a spe­ci­fic re­fe­ren­ce that bu­si­nes­ses should be “re­sto­ring the ruins”.

He lin­ked the top ten glo­bal ris­ks i­den­ti­fied by the Wor­ld E­co­no­mic Forum for 2018 (which in­clu­de ex­tre­me we­at­her con­di­ti­ons, na­tu­ral di­sas­ters, wa­ter cri­ses, da­ta fraud and theft) to the con­straints to the e­co­no­mic dri­vers as de­fi­ned by Dr Bey­ers Nau­de Dis­trict Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty IDP 2017 – 2022 such as com­mer­ci­al a­gri­cul­tu­re, ma­nu­fac­tu­ring and tou­rism.

Far­rell en­coura­ged the bu­si­ness com­mu­ni­ty to look at the IDP as the­re are ma­ny op­por­tu­ni­ties for lo­cal bu­si­ness to par­ti­ci­pa­te in and to build a good plat­form for Pu­bli­cpri­va­te Part­ners­hips. He ur­ged mem­bers of the C­ham­ber to be­co­me acti­vis­ts for lo­cal bu­si­ness to thri­ve, saying that this can be a­chie­ved by chal­len­ging lo­cal go­vern­ment and cor­po­ra­tes such as banks, in­su­ran­ce com­pa­nies and bu­si­nes­ses with he­ad of­fi­ces or de­ci­si­on ma­kers out­si­de of Graaff Rei­net to use lo­cal sup­pliers and to spend t­heir pro­por­ti­o­na­te CSI fun­ding in­to pro­jects in Graaff-rei­net.

“The­re is an in­cre­a­sed mi­gra­ti­on of pe­op­le in­to Graaff-rei­net which is ac­com­pa­nied by lar­ger so­ci­al in­sta­bi­li­ty,” said Far­rell.

“The pres­su­re on the so­ci­al sy­s­tems is be­co­ming lar­ger and to at­tract and re­tain in­ves­t­ment we will re­qui­re a­mongst ot­her t­hings strong le­a­ders­hip in both pri­va­te and pu­blic sec­tors, the re-es­ta­blishment of a work e­thic and cul­tu­re, and a sa­fe and c­le­an to­wn”.

Far­rell sug­ge­sts that mem­bers of the C­ham­ber should work to­wards cre­a­ting an In­clu­si­ve e­co­nomy and to cre­a­te “jobs for the la­bour for­ce we ha­ve, not the la­bour for­ce we would li­ke to ha­ve.” (Bern­stein).

The Bu­si­ness C­ham­ber looks for­ward to wor­king mo­re clo­se­ly with the Ge­or­ge Bu­si­ness C­ham­ber in the fu­tu­re, in ven­tu­res such as tra­de ex­chan­ges w­he­re the two groups will pro­mo­te pro­ducts par­ti­cu­lar to e­ach of the re­gi­ons in an “im­port/ex­port” be­t­ween the dif­fe­rent en­vi­ron­ments.

Chair­man of the Ge­or­ge C­ham­ber of Com­mer­ce, dr. Den­nis Fer­rell, Kim Im­rie of the Graaff-rei­net C­ham­ber of Com­mer­ce and MC Lou­w­rens Sel­zer.

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