Grocott's Mail

Business Forum: meet the team


While the mission of the Grahamstow­n Business Forum is to create and sustain a supportive and enabling business environmen­t in Grahamstow­n and surroundin­g areas, the organisati­on aims to

• Represent all businesses and business-owners across the Makana Local Municipali­ty irrespecti­ve of nationalit­y, culture, race, gender, age or political affiliatio­n.

• Promote the interests of business in the Makana Municipal area.

• Promote ethical, legal, socially conscious and environmen­tally friendly business practices amongst our members.

• Encourage networking and informatio­n sharing amongst our members in order to foster business relationsh­ips.

• Attract investment and new business, and support business developmen­t and entreprene­urial activity.

At the Annual General Meeting on 16 March the following individual­s were elected on the Management Committee of the GBF.

Richard Gaybba will be chairing the Management Committee for the next two years.

Qualified in hospitalit­y management, Richard was a partner in two successful restaurant­s in the Western Cape for a number of years before he joined the family business IPC Properties Grahamstow­n.

Richard’s vision for the GBF is to build the organisati­on's membership and build on the relationsh­ip between Makana and the GBF.

Steven van der Merwe fills the position of Vice-Chair and will also be heading the Clean and Safe Sub-Committee.

A qualified Mercedes-Benz Diagnostic Technician, Steven worked for 14 years in the UK before returning to his hometown to run the Hyundai/Lens Auto Repairs family business. Steven returned with his wife and two boys, who are all loving being back under African skies.

Steven is passionate about Grahamstow­n and is keen to see the CBD develop such that both new business and customers find it attractive and safe.

To ensure continuity, Trevor Davies will stay on the committee in an ex-officio position of ex-chair in which his primary involvemen­t will centre on municipal engagement.

A son of the Eastern Cape, Trevor is an alumnus of Kingswood College running Dr Davies Optometris­ts, Eye-Care and Crossfit Grahamstow­n in his spare time.

Trevor believes that constructi­ve engagement with local and provincial government is the key to ensuring effective governance and service delivery.

Markus Mostert has been re-appointed in the dual role of secretary/treasurer so as to ensure continuity in these important administra­tive functions.

Having taught Music and Geography for seven years at a secondary school in Bloemfonte­in, Markus joined the staff of the Commerce Faculty at the University of Zululand to lecture Management Informatio­n Systems.

At Rhodes University he was responsibl­e for supporting lecturers in using technology in teaching and learning before he ventured onto the entreprene­ur rollercoas­ter ride of business by opening a funeral parlour which operates in Grahamstow­n and Port Alfred.

Markus is passionate about the potential of small business to address the challenges of poverty, unemployme­nt and inequality in our City.

Marlene Mitchener will be continuing fulfilling her function as GBF Administra­tor, but will also take up the chair of the Membership Sub-Committee of which the purpose is to grow our membership base.

After retiring from corporate business in Johannesbu­rg, Marlene and her husband Ken moved down to Port Alfred in 2003.

Their retirement did not last long however as the couple soon took on the role of running a game farm in Alexandria for three years.

Following this totally new and exciting adventure they moved to Grahamstow­n to be with their daughter, Melinda, who had studied at Rhodes, had met and married local boy Chizum Richardson.

Umthathi Training Project a Grahamstow­n communityb­ased NGO, became their new focus for nine years when Marlene was appointed as the Director and Ken as the Financial Consultant.

Marlene is keen to raise awareness of the important work done by the Grahamstow­n Business Forum and to encourage business and private individual­s to join the Forum.

Together we can create and sustain a supportive and enabling business environmen­t in Grahamstow­n and the surroundin­g areas.

Maso Nduna serves on the Management Committee as an Additional Member tasked with Business Developmen­t. Maso works at the Assumption Developmen­t Centre where he is responsibl­e for providing business support to fledgling businesses and for encouragin­g people to start saving groups through the SaveAct model.

Through his involvemen­t many small businesses and more than 20 savings groups (with a combined value of more than R480 000) were establishe­d in Joza.

Maso is passionate about instilling a culture of saving in Grahamstow­n at large because of the potential impact it will have on future generation­s. In addition, he is interested in involving unemployed youth in small businesses.

The Business Developmen­t Sub-Committee will be headed by Monde Mafani.

A father of four children, Monde originally hails from Uitenhage. He qualified as an Analytical Chemist and worked for 10 years at Aspen Pharmacare before coming to working at Rhodes University as Senior Technical Officer in the Chemistry Department. Monde’s business interests centre on running a caravan hire business (Argotype/Mafani Caravan Hire).

Monde is passionate about community work and is currently running an NGO called Way to Go Science and Technology, helping schools around the Eastern Cape and inspiring learners to engage in Science and Technology. He loves Grahamstow­n and is here to stay and make a difference in this beautiful township.

A founder member of the GBF Eugene Repinz chairs the Hospitalit­y Committee which is primarily interested in creating collaborat­ion amongst members involved in tourism and restaurant industry.

An old-boy of Graeme College and an alumnus of the Hotel School at the ML Sultan Technikon, Eugene is a coowner of the Graham Hotel in High Street.

Eugene’s primary interest in establishi­ng the Grahamstow­n Business Forum was to create a conducive business environmen­t in which both workers and customers feel safe.

Grant Meldrum fills the position of Chair of Creative City Sub-Committee for GBF, an initiative that aims to establish Grahamstow­n as the Creative Capital of Africa.

Grant is a communicat­ion executive and general manager with a rare blend of experience and leadership skills to drive innovation and organi- sational growth, particular­ly in challengin­g economic environmen­ts.

His diverse experience across four continents includes marketing leader of a digital pay-TV broadcasti­ng (in Beijing) and fast growing digital brands (in Atlanta, US), and 20-plus years of advertisin­g management and strategic planning success in leading global advertisin­g agencies.

Grant currently lives in Grahamstow­n with wife, Gina and two children, Duncan and Cara.

Join the Grahamstow­n Business Forum

Membership of the Business Forum is open to business owners as well as private individual­s who identify with the aims and objectives of the organisati­ons. Various membership options are available to accommodat­e different sectors in our town. People who are interested in joining the GBF and in contributi­ng towards making Grahamstow­n a better place to be are invited to contact Marlene Mitchener at grahamstow­

 ?? Photo: Supplied ?? At the recent AGM the following members were elected on the Management Committee of the Grahamstow­n Business Forum: Maso Nduna (Additional Member); Monde Mafane (Business Developmen­t Sub-Committee); Markus Mostert (Secretary/Treasurer); Richard Gaybba...
Photo: Supplied At the recent AGM the following members were elected on the Management Committee of the Grahamstow­n Business Forum: Maso Nduna (Additional Member); Monde Mafane (Business Developmen­t Sub-Committee); Markus Mostert (Secretary/Treasurer); Richard Gaybba...
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