Bu­si­ness a­wards

Mossel Bay Advertiser - - Voorblad - Cor­nel­le Car­stens P­ho­tos: Cor­nel­le Car­stens

A­part from Jak­kals­vlei P­ri­va­te Wi­ne Cel­lar set­ting a fresh new sce­ne for the Mos­sel Bay Bu­si­ness C­ham­ber ga­la e­vent, w­he­re lo­cal bu­si­ness o­w­ners re­cei­ved ac­co­la­des for ex­cel­len­ce last F­ri­day, 21 Sep­tem­ber, key­no­te spea­ker Tim Har­ris, CEO of Wes­gro, pro­vi­ded in­spi­ring food for thoug­ht.

Har­ris, a for­mer De­mo­cra­tic Al­li­an­ce mem­ber of the Na­ti­o­nal As­sem­bly, and a Par­li­a­men­ta­ry Coun­sel­lor to DA Le­a­der M­mu­si Mai­ma­ne, o­pe­ned the floor with a few ton­gue in cheek re­fe­ren­ces to Mos­sel Bay as the "crad­le of hu­man cul­tu­re" and the "ho­me of so­ci­al me­dia".

"The first hashtag o­ri­gi­na­ted from a ca­ve in Mos­sel Bay," Har­ris said in re­fe­ren­ce to the "Point of Hu­man O­ri­gin" ca­ves at Pin­na­cle Point, much to the au­dien­ce's a­mu­se­ment.

Har­ris, w­ho­se roots lie in the Sout­hern Ca­pe, sig­hed and said it was "good to be ho­me", es­pe­ci­al­ly sin­ce he ar­ri­ved back from Sout­hern C­hi­na on a Wes­gro in­ves­t­ment mis­si­on on­ly 48 hours pri­or to the ga­la e­vent.

Se­ver­al strengt­hs

Har­ris ex­plai­ned that Wes­gro is an in­ves­t­ment and tou­rism cre­a­ti­on a­gen­cy that ser­ves the pro­vin­ci­al go­vern­ment and lo­cal mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ties. The a­gen­cy un­der­ta­kes a­round 100 mis­si­ons an­nu­al­ly to pro­mo­te the We­stern Ca­pe a­bro­ad in or­der to sti­mu­la­te the e­co­nomy.

In re­fe­ren­ce to the South A­fri­can con­text, Har­ris said that de­spi­te fee­lings of po­si­ti­vi­ty, the­re is al­ways a cur­ved ball but de­spi­te t­his, the coun­try has se­ver­al strengt­hs coun­ting in its fa­vour.

Har­ris, who has tra­vel­led to 35 of the 54 A­fri­can coun­tries, lis­ted South A­fri­ca's ex­tra­or­di­na­ry in­fra­struc­tu­re in com­pa­ri­son to the rest of the A­fri­can con­ti­nent; it's in­sti­tu­ti­on and the free press; as well as the strength of South A­fri­can bu­si­ness, small, me­di­um and lar­ge, which he be­lie­ves is a gre­at cre­dit.

An­go­la, ac­cor­ding to Har­ris, is the single big­ge­st mar­ket for pro­ducts from the We­stern Ca­pe in A­fri­ca. He be­lie­ves that ex­ports from the a­gri­cul­tu­ral hub will furt­her po­wer e­co­no­mic gro­wth. Har­ris al­so said the re­a­son u­nem­ploy­ment is 10% lo­wer than in ot­her pro­vin­ces, is the sti­mu­la­ti­on of tou­rism in the pro­vin­ce. In­di­ca­ti­ons are that most new com­pa­nies for­med are e­mer­ging in the We­stern Ca­pe and it is be­co­ming po­pu­lar as a hub for bu­si­ness pro­ces­sing out­sour­cing, such as call cen­tres.

Look­ing for li­fe­sty­le

Har­ris li­ke­ned the We­stern Ca­pe to w­hat is hap­pe­ning in San Fran­cis­co, w­he­re the t­rend is seen that so­me of the wor­ld's big­ge­st com­pa­nies are ba­sed the­re. T­his, he ex­plains, is be­cau­se ty­coons too are see­king an ex­tra­or­di­na­ry li­fe­sty­le in beau­ti­ful pla­ces, as the We­stern Ca­pe of­fers to ma­ny fa­mi­lies re­lo­ca­ting from, for in­stan­ce Gau­teng.

The We­stern Ca­pe al­so of­fers strong u­ni­ver­si­ties, to which, as Har­ris ex­plains, "the brig­h­test kids on the con­ti­nent are flocking". We­stern Ca­pe u­ni­ver­si­ties the­re­fo­re are lin­ked to a­round 10 000 ta­len­ted stu­dents from all o­ver A­fri­ca stu­dying he­re.

Har­ris waxed ly­ri­cal on the am­ple and beau­ti­ful spa­ce a­vai­la­ble in and a­round Mos­sel Bay and said that alt­hough the do­mes­tic mar­ket is well de­ve­lo­ped in terms of se­a­so­nal tou­rism, the big­ge­st Eu­ro­pe­an tou­rism mar­kets, the U­ni­ted King­dom, Ger­ma­ny and Net­her­lands can pro­vi­de a va­lu­a­ble all-y­e­ar in­co­me. He al­so men­ti­o­ned the need to pro­per­ly un­lock the po­ten­ti­al of the lo­cal har­bour "It ma­kes me op­ti­mis­tic a­bout South A­fri­ca to see the e­co­no­mic gro­wth path in the We­stern Ca­pe and accen­tu­a­tes the need to re­pli­ca­te w­hat the We­stern Ca­pe is doing throug­hout the rest of the coun­try," Har­ris con­clu­ded.

Win­ners an­noun­ced

Ac­cor­ding to Mos­sel Bay Bu­si­ness C­ham­ber chair­man Paul Kru­ger, the num­ber of en­tries for a­wards t­his y­e­ar, was a good sign. He said that no­mi­na­ti­ons we­re well put to­get­her ad­ding to strong com­pe­ti­ti­on in e­ach ca­te­go­ry. In e­ach ca­te­go­ry, a run­ne­rup a­ward was gi­ven t­his y­e­ar.

The run­ners-up and win­ners are as fol­lows:

• Small bu­si­ness ca­te­go­ry:

Run­ner up: co-Mind (a col­la­bo­ra­ti­ve of­fi­ce spa­ce pro­vi­der)

Win­ner: Haas­Das E­lec­tro­ni­cs

• Me­di­um-si­zed bu­si­ness ca­te­go­ry: Run­ner-up: F&A Ai­r­con­di­ti­o­ning Win­ner: Rauch Ger­ten­bach At­tor­neys (Da­nie Ac­ker)

• Lar­ge bu­si­ness ca­te­go­ry:

Run­ner-up: Al­ber­ti­nia Meu­bel­ver­voer (Va­nie Oost­hui­zen)

Win­ner: Jak­kals­vlei P­ri­va­te Wi­ne Cel­lar (Jan­tjie Jon­ker)

• Bu­si­ness Per­son of the Y­e­ar:

Run­ner up: Va­nie Oost­hui­zen (Al­ber­ti­nia Meu­bel­ver­voer)

Win­ner: S­hir­ley S­chmidt (A­fris­ho­re S­hip­ping, Lif­ting & Rig­ging; O­ce­an Hi­de)

Ac­cor­ding to Kru­ger, it was the first ti­me kno­wn, that the sa­me bu­si­ness was na­med run­ner-up in two ca­te­go­ries.

No­mi­nees in the small, me­di­um-si­zed and lar­ge bu­si­ness of the y­e­ar ca­te­go­ries. INSET: Wes­gro CEO Tim Har­ris waxed ly­ri­cal on the beau­ty of Mos­sel Bay and sur­rounds.

Jan­tjie Jon­ker from Jak­kals­vlei P­ri­va­te Wi­ne Cel­lar (win­ner lar­ge bu­si­ness), S­hir­ley S­chmidt, CEO of A­fris­ho­re (Bu­si­ness Per­son of the Y­e­ar), Al­der­man Har­ry Le­ven­dal (exe­cu­ti­ve ma­yor of Mos­sel Bay), Da­nie Ac­ker from Rauch Ger­ten­bach At­tor­neys (win­ner me­di­um-si­zed bu­si­ness), Ma­ri­us Wait and John S­mit from Haas­Das (win­ner, small bu­si­ness of the y­e­ar).

The no­mi­nees for Bu­si­ness Per­son of the Y­e­ar.

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