Editors Note, 2019-01 Edition
April 29, 2019
Good News Story | Chamber Champion
April 29, 2019

Letter from Les, 2019-01

Looking down the barrel, it’s not much clearer whether the bullet is still stuck in the barrel.

It will be a long time before the jury is out on the State Capture enquiry. Certainly, as evidence is being led, and individual testimony and evidence led, clarity starts to reveal some huge skeletons. The extent of corruption is enough to fund an entirely new country.

Many issues begin to emerge from the various enquiries, because it’s not just the state capture enquiry, it’s also the long overdue examination of our bankrupt SOE’s.

The recent SONA address by President Ramaphosa speaks to an unbundling of ESKOM. This is anticipated to be a good thing. However what of other entities, and the first other one coming to mind is SAA and SA Express. Our Region is as usual at the tail end of this ongoing financial mismanagement and disappointingly, feeling the efforts to restructure an ailing industry leader.

Buffalo City has lost in excess of 50 000 seats a year due to the fewer flights – and despite the competition element, one can only say, “thank goodness,” for Low-cost Carriers.

We are very pleased to participate in consultations that begin to look into the Port expansion, and, at last, have the sympathetic ear of the National Port Regulator. So, not only is the private sector and Parastatals lobbying strongly, we feel we are beginning to lobby to the right authority. Many cases have been put forward, to what justifies an expansion and investment into the Port of East London and until the Port is able to meet investor expectations/requirements, Buffalo City will not reach its potential. Coupled to this is a renewed commitment by Transnet Port Authority of East London, to put a proposal in front of Transnet Executive that indicate a long term turnaround. Full marks to the team in East London.

We are pleased to announce that Chamber has renewed its agreement with the Municipality, for a further two years. This MOU sets out the framework, and how the Public and Privates sector partner to clean up two pilot sites – those being Settlers Way, and the beachfront in the Quigney.

In answering the most asked question, “why only two areas?,” the answer lies in our resource base. With greater support from our business partners, we could easily tackle Southernwood and Western Avenue, and for that matter, anywhere in the Metro that business support and resource. Imagine a “team,” in Buffalo Pass, or Braelyn?

We are guilty of underplaying the value and importance of sport in the Metro, but want to say well done to all the event organisers, sponsors and event competitors. January and February are huge months and between the respective events, thousands of citizens come visiting.

Let us all be ambassadors to the Metro, and welcome every visitor, and help to ensure everyone will return. The measure we must always use is a statement coined by our favourite Arnold Schwarzenegger : i.e. “I’ll be back!”

We anticipate exciting times, but not without challenges and obstacles. We will overcome if we work collectively.

Warmest regards,
Executive Director