Letter from Les, 2020-01 Edition – HiLite
Good News Stories, 2020-01 Edition
March 29, 2020
Editors Note, 2020-01 Edition
March 29, 2020

Letter from Les, 2020-01 Edition

2020 Greetings to all Members, with a wish that 2020 will be the beginning of
“turning – the – corner.”  Can we safely say this will be a better year than 2019?
Well, let’s consider the can’s and cant’s – that are likely to impact the economy and obviously your / our business viability.
Also, some we can mitigate, and some just have to bear with a foreboding.
LOADSHEDDING
Waking up on the 1st January to news on loadshedding was grim, and the forecast was anything from a week to eighteen months. For some, this is disastrous and to industry, even worse, because of the consequences of interrupting a process factory. Without doubt, the best response is understanding the sector, and anticipating how you are to be affected. Forewarned is forearmed and likely to reduce the loss / risk by being better prepared. Of importance is the emergence that w.e.f. 1st January, ALL load shedding is governed by a new Energy Act.  NRS 048-09. A Government standard that has been implemented in order to organise the manner by which load shedding is implemented during periods of supply capacity problems and the handling of critical loads. Understanding the critical detail is likely to help managing loadshedding in a more practical and conducive manner. The essential difference is a new schedule of Stage I through to Stage 8, with longer periods of loadshedding and obviously more critical, is the difference between stage four and five. Also, on how to mitigate for those that are able, or qualify, it is definitely worth the effort applying to be added to the Curtailment Programme. More detail is available on Chambers website, www.bkcob.co.za/blog
CORONA VIRUS
Globally citizens are at risk of being exposed to the disease with more incidences being recorded every day. Will we be affected in SA?  According to the Dept. of Health, yes, but they also assert that at this stage, the disease is being contained. So don’t panic. Take precautions, and use information that is freely available. A list is published on the Government web site and includes recommendations such as wearing face masks, avoiding likely areas of exposure, and keep frail and elderly away from public places, etc.  Much however depends on how every country and their respective governments respond and react, especially the Health Ministries, and what quarantine measures are put in place.
CONNECTIVITY
Every aspiring City wants to be connected. A connected City / Metro is a progressive City and more likely to succeed than those not. East London and our neighbours were recently give the very disappointing news, on the business rescue of South African Airways. The writer has been very blunt in response to this matter, and remains concerned over the loss of our National Carrier. It is however a bitter pill, given that we need more, lower priced flights. Furthermore, as has been the case over the last three years, East London has been the victim of restructuring and cancellation of strategic flights, being reduced from 11 flights a day, to NIL. The reaction from most travellers has been unsurprising. It is thought, however, the business sector is going to be affected the most. Without an early morning and late afternoon flight, business trips to Jhb and CT now imply three days rather than one.  As is the case with the two above, better informed and better prepared remains the best response and use of travel agents becomes more relevant than ever. Discussions with the current two remaining airlines, is imperative and East London is hoping they will pick up some of the vacuum left by SAA / SAX / Airlink.
So will 2020 be better? Let’s wait and see . .
Elsewhere in this magazine we feature Samantha Long (Sam) We are very excited about her joining the Chamber team. Sam has extensive experience and brings new skills and talents formerly missing from our organisation. Please engage her and get to know the “new,” Membership and Events Co-ordinator.
Lastly. Help us stay in touch with you. Ensure we have all you relevant information, including if you are moving to new premises. We, AND the post office need your changed details.
Warm regards
LES HOLBROOK
Executive Director