AHI COMMUNICATION JUNE 2017 - from the CEO'S desk

AHI COMMUNICATION JUNE 2017 - from the CEO'S desk

AHI COMMUNICATION JUNE 2017 - from the CEO'S desk

July is when South Africa and indeed the world commemorate the birthday of Madiba.  Part of his legacy was his ability to reach out to all fellow South Africans in a spirit of building a future we can all be proud of.  So let us remember Madiba and endeavor to do likewise for the sake of our children and our country.

At this time we have entered the second half of 2017.  The year up till now has been a rocky one for business in general and for SMEs in particular. Bruising conditions have made survival as businesses so much more challenging. In these circumstances many are looking for hope and beacons of light to guide us as tensions are rising to unacceptably high levels.

One of these guiding documents is the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.

The constitution is the foundation of our country.  Yet many of us have probably never set eyes on this important document.  We have a duty to familiarise ourselves with this document to be in a stronger position to defend our rights.  Let us commit to strive to and actively promote some of the fundamental principles in our Constitution. Click here  for the Constitution of The Republic of South-Africa

In the Preamble reference is made to:
- heal the divisions of the past
- improve the quality of life of all citizens
- and, free the potential of each person.
It would appear as if divisions are growing. This does not augur well for the future.
All of these are impacting negatively on businesses as it creates uncertainty and even fear for a stable and prosperous future. Ultimately it affects the human dignity of all of us as a nation. Unemployment continues to rise and there is regular outbreaks of social unrest.  All of us have a huge responsibility to ensure that our actions help to contribute establishing communities and a country that is respected.

A different perspective on the economic growth debate

In the pursuit of creating jobs to address unemployment we look at economic growth. No, says Professor Lorenzo Fioramonti according to an article in the Cape Argus on 24 June 2017.  Fioramonti is at the University of Pretoria’s Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation.  In a thought-provoking book with the sub-title “Success in a world without growth”, he states that growth is a poor indicator of a better society.

We have entered an era of automation and robots starting to replace humans.  This will lead to more jobs being shed and consequently higher unemployment.  If however the South African economy has a firm basis in the local context where SMEs are connected through solid network our prospects for a better life can actually improve with low or no growth which according to Fioramonti seems to be the case for the foreseeable future. We have contacted Prof Fioramonti to hear first-hand from him about his perspectives.
The AHI is set to be the Big Voice for Small Business. The AHI has committed and recommitted itself to ensure that SME issues are taken serious by government and corporate South Africa alike.  We urge government and corporate South Africa to think small first when it comes to existing and future policy and more particularly implementing such policies.  We again urge the Minister of Finance to get his colleagues to ensure that SMEs get paid timeously for work done efficiently for government departments.  And, we demand the same from corporate South Africa.  By paying SMEs on time we will play our part on creating jobs.

Each one Creates 2 Campaign

We are happy to announce that since the launch of our campaign “Each one creates 2” that a number of jobs have been created – Against All since our last issue.  We thank our Provincial Chambers for their assistance in this project.

SME Indaba Cape Town 26 July 2017

Our second SME Indaba with the theme Creating Jobs against all Odds will take place in Cape Town on 26 July at the Kelvin Grove club in Newlands.  Keep an eye open for the invitation with more details about the programme.  Bookings are open, click here to book online!

BUSA’s Small Business Labour Information Web based Tool
We are also happy to announce that BUSA has launched an initiative to develop a Small Business Labour Information Web Tool. This is done in partnership with the CCMA.  The initiative is in line with one of BUSA’s strategic objectives namely to “support better access to information for start-ups and SME growth’. At the first meeting of the SME Reference group with representatives from BUSA, CCMA, Department of Small Business Development, Seifsa, Labour and the AHI one statistic which was shared was that the CCMA receives nearly 900 cases per day! The time, negative effect on productivity, cost and the breakdown in relationships in the workplace are immeasurable.  This initiative is aimed at addressing these and many more issues in the best interest of SME owners, employees as well as help to transform the economy for the better. The project manager is Vanessa Pather a seasoned professional with 21 years’ experience with the CCMA. Tanya Cohen, BUSA CEO has expressed her joy and gratitude that this project is now firmly on the agenda.  The objective is to trustfully launch it early in 2018.   
Licencing of business

Dr Ernest Messina - AHI CEO, Martin Venter - Chairman desk of expertise: Legal.
The AHI Provincial Chairperson Etienne Coetsee brought to our attention that some of our members and indeed SMEs in general are affected by the "The Licensing of Business Bill". The said Bill has been withdrawn in 2014 due to heavy comments and objections from all sectors. A new refined concept of the said Bill appeared during 2015, but was rejected by parliament due to the negative and burdensome effect on SME's. It , however, now seems that some provinces and municipalities oblige certain business industries to adhere to licensing requirements. This development puts an enormous burden on SME,s , already overloaded with red - tape.

The AHI Legal Committee under the Chairpersonship of Martin Venter will look into this matter as a high priority. A report on it will be furnished very soon. We thank Martin and his team in anticipation for looking into this issue. 
Book corner:
When asked which university he attended the US Civil Rights leader Malcolm X declared: My alma mater was books … to satisfy my curiosity.
This month we introduce and encourage those who are interested to cast an eye on the book by Don Miguel Ruiz: The Four Agreements. The four agreements are:
1. Be impeccable with your word. Speak with integrity. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth…
2. Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you.  What others say is a projection of their own reality…
3. Don’t make assumptions – communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama.
4. Always do your best – your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy and when you are sick.  Under any circumstance simply do your best and you will avoid self-judgement, self-abuse, and regret.
Happy reading!
Confetti time!
Wedding bells were ringing on 16 June when Leandre du Plessis our Website and Communications Manager and Kobus Swart decided to exchange vows in holy matrimony.  We wish the young couple well and trust that they will have a wonderful life together. 
We will soon be welcoming Klerksdorp as an affiliated Chamber of the AHI thanks to the efforts of Fanie du Plessis, Hettienne von Abo-Moolman and Andre Coertsen after they visited the town recently. Left to right: Ben Mosala NWCCI President; Nkhensani Maluleke Salga advisor economic development and planning; Andre Coertsen NWCCI CEO, Kgotso Mmadi Wesvaal Chamber of Business President; Fanie du Plessis Capital City Business Chamber CEO and Growsa representative; Clinton Bezuidenhout Wesvaal Chamber of Business executive member; Venesse Richards Acting CEO Wesvaal Chamber of Business; Chrys Haitas CCBC; Alderman Karel Lehloo also representing disabled people SA; Emang Mochwanaesi Wesvaal Chamber of Business executive member. 
They also visited Bloemfontein. Left to right: Fanie du Plessis - CEO CCBC; Hettiene von Abo-Moolman - co-opted member of the AHI National Board; prof Lochner Marais - UV; Schalk van der Merwe - Free State Provincial Chairperson; Werner Landman - Chairperson BBC. 
Finally we congratulate Drakenstein Sakekamer ( Paarl, Wellington, Hermon and Saron) on celebrating their 70th year of existence.  We encourage other sakekamers to let us know when they are celebrating something special! Shared joy is double joy.
Left to right: dr. Ernest Messina - AHI CEO; Francis Nieuwoudt – Secretary of the Drakenstein Sakekamer / Member if AHI Western Cape Board; Dirk Breytenbach - Chairperson: Drakenstein Sakekamer; dr. Willie Cilliers - Western Cape Provincial Chairperson.  
Till next time wishing you all of the best in business!
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Sunday, 23 September 2018