AHI Newsflash 20 April 2017 - From the CEO's desk

AHI Newsflash 20 April 2017 - From the CEO's desk

Dear All

We find ourselves in extremely challenging situations both locally and internationally.  Sharing of information in support of each other is even more important in these times. Over the last year we have used various forms of communication to reach out to members and associates. 

These include:

Media releases for print media

Radio interviews

Television appearances

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AHISouthAfrica/


The AHI website – www.ahi.co.za

Twitter – our President Bernard Swanepoel is particularly active on twitter - https://twitter.com/AHI_SouthAfrica


Youtube, and, then of course

The personal contact with many of our stake-holders and visits to sakekamers.

All these forms of communication are very useful. We reach many AHI members and potential members and even former members. In this way share we information which inspires and make people to think and act.

Yet we still do not reach everyone as effectively as we want to. We would love to hear more from what you are doing as sakekamers, corporates, provinces and individual companies.  Some truly amazing initiatives are launched with great impact. We need to share this with one another.  So we urge you to let us know about the wonderful things you are doing – successes you achieve and how you touch lives.   Share with us also the challenges you are faced with.  There might just be someone who faced similar challenges in the past and is sitting with the solution you are looking for.

Herewith some updates from our side:-

  1. The restructuring and the aftermath of the process had taken a long time.  The board had to do this as the financial situation of the AHI necessitated this. We are now three people left in the office – Amarna de Beer as Office Manager, Leandre Du Plessis who is responsible for IT, the web and social media and myself. We endeavour to work smarter.  Meanwhile the Provincial Headquarters has also now moved into our offices with Etienne Coetzee, Provincial Chair and Aart Verrips his Deputy who are here as regularly as they can be. Also Capital City Business Chamber under the leadership of Fanie du Plessis and Chrys Haitas have also moved into the offices that have become available after the restructuring.  So the AHI family at the Head-office has grown and we work collectively as often as possible. 
  1. AHI SME Indaba.  Our President Bernard Swanepoel has set off his term with high speed! This position is ceremonial but he is giving it a new dimension with his drive and energy.  Our immediate past President Christo Botes has probably set a record during his term with the number of personal contacts he has had with sakekamers and individuals.  Bernard is virtually full-time serving as President even though the position is largely ceremonial.  He is leading from the front and is setting a new height to the bar for AHI President for those who will come after him – Winda Austen-Loeve and Sipho Nkosi as first and Second Vice-Presidents respectively.  Bernard has enlisted the services of Jennifer Cohen, Wilma Alant and Cobus Bester who assist greatly in organising a series of 4 conferences this year.  The AHI is now the Big voice for SMEs and we just had our very successful first Indaba at Leriba Lodge with the theme: Creating Jobs against all Odds. To view the Indaba proceedings visit the AHI website.  Click here to watch the videos available.

Cobus Bester: AHI Spokesman; Christo van der Rheede: Frormer CEO AHI; Pieter Roux

Mcebisi Jonas: Former deputy minister of Finance; Lumkile Mondi: Economist; Bernard Swanepoel: AHI President

Dawie Roodt: Economist; Annie Malan: Entrepreneur; Peet du Preez: Owner Leriba Lodge

Mcebisi Jonas; Bernard Swanepoel


  1. Each 1 creates 2.  The next Indaba is on 12 July in Cape Town.  Sanlam and Eskom have graciously sponsored the event.  Santam has also made a contribution and Leriba Lodge has been very generous as always.  We are truly grateful for the support from Ainsley Moos in the office of Ian Kirk the Sanlam CEO and Marion Hughes and her colleagues at Eskom. We are ably assisted by Naz Hassan in lining up Indaba sponsors.

Panel 1: Setting the scene –the political and economic environment -  Panel 2: How national and local government enable or stifle SME development

  1. An AHI delegation consisting of Etienne Coetzee, Aart Verrips, Hettienne von Abo Moolman, Nico Palm and myself met with Eskom on 20 April to discuss the issue of municipal debt. This was a very constructive and fruitful meeting and we will keep members informed about the outcomes.

Etienne Coetzee: Chairman Provincial Council; Aart Verips: Vice-Chairman Provincial Council
Hetienne Von Abo-Moolman: AHI Director; Ernest Messina: CEO AHI; Menzi Mngomezulu


  1. Wessel Venter and I attended the 3rd Presidential Summit on Local Government recently.  It was a very useful networking opportunity with mayors, Municipal managers and political leaders from national departments.

Lesley Mokoena: Municipal manager; Selinah Mashego: Mayor Mashishing; Wessel Venter: Chairman AHI Mpumalanga


  1. Last month I visited several towns in the Western Cape.  It was most interesting to learn what Sakekamers are busy with and what they achieve. Some of these are truly amazing and encouraging. For example, the Ceres Business Initiative work very closely with the local municipality and the successes they achieve are truly remarkable. 


  1. Many individuals are reaching out to the AHI to collaborate and or to form partnerships. This is very encouraging.  We really see our vision “Together we create sustainable prosperity” coming to fruition in tangible ways. We want to encourage all of our members to live and demonstrate this vision in whatever we do.

Wilhelm Herbst: Chairman Weskus Sakekamer

Management team: Veldrif Sakekamer

Lorraine Cornelius: Goedverwacht Chamber

Stokkies van Zyl; Koos Lombard; Ernest Messina; Vic Jonker – Vredendal Sakekamer


Finally for now – times are tough but there are enormous potential, expertise and will power to take the AHI in all of its structures to another level.  Let us do what we have to do for the sake of our country and for the communities where we live, work and serve.


Contact us anytime and make sure to stay up to date with our latest movements on Facebook / Twitter.



Kind regards,


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Sunday, 23 September 2018