The George Business Chamber was awarded the best Business Chamber in South Africa for 2014 at the annual conference of the Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut [AHi] held in Durban during October last year.
It was also announced that George would host this year’s Congress, presenting the city with an invaluable opportunity to showcase the Garden Route to the rest of South Africa.
Under the leadership of President Dr Willie Cilliers, ably assisted by Manager Ingrid Cronje, the Chamber Committee and Local Organising Committee – George is ready to welcome more than 250 business leaders from all over the country to the city next week.
The AHi National Congress will take place from 6-9 October and will feature influential speakers like the Deputy Governor, SA Reserve Bank, Mr Francois Groepe; the Western Cape Minister of Finance, Dr Ivan Meyer; the Provincial Minister of Economic Opportunities, Western Cape, Mr Alan Winde and Prof. Jannie Rossouw from the University of the Witwatersrand.
The AHi has historically placed a strong emphasis on maintaining its reputation as a business organization and chamber movement of excellence by mobilizing expertise to support its members. Furthermore, the AHi strives to empower its members in order to provide a meaningful contribution in the business environment as well as to initiate supporting actions to promote the development of the country and the free enterprise system as an organization that promotes business in all areas.
Forty five Companies will exhibit at the Business Expo which will be housed in the Transnet Transport Museum. The Expo will be open to the public between 8 am and 5 pm from Wednesday to Friday. Entrance is free.
Delegates will have the opportunity to visit various business sites in and around Oudtshoorn including Klein Karoo International (Ostrich meat processing factory), AIFA Oudtshoorn (International Flight School) as well as the Cango Caves.
Various Business Development workshops and Entrepreneurship Training sessions are also on the programme.
Kingswood Golf Estate will be hosting a golf day on Wednesday.
Carli Bunding-Venter of the George Municipality will facilitate a World Café during which a series of questions will be posed to the attendees who will then discuss these in small groups.
The AGM will be held between 2 pm and 4 pm on Thursday followed by a Welcoming Funtion at 6.30 pm.
The Congress will be held between 8.30 am and 4.15 pm on Friday at the Transnet Transport Museum.
The week will be concluded with a Gala Dinner at Tromonto at 6.30 pm.
According to Dr Cilliers, 95% of businesses in George are locally owned and operated with unique challenges and opportunities.
The National Development Plan requires that one million new, sustainable jobs be created by the year 2030. Cilliers has committed the George Business Chamber to make a significant contribution towards achieving this goal. To this end, the Chamber facilitates monthly Networking Evenings and Business Breakfasts as well as having taken a lead in the Provincial Government’s initiative to reduce red tape and other stumbling blocks faced by small businesses.
“The AHi National Congress will definitely be a highlight on the Chamber’s calendar in 2015. We will use this opportunity to showcase investment opportunities, especially in the oil, gas, tourism and agricultural sectors’, said Cilliers.
Full details are available on the George Chamber website at www.georgechamber.co.za