Nafcoc boss is out to revive business

2010-01-09 16:18

HOW do you plan to

turn the ­chamber around?

The first thing we want to do is ensure that the sectors and

provincial structures become well organised. We are going to provide all

structures with equipment and offices where they can operate on a daily

basis.

We will go on a recruitment drive to identify people who will

assist the organisation achieve its objectives.

We also plan to build a relationship with government and

parastatals that will benefit our members. And we are going to come up with

mentorship programmes where our members are going to be educated on how to

­become better entrepreneurs.

The members need to be taught how to identify business

opportunities, plan ahead and keep records of their businesses.

What

deadlines have you set for your goals?

In last year’s Nafcoc annual general meeting (AGM) we came up with

what is known as Vision 2014, and we want to achieve all our goals by 2014.

However, I hope to get all the necessary staff members within the next three

months. (Mhlambi

is referring to the AGM held by the Lawrence ­Mavundla faction in

November.)

What

is the length of your ­contract?

Two years.

Is

it enough to achieve your goals?

The length of the contract does not matter. I am optimistic about

what I want to do to improve the organisation. I want to do my job very

well.

You

were the first black person to be appointed as chief operating ­officer at the

Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut (AHI). How did they react when you broke the news

about your resignation – especially considering that you joined the AHI only a

year ago?

They were shocked and felt I was not making a good decision, but

they ­finally understood and accepted.

What

is your biggest achievement at the AHI?

Being the first black person to occupy a top management position

was a big achievement for me, as the organisation is predominantly white. I

helped in forming a good relationship with the municipalities. For instance our

members were able to negotiate with the municipalities on how much rates and

taxes the business people should pay.

Nafcoc is facing leadership

squabbles. Are you not worried that leaving a job at a relatively stable

­organisation like the AHI for the one at Nafcoc might see you being caught in a

crossfire?

No, I’m not worried because I joined Nafcoc to assist in providing

good leadership and improving the image of the business chamber. Nafcoc has been

in the news for bad reasons and I believe that should change.

The

camp of the democratically elected Nafcoc president, Buhle Mthethwa, is

preparing to launch a legal battle to challenge the legitimacy of the position

of Lawrence Mavundla (head of a Nafcoc faction that took over last November).

What is your take on that?

In November the court ruled that Mavundla’s leadership was

legitimate and I do not think there is going to be any legal battle.

The

last court ruling you might be referring to related only to whether Mavundla’s

camp had the authority to host the annual general meeting.

I am not aware of any legal challenge that is about to take place.

My mandate is to ensure that the resolutions taken (by the Mavundla camp) at

last year’s annual general meeting are implemented.

Are

there any plans to assist the Nafcoc micro-traders to become more

competitive?

One of the major objectives of ­Vision 2014 is to revive rural and

township entrepreneurship.

We want to implement a programme which will result in our members

possessing strong buying power which will ­allow them to purchase goods at

cheaper prices.

We think this would make them competitive against big retail stores

that operate in the malls. But we ­cannot improve their competitiveness on our

own. The government needs to come on board.

For example, the home affairs department needs to ensure that the

­foreigners who are trading in the country have permits.

If I go to Pakistan, for example, the law enforcement authorities

there would not allow me to trade without a permit.

It must be made clear, however, that Nafcoc does not support the

violent manner some township traders have been ­employing to get rid of ­foreign

­entrepreneurs.


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