Great strides ahead with new leader for AHI KZN

2009-07-28 00:00

IN an unusual but progressive development, which is a first for KZN, a well-known top black business executive has been elected president of the Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut (AHI) KZN.

The election of Absa’s KZN regional executive Themba Mathe as president of the AHI KZN took place at the AHI KZN’s annual general meeting in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday.

Mathe replaces outgoing president Nicollas Oosthuizen, who stressed that the AHI is an inclusive organisation.

The event was attended by among others Finance MEC Ina Cronjé.

The AHI, established in 1942, is a multi-sectoral employer organisation.

AHI affiliates include various “Sakekamers” and organised business structures, such as the AHI Msunduzi (Midlands Business Association), the Newcastle Sakekamer and the Branderkruin in Amanzimtoti.

Mathe told The Witness that although the appointment may appear “strange and unusual”, he is no stranger to the AHI.

He engaged with the AHI when he was Absa’s general manager in the Mpumalanga province between 2003 and 2005.

He said his focus as president of the AHI KZN will include growing the AHI membership.

Mathe, who will serve a two-year term, added that the AHI will strengthen relationships with other Chambers of Business. “We [organised business structures] sometimes tend to work in isolation,” Mathe said.

He added that the AHI also needs to become more progressive and relevant to all businesses. “Transformation is one of the big issues [in this regard],” Mathe said.

Cronjé invited the AHI KZN to partner with the government in various initiatives.

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