Chamber to attract new members

2014-04-29 00:00

THE Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s membership fell slightly in the past year, said DCCI president Akash Singh.

He spoke at the DCCI’s 158th annual gala dinner that was held in the Durban International Conference Centre late last week.

The event is an annual social highlight on the Durban calendar.

Singh said the decline of 20-30 members out of more than 2 700 members did not represent a big percentage decline, but it was nonetheless something the DCCI intended to address in the coming year.

Chief executive officer Andrew Layman said most of the Chamber’s members were small businesses, and most of the decline was due to small companies that had either closed, merged or had reached the end of the year unable to pay their annual membership fees.

“It is not an easy time for voluntary organisations such as the Chamber … the weak economy is part of it,” said Layman.

He said the Chamber had a range of initiatives to attract more members this year, apart from its normal role of representing the interests of business in various forums.

This included, for instance, the launch of a business magazine in the second quarter, refining its daily communication methods and becoming more active on social media.

Singh said the Chamber had completed a busy year and it was in a relatively good shape financially.

Apart from the regular monthly meetings of the Chamber’s 14 committees dealing with a range of issues from the port to tourism, which Singh described as “the heart” of the Chamber’s activities, there was also the relocation of the Chamber’s offices to the Lion Match office from its previous location opposite the International Conference Centre.

The Chamber had developed an “economic development blueprint” outlining what the business sector would want in term of government policies. Numerous advocacy initiatives and events were also undertaken during the year. He said the DCCI intended to develop social capital partnerships between non-government organisations and businesses.

Guest speaker at the dinner was Unilever chief executive officer Peter Cowan. He said that the multi-national fast moving consumer goods group has set high targets to address economic development, community and staff empowerment and to lessen the environmental impact of the group.

Cowan said the group’s new dry foods factory opened in Durban in 2012 had reduced energy and water consumption by making less waste.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.