Singapi to drive chamber’s new five-year vision for black business
The Nelson Mandela Bay branch of the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Nafcoc) has elected a new executive committee amid an internal revival of the regional organisation and the launch of its vision for the next five years.
The new committee, which was announced at Nafcoc’s offices at Chamber House in Port Elizabeth, will be headed by Litemba Singapi and Mzukisi Gawu, who will serve as chairman and deputy chairman respectively.
The secretary and deputy secretary positions will be held by Mandla Msizi and Phila Matshaya respectively, while Mandisa Kondile will serve as treasurer.
Buyile Soya, Lwandiso Mbetsheni and Linda Ntlanganiso were named as additional committee members .
Speaking after the announcement yesterday, Singapi said the new committee represented a new chapter for the branch.
“Among our immediate priorities are relationship building and growing our membership,” he said.
Singapi said the factionalism within the branch, which had arisen before 2015, had impacted negatively on Nafcoc membership and its relationships with major partners such as stateowned enterprises in the region.
“In addition, we will be strengthening and increasing our engagement with the municipality towards securing projects for our members,” he said.
“We have found that memorandums of understanding established with the previous local government are no longer valid and we therefore have to re-engage the municipality.”
Singapi named the development of township economies, accessing land for business in townships and participation in the oceans economy as being among the main focus areas.
“The oceans economy is a very important focus for us, particularly as about 300 of our members are involved in the fishing sector,” he said.
“Gaining access to skills in this sector is also an important aspect of participation in this sector.”
Singapi said the organisation, which had about 500 members, would be focusing on its key economic sectors – the informal sector, industry, leisure and tourism, transport, construction, agricultural, safety, security and cleaning, mining and energy and a sector which included businesses such as panel beaters, funeral parlours, retail, finance and banking, real estate, electronics and telecommunication technologies.
“We are revitalised and re-energised. Our executive is mixed with institutional knowledge, experience and new thinking. We are ready to move forward,” Singapi said.
“One of the critical initiatives we are working on currently is a seminar that we will be hosting in June.
“The seminar, which will involve state-owned enterprises, all levels of the government and our members, will focus on the government’s radical economic transformation policy.
“Through this seminar, we want to determine exactly how this policy document is going to address black SMMEs and those who have been marginalised.”
Msizi said the organisation planned to have a strong presence and participation at the levels of local government where the decisions around SMME contracts were made.