Dear Chamber Members and Business
“The Hermanus Business Chamber
notes with deep disappointment the planned protest action, as it will impact
negatively on trade for our members who are already under strain with current
load shedding schedules and the negative economic impact of previous demonstrations.
We do however welcome the notice period and, undertaking for a peaceful
and lawful demonstration. Where possible we encourage members to grant
employees leave should they wish to participate. Unfortunately the “no work no
pay principle” will apply to those workers who participate in the planned
demonstrations without the required approved leave.
This has been an unusual year with
extreme economic challenges to all.
At a national level we had changes
in political leadership, multiple increases in the fuel price, a recent
increase in bank lending rates and various service protests all over the
country. In the Overstrand we had our own social unrest which, without any doubt
has affected every single resident in our area. How exactly each of us was
impacted will be the focus of many studies, arguments and introspections in the
years to come.
With all of these “reality checks”
it is easy to forget about some of the success stories. These have put the
Overstrand in general and specifically Hermanus in the spotlight for the right
reasons. Herewith a few of our success stories which would not have happened,
if it were not for the active and supporting roles of some of our members:
Another Cape Epic Cycling tour in our area;
The Walker Bay extreme was very successful and brought visitors to
Hermanus who made the best of the extra long weekend;
The Fyn Arts festival had its usual positive energy;
Patrons of The Kalfiefees also brought a positive injection, especially
into the restaurants;
The Whale Festival, in its 26th year, has become synonymous
with our town and, “our whales’ did not disappoint, with one of the best whale
watching seasons recorded in many years ;
The Second Annual Global Golf Challenge brought some of the best
international lady golfers into town and, without any doubt, this event has
grown significantly in stature and success from the last tournament
The beginning of the Hermanus Varsity Trust which will attempt to
facilitate access and support for tertiary education in Hermanus.
We have experienced an active year
with many networking marketing opportunities for our members at various venues.
Probably one of our proudest moments must have been the Chamber’s close
co-operation with the Western Cape Government and Overstrand Tourism in
facilitating Service Excellence Training Courses to uplift the level of Service
delivery in our area. A consequent competition with informed adjudication led
to several of our members receiving cash prizes and certificates.
Congratulations once again to all the winners, including the overall winner
Gilbert Muchanyare from Gilbert’s Catering, and one of our Committee members
Michael Bayer from ‘Hermanus has Heart’, who was a finalist. We are very proud
of the recognition that these members received and look forward to a new focus
on this initiative in 2019.
We have also had our fair share of
members who moved on and out of Hermanus although we are very thankful for a
list of new members who joined us in the past year. A special word of welcome
to each of the following new members:
Winterstand (Band), Kennedy's Beach Villa ,
Africa Blue , Lavender Guest House, Momentum , JC Storebeck , De Bliquey Nicky
(Accounting), De Bliquey Brandon(Builders Warehouse) , Rola VW Hermanus ,
Rossouw Modern Art, Figure Diggers , Agrimark, CSM , Dick van der
Zee , The Art Shop , Curro Hermanus , Dr Adri Louw , Wrap , El Al , ABSA
Hermanus and the Hermanus Art Galleries.
The Chamber is a registered NPO and
cannot continue to offer these services unless our members pay their membership
fees, and we gain more new members. We appeal to all businesses in the
Overstrand to help us make your voice stronger, giving you representation at
high level with relevant authorities and government. It can only benefit you.
for more info and a membership form and list of benefits. Currently we have
established the following portfolio’s:
Infrastructure & Planning, Retail & CBD Regeneration
Economic Development & SMME Assistance
Training and Community Services
Tourism, Marketing and Communication, Festivals & Events
Safety, Security & Protection
Corporate Social Responsibility
Environment & Conservation
Arts & Crafts
Health & Wellness
Friends of the Business Chamber
The Chamber is not immune to change and the need for
ongoing introspection is vital. As a matter of urgency, to ensure that we
remain relevant to the increasing need for support to our members, early in the
new-year, we will need to embark on a comprehensive revision of our purpose,
objectives and strategies. We are encouraged by the overwhelming support
received from members for a mandate to reach out to stakeholders who endorse
constructive dialogue, law and order and preservation of jobs. The further exploration
of exactly what this implies and what it might require is an exciting journey
as it can only take us forward.
We are working to avoid any negative impact on any
business in the Overstrand and specifically our members. However, this journey
might take us through some unknown territory and will require courage and
patience with each other. We have seen instances this year where some of our
members have lost-out on business opportunities due to increased competition,
which is part of doing business and, that is acceptable. However; what we as a
Chamber can no longer endure, is where jobs are either lost or not created due
to policy uncertainty and/or inconsistent enforcement of by-laws, regulations
and legislation. These instances in 2018 did not take us forward and should be
avoided at all costs in 2019.
We want to wish you all a positive festive season and
may we continue with more credibility and steadfastness in the new-year.
(Please note that Martin Fisher will be standing in for Alta Pretorius as the
secretariat during her well-deserved holiday break – Martin can be reached at email@example.com).
Gideon Serfontein – Chairman
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