The new Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Nigel Ward. Photo: Sibonelo Ngcobo

DURBAN - The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry held its 163rd Annual Gala Dinner on the 21st of August 2019 where the chamber inaugurated a new President. 

Present at the event was members of the KwaZulu-Natal business community, entrepreneurs, members of local government, the MEC of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Nomusa Dube-Ncube as well former Presidents of the Durban Chamber. 

The theme for the night was “From Durban, with love” and showcased Durban's energy and vibrancy as a significant economic hub on the rise in line with the City’s vision to be the most caring and liveable city in Africa. 

Nigel Ward, President of the Durban Chamber Commerce and Industry said that it is a big honour and he is humbled  by the opportunity to be inaugurated as the new President. He also thanked his predecessor for his contribution. 

"The economic and business context in eThekwini, the province and the country as a whole, is not an easy one currently. Indeed, this is a challenging and uneasy period, with a lot of domestic and international pressures. However, it is also a period full of promise. The eThekwini business sector needs strong representation," said Ward. 

He added, "This is why Durban Chamber and the Chamber Movement need to step even further into the forefront, actively engaging with stakeholders in this role and presenting a clear and concise economic message – that eThekwini is primed for business". 

Long-time member and technology partner, Vodacom, was a gold sponsor for the event.

The additional digital innovations launched at this year’s event are:

1. Durban Chamber Mobile App in partnership with Fabrik, a division of the immedia ecosystem, which permits members to have exclusive access to a secure real-time communication platform.

2. BoardPAC Management Software in partnership with Vodacom Business to streamline our operational efficiency and improve our overall governance structures, especially at the executive level.

3. Durban Chamber Website has been upgraded to an innovative platform that ensures that our site stays up to date with the latest technology, trends and user needs.

Palesa Phili, Chief Executive of the Durban Chamber Commerce and Industry said, "As a future-focused organisation, the Durban Chamber wants to put a spotlight on technology and digital innovation.  We need to highlight how leveraging disruptive technologies and innovations can play a role in driving our inclusive and sustainable economic growth objectives". 

Durban Chamber announced that it is upgrading its exclusive member benefits package for active Chamber members to a total of 20 value-adding benefits based on member input and feedback. These are some of the companies that will be offering benefits include Avis Budget Rent A Car; Bosch Car Service; eThekwini Toyota And Hillcrest Toyota; Icebolethu Group; Isuzu Trucks New Germany; Regent Business School; South African Airways; South African Express; Sumitomo Rubber South Africa; and Wits University. The upgraded exclusive benefits will officially go live on 01 October 2019.

The Chamber also presented certificates of recognition in the following areas:

1. In Business for a Better World: The Spar Group

2. Innovator of the Year: Turn Up Speakers

3. Professional of the Year: Professor Ncoza Dlova, University of KwaZulu-Natal's Dean and Head of Clinical Medicine

4. Voice of Durban Business: The Mercury, Gagasi FM and KZN Business Sense

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