Local business can help municipalities

ERMELO – This milestone was achieved by the AHI last Tuesday at the National Parliament in Cape Town, when they entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with COGTA.

Local businesswoman Ms Melinda Stark, the national president of the South African Council for Business Women (SACBW) and a board member of the AHI, attended this event in Parliament and was a signatory of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between AHI, COGTA and the South African Local Government Association (SALGA).

The AHI is of the opinion that this MoU will open the doors for local chambers to be able to speak directly to mayors and to make the skills within the local chambers of commerce available to local government.

This assistance would be in the fields of strategic planning, financial skills and local economic development and chambers could also assist the municipalities with management problems, in cases such as engineers being needed to advise local municipalities.

The AHI said they would prefer working together with local government rather than taking legal action regarding local issues.

SALGA councillor Speedy Mashilo said a stable municipality is always good for business, but an unstable municipality is both difficult and even dangerous to do business in.

Prof Carolina Koornhof, president of the AHI, said the AHI and its business affiliates now have the formal support of COGTA to make a direct impact in municipalities and towns.

As president of the SACBW, Ms Stark added her voice in support of this MoU and said “the greatest impact in communities is at local government level, and anything that could potentially improve the situation, must be pursued in earnest to make a positive improvement for business which impacts the community at large”.