JCCI President Centenary Speech Ms. Jacki Luthuli Council Meeting 2 March 2020
It is with great pleasure and humility that I welcome all of you as our distinguished Council Members and supporters of the Chamber Movement. Our Board of Directors, Past Presidents, Honorary Members, Regional Chairpersons/Representatives, JCCI executives and staff members you are all well received.
Belated Compliments of the Season and well wishes for what I believe to be a decade of opportunity. It is Winston Churchill who once said “That a pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” What do we see?
I see an opportunity for us to work together and build something that will speak for us long after we are gone.
Ecclesiastes 3 : To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…Life is seasonal…history is therefore seasonal and we are placed in a transitional season of change and disruptive innovation where we need to reflect on a quote by Thabo Mbeki “Gloom and despondency have never defeated adversity. Trying times need courage and resilience. Our strength as a people is
not tested during the best of times” but how we overcome the challenging times of distress.
My Agenda topic for today is meant to review 2019 and share our 2020/21 Plan which I am keen to position as an aspirational plan for the future…2020 and beyond. I am however compelled to divert my address to the bigger picture and the role we need to play in realizing the global vision for successful, vibrant, inclusive, socially conscious and business led economies.
This set against the following backdrops:
The ICC Centenary Declaration -
An excerpt from the declaration signed in Paris, 28 May 2019.
“We proudly embrace our renewed purpose to enable business worldwide to secure peace, prosperity and opportunity for all. ICC in the 21st Century will question convention with courage and act boldly with the same conviction of our founders. It is our hope that in doing so, future generations will reflect on our contemporary achievements with the same reverence we bestow on our predecessors.”
Signed by ICC Chair Mr. Polman, Vice Chairs Mr. Banga and Mr. Suroor, ICC Honorary Chair Mr. Mittal and ICC Vice Chair Ms. Van Gennip, Secretary General Mr. Denton.
The African Union 2063 Agenda
Let me also take this opportunity to provide broader vision context and reference AU Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want, which is the Africa Blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future. This is particularly relevant as we gear ourselves towards seizing the opportunities presented by the Free Africa Trade Agreement effective 1 July 2020.
The AU Africa 2063 is inclusive of all those who contribute towards the growth and sustainability of the Continent through harnessing its natural resources for the betterment of the continent at large.
I want to reiterate that if you subscribe to the above, you are therefore an African. I am reminded by a Kwame Nkrumah quote “I am not African because I was born in Africa but because Africa was born in me”
The South Africa National Development Programme
In June 2019, the President asserted that “we must restore the NDP to its place at the centre of our national effort, to make it alive, to make it part of the lived experience of the South African people”.
According to the plan, South Africa can realise the NDP goals by drawing on the energies of its people, growing an inclusive economy, building capabilities, enhancing the capacity of the state, and promoting leadership and partnerships throughout society as it aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030.
I ask…How are we as the JCCI leading the business response to current difficulties in the economy, weaknesses in the state and social ills and challenges affecting communities?
In 2019, the National Planning Commission presented an update on current progress made on the following NDP indicators:
o Unemployment Reduction: especially amongst Youth
o Support of Rural and Township Enterprises
o Land Reform and clear property rights
o Climate Change Resilience
o Spectrum Licence Allocation
o Restructuring of SOE’S
o Infrastructure Development
o Local Procurement
Also the country’s performance in terms of:
o Increasing Public and Private Investment
o Roll out of a re-imagined industrial policy
o Expansion of trade with African Markets
o Doubling tourist arrivals by 2030
One of the identified action points from this update was a follow up meeting with JCCI for further engagement.
The Gauteng Province Agenda
How are we as a Chamber positioned to take advantage of the following 10 high growth sectors as identified by Gauteng Provincial is the State of the Province Address:
o Energy, with a focus on new technologies and a diverse energy mix
o Transportation and Logistics
o ICT, Media and Digital Services – the Digital Economy
o Tourism and Hospitality
o Agri Food and Agri Business, focusing on value chains
o Construction and Infrastructure
o Automotive, Aerospace and Defence
o Financial Services
o Cultural and Creative Industries
o Industrialization of Cannabis
To quote Premier Makhura, “We are now at a crossroads, where we can either find pathways to inclusive growth and shared prosperity or descend further into the abyss of extreme poverty, unparalleled inequality and subsequent social unrest. The future of our country and our province is in our hands”.
The City of Joburg 2040 Vision
The revised Joburg 2040 offers a clear vision, mission and framing paradigm and principles alongside outcomes, outputs and indicators.
Four major outcomes were identified:
Outcome 1: Improved quality of life and development driven resilience for all
Improved human and social development through targeted focus on poverty reduction, food security, development initiatives that enable self-sustainability, improved health and life expectancy and real social inclusion.
Outcome 2 : Provide resilient, liveable, sustainable urban environment- underpinned by infrastructure supportive of a low carbon economy
The City plans to lead in the establishment of sustainable and eco efficient infrastructure solutions.
Outcome 3: An inclusive, job intensive, resilient and competitive economy that harnesses the potential of citizens
Creating a smart and competitive city economy that will be benchmarked against national, continental and global performance.
Outcome 4: A high performing metropolitan government that proactively contributes to and is a sustainable, socially inclusive, locally integrated and globally competitive Gauteng Region.
Focused on driving a caring, responsive, efficient and progressive service delivery and developmental approach to reach its full potential as integrated and vibrant spaces.
Mayor Geoff Makhubo says: “We must go back to basics such as fixing roads, grass cutting, repairing potholes, traffic lights and general maintenance. Hostels and informal settlements require serious attention. To achieve all these things, partnerships are critical”
Memorandum of Association JCCI Objectives
The main objectives for which the Chamber is established include amongst others:
o To promote and protect the collective interests of its members with particular reference to local and international trade
o To promote the development and growth of Broad based Black Economic Empowerment and the integration of previously disadvantaged sectors into mainstream economy
o To play an active role in making South and Southern Africa a better place in which to live, work and do business
o To express and publicise opinions and views on any such matters or questions as deemed advisable
o To provide a broad range of services to meet the needs of members
All still relevant in 2020 and underpinning the continued existence and relevance of the Chamber.
2019 Review in Context
The Council has been kept abreast the various challenges facing and threatening the sustainability of the Chamber. So I am not going to bore you with the details.
In response to the challenge, a proactive decision was made to facilitate a strategy session with the Board and Finance Committee to chart a way forward for the Chamber beyond 2020.
The discussion was guided by the Chamber Mission Statement:
Growing your business is our Business
We speak for business in our region, honestly, fearlessly and with authority.
We provide members with meaningful business intelligence, opportunities for growth and links to local and international partners, suppliers and markets.
Elements that were examined included but not limited to:
o Business Voice
o Relevance to Business
o Member Categories
o Communication Channels
A SWOT Analysis was done and various recommendations were put forward including the inputs from the last Council Meeting that resulted in the identification of the Key Focus Areas for 2020 and beyond which I will detail later.
The 2019 change in City Administration from the DA led administration to an ANC led Coalition Administration halted all the intentions of signing a MOU with the City on 11 December 2019. A subsequent meeting between myself and the newly appointed MMC Phillips of Economic Development and his team on 27 January assured continued JCCI support and engagement.
2019 has also presented a few celebratory highlights:
A truly representative and transformed SA Rugby Team are the World Champions. The Miss Universe Crown rests on the head of a South African woman who once could have carried a water bucket in its place. We are undeniably a nation of champions.
o Historic Inauguration of 2 females at the helm of the Chamber, President and 1st Vice President. In leadership 3 Females, including CEO.
o Global Business Accelator Programme – Extension of Scope and Funding for National Roll out and New Sector Incubation Programmes and a Woman’s Desk
o Establishment of the Association of South African Chambers – Nelson Mandela, Cape Town, Pietermaritzburg, Border Kei, Durban, George, Harrismith, Middelburg (7 bodies, 7 province, 7000 members, 850 000 employees) Joint Business Voice and representation to NERSA.
o A successful Annual Conference on Agro Processing
o Successful Inaugural Businesswomen’s Golf Day televised on NewsRoom Afrika
o Introduction of the Wellness and Beauty Cluster
o MOU’s signed with Poland and Zimbabwe.
o Ongoing International engagement through the Embassies and Global Sister Chambers
o Renovation of the 7th Floor
2020 Vision and Beyond
Key Focus Areas :
o Chamber Brand Relevance through Effective and Pervasive Marketing, PR and Communications including Social Media
o Membership Drive – Acquisition/ Retention/Growth
o Strategic Partnerships – Local, Continental and International
o Fundraising Activities through Events, Training and Programmes
o Stakeholder Engagements
o Support Operational and Administrative Efficiencies
Key deliverables for the next Council Meeting:
o Conclude engagements of proposed R100m SMME Fund from uBank and SEFA
o Conclude City of Joburg/JCCI MOU
o Provide Consolidated JCCI Centenary Strategy for 2020 and beyond
I would also like to take this opportunity to announce my intention to spearhead a Presidential CSI and Outreach Programme called “Dignity is Ageless” which with the voluntary support of members will focus on 3 interventions:
1. Sanitary Pads Collection and Distribution to all impoverished areas within the City across all racial groups and Constituencies effective Q3 2020
2. The Presidential Elders for insightful guidance on how to navigate the various business issues challenging our members at large as retired champions of industry effective Q4 2020.
3. Promoting Wings Programme for Boys – Filling the gaps for empty Father figures.
Let us never forget the power of influence we have:
o We reside in the City of dreams, the city of gold and the commercial heartbeat of the country
o We are custodians of the most powerful business voice in the Country
o We are South Africa’s biggest city and capital of the Gauteng Province, the wealthiest province in the country contributing 35% of the national GDP, R1,5 trillion making it the 7th largest economy in Africa
o We contribute 40% of the Gauteng GDP and 10% of the National GDP
o 10% of the National Employment which CoJ wants to increase to 12% within the next 18 months
o We boast Soweto Township which was home to Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, both Nobel Peace Prize Winners
o Our 2020 Population estimated at 5.78 million with projected growth to 6.5 million by 2040
o We are a powerhouse…lets embrace such
Ultimately, my vision for the Chamber supported by you, is for the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry “To be the leading Chamber in Africa” as the reliable, dependable and responsive gateway to Africa. We now need to own it as our prescribed destiny.
Looking forward to our Guest Speaker for the day who is pitched to unpack SONA and the Budget Speech for identified business opportunities.
I thank you for your indulgence.