About Us

Our legacy


The history of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry started with the foundation in 1856 of the Natal Chamber of Commerce which was described in the Charter which formally constituted the body as the Durban Chamber of Commerce in 1884 under Natal Law number 31. After more than a century, and in line with a movement that was replicated in all parts of South Africa, this body merged with the Chamber of Industry to form the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In keeping with International Best Practice to ensure that its constitutional status is in line with contemporary requirements and expectations the Durban Chamber now operates and exists as a Non-Profit Company under the Companies Act 71 of 2008, with a proud legacy of being the oldest and largest metropolitan Chamber in Africa.

The mandate of the Durban Chamber requires it to lobby and advocate on behalf of its members by addressing and identifying pertinent issues and forwarding them to appropriate forums in which business practitioners, through robust strategic engagements with stakeholders, drill down into issues and provide experience-based insights.

A key and valuable strength of the Durban Chamber is constant engagement in its area and standing forums. These forums provide insight to the common challenges faced by the business communities of specific regions. They also identify key opportunities that can be created by enabling a resilient and conducive business environment. Key to this are pioneering workable partnerships that bridge the gap between the public and private sectors. Over many years, the discussions of member representatives in these forums have enabled the Chamber to make influential submissions regarding matters of current business concern and interest to local government and beyond at provincial and national levels.     
      
The Durban Chamber is a vibrant business organisation striving to meet and exceed the expectations of its members, whether they are micro or corporate businesses. The facilities of the Durban Chamber and its services are accessible by all employees of any member company. The Durban Chamber enjoys the respect and confidence of government at all levels thanks to its longevity and its record of 162 years of service to the Durban business community.

2018


  • 2018

    Keeping with International best practice, Durban Chamber exists and operates under the Companies Act 71 of 2008 as a Non-Profit company


  • 2017

    Durban Chamber raises the flag of Ethical Leadership at a collective level with the launch of the 1st Business Code of Ethics at the 161st Annual Gala Dinner


  • 2016

    #DurbanMustRise trends no. 5 nationally at the 160th Annual Gala Dinner, kick-starting a tsunami of goodwill, support and confidence in the city


  • 2015

    Township Izimbizo gets underway, aiming to deliver practical business insights, skills and tools that will enable traders to start, build and grow sustainable businesses


  • 2014

    Business better than usual; Durban Chamber moves into the Lion Match Office Park


  • 2011

    : Thato Tsautse, unveiled as the first female president.


  • 2008

    Appointment of Gugu Mazibuko, the first black female Chief Executive Officer


  • 2005

    Prof. Bonke Dumisa becomes the Chamber’s first Black Chief Executive Officer


  • 2000

    The Durban Chamber sees the inauguration of the first Black president – Patrick September


  • 2000

    KZN Exporter of the year awards are launched – Recognising and celebrating the outstanding performance of KZN companies exporting locally manufactured goods


  • 1999

    Durban Chamber appoints Dr Jeya Wilson as the first female Chief Executive Officer


  • 1995

    Durban Chamber of Commerce merges with the Chamber Industry to form the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry


  • 1884

    Regulated under the Natal Law no.31 as the Durban Chamber of Commerce


  • 1856

    Establishment of the Natal Chamber of Commerce

Governance structure


The Board of the Durban Chamber has authority and responsibility for executive and strategic direction and decision making in terms of the MOI. The Board is comprised of six to eleven Directors, who are elected by voting members to serve for a period not exceeding two years. Officers of the Board comprise the President, Deputy President, Vice Presidents and the immediate Past President appointed by the Board. They hold office for a period of one year, commencing at the conclusion of the annual general meeting at which they were appointed.

Under the MOI, the Council of the Durban Chamber has an advisory role and consists of the President, two Directors appointed by the Board, the Chairpersons of the Chamber Business Forums, the Chief Executive Officer and 10 members who are ordinary members or life members, or representatives of ordinary members in good standing elected by voting members. Council members will hold office for a period of two years, commencing at the conclusion of the annual general meeting at which they were appointed or elected.

Our Leadership


Musa Makhunga

 President

Musa Makhunga has a career spanning about 30 years across diverse industries including education, manufacturing, mining, retail, banking and consulting. He is the founding managing director of HR Matters (Pty) Ltd...Read More


Palesa Phili

Chief Executive Officer

Joining the team in 2018, Palesa has over 20 years’ experience in the ICT and Telecommunications sector working for leading multinational companies within the ICT sector. She has 10 years’ experience in executive positions within the sector with added experience in board-level positions within the manufacturing and incubation sectors. Her fortes range from strong operational experience to strategic growth and market penetration into various customer environments.

She has worked for organisations such as Hewlett Packard, IBM and EMC Computers. Her most recent role was at MTN SA where she was the Regional Head for MTN Business in KZN. Palesa holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Johannesburg (UJ), an advanced Business Management Programme Certificate and is a member of the esteemed South African Institute of Directors (IOD) and sits on various boards including SmartXchange and Invotech incubators.

Memorandum of incorporation


Under the MOI, the Council of the Durban Chamber has an advisory role and consists of the President, two Directors appointed by the Board, the Chairpersons of the Chamber Business Forums, the Chief Executive Officer and 10 members who are ordinary members or life members, or representatives of ordinary members in good standing elected by voting members. Council members will hold office for a period of two years, commencing at the conclusion of the annual general meeting at which they were appointed or elected.

For more detailed information, please refer to the Memorandum of Incorporation document (MOI).

Business Code of Ethics

Vision

In Business for a Better World.

Mission

We will achieve this by delivering excellence in all we do through dedicated people, best financial, IT, operational processes, systems and sound stakeholder relationships, all underpinned by ethical governance principles.

Values


Accountability – taking responsibility for our actions
Leadership – courageous, influence and exemplary in word and deed
Inclusivity and Diversity – Involvement and celebrating our differences
Innovation – adaptable and improvising
Integrity – ethical, trustworthy, reliability (People & Processes)


Signed by 6 founder members on 6 September 2017.


We the members of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry shall:
Principle 1 – Comply with legislation and the government of the Republic of South Africa.
Principle 2 – Promote the interests of employees.
Principle 3 – Ensure customer satisfaction at all levels.
Principle 4 – Establish and maintain good relationships with suppliers.
Principle 5 – Promote the interests of owners and investors.
Principle 6 – Ensure free and fair competition.
Principle 7 – Strive to be good corporate citizens within the community.
Principle 8 – Ensure an environmentally friendly and sustainable environment.

...Read more