At the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s recent Annual General Meeting hosted on 20 June at the Durban Chamber Conference Centre, the new Board and Council of the Durban Chamber were announced. The two-year term of the current President, Board and Council expired in June 2019, and the new Board and Council’s term of service will come into effect on 1 July 2019.

Mr Nigel Ward, Executive Vice President of Manufacturing and Support at Toyota South Africa, is the new President of the Durban Chamber and will be officially inaugurated at the Durban Chamber’s 163rd Annual Gala Dinner on 21 August 2019. Mr Ward has been employed at Toyota South Africa since January 1982, over 37 years and is a member of the Board of Toyota South Africa and Toyota South Africa Motors, sitting on various Toyota Executive Committees including Social, Ethics and Audit and Compliance. Toyota South Africa Motors employees over 7000 people and manufactures, assembles, exports, and distributes motor vehicles and replacement parts in South Africa and internationally.

Mr Ward’s core areas of expertise include Procurement, Supply Chain and Engineering, and he is responsible for input and decision making for future Toyota Strategy in South Africa. Mr Ward’s key passion is developing the younger generations towards being the next leaders, the creation of an inclusive economy and the addition of micro-businesses into the mainstream economy.

Mr Ward takes over from Mr Musa Makhunga, Managing Director of HR Matters, who will now assume the honorary role of Immediate Past President within the Durban Chamber’s organisational structure. Mr Ward served as Deputy President during Mr Makhunga’s tenure.

During his two-year term as Durban Chamber President, Mr Makhunga was instrumental in reconfiguring the operational structure of the Durban Chamber to be in line with international standards of best practice for good corporate governance and compliance. He also oversaw the transition of the Durban Chamber from being governed by the Charter Rules of 1856 to now operating as a Non-Profit Company governed by the Companies Act 71 of 2008.

Mr Makhunga also championed the drive to ensure that the Durban Chamber, as a future-focused organisation, adopted and upgraded digital technologies in order to embrace the fourth industrial revolution. Further announcements in this regard will be communicated in due course. Mr Makhunga will continue to work on a key Chamber project related to site invasions and truck attacks, on behalf of the Durban Chamber until its conclusion.

As new President of the Durban Chamber, Mr Ward stated that he is grateful for the opportunity to serve as the new President of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as the City of Durban.

“My intention is to continue to build on the legacy of this storied and influential organisation. The new leadership is committed to ensuring that the organisation continues to deliver on its strategic purpose by improving on delivering support to members and stakeholders alike while extracting maximum leadership value from them for the benefit of the broader business community,” said Mr Ward.

“I believe that I am inheriting a sound structure on which to build, along with the incoming Board and Council. Taking on the baton will be a challenging undertaking, let’s not forget I have a very challenging and demanding full-time job, but through your understanding, focused leadership and continuity, we will build on the hard work and tireless efforts of past and current leadership, members and employees, I believe we can do it together,” added Mr Ward.

“As the Durban Chamber, we cannot accomplish this without active member participation.  Our members are leaders and captains of industry with the vision, knowledge, resources and experience to help create an inclusive and sustainable economic environment that will achieve our joint developmental and growth goals as businesses in Durban, KZN and, indeed, South Africa. Durban businesses have the potential to be powerful instruments for economic growth, and we are committed to playing our part to strengthen them to be ‘In Business for a Better World’ just as our motto says”, said Ward in his acceptance speech at the AGM.

Mr Gladwin Malishe is the new Deputy President with Ms Mpume Langa and Ms Jackie Bhana joining the board as 1st Vice President and 2nd Vice President respectively. Mr Prasheen Maharaj also joins the board as a new appointee, having served on Council in the last term. Ms Linda Ngcobo continues as Vice President of Finance with Mr Faisal Mkhize and Mr Russell Curtis also continuing in their roles as board members. Rounding off the board are the Executive Directors, who are Ms Palesa Phili, Chief Executive Officer, Ms Zanele Zeka-Ngcamu, Chief Operations Officer, and Mr Mike Raftery, Chief Financial Officer, of the Durban Chamber.

Mr Zeph Ndlovu, Ms Mpume Mabuza and Ms Zama Phakathi have retired from the Board having served the Durban Chamber and the local business community faithfully for several years and being instrumental in the Durban Chamber’s drive to create a conducive economic environment for the growth of local businesses.