DURBAN CHAMBER RECOGNISES EXPORTERS
Despite the negative impacts of COVID-19 on South Africa’s economy, many of KwaZulu-Natal’s exporters managed to “manoeuvre against all the odds very impressively”.
CEO of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Palesa Phili, said that the role played by these innovative international traders was now more important than ever – a fact that was underscored by today’s launch of the Durban Chamber of Commerce’s completely rejuvenated KZN Exporter of the Year Awards.
Given that, during 2019, the combined value of members’ export business amounted to a staggering R2,9 trillion, export would continue to not only boost both the local and regional economies but also create much needed jobs, she said.
The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry began celebrating export achievements from as far back as 2000.
Today’s relaunch of the first phase of a completely redesigned Durban Chamber Exporter Awards is expected to streamline the process, making it easier for top performers in the province to be identified and recognised.
Previously, recognition via the awards required a complex process of applications, motivations and adjudications over three levels. Following constructive and creative stakeholder and member inputs on changes they wished to see, the Durban Chamber made the strategic decision to re-conceptualise and implement a reliable and non-subjective system to deliver empirically determined winners last year.
“Due to the lockdown, we were unable to unveil the new system in 2020 but we are thrilled to finally be able to do so now. To ensure that there is no break in our 20-year tradition of recognising excellence in this area, all top exporters of 2020 have been issued certificates in the following revised categories: agriculture, mining, manufacturing, ICT, logistics and the services sector,” said Phili.
These are the businesses in the export industry who, despite the negative impacts of COVID-19 on the economy of South Africa, have been able to manoeuvre against all odds very impressively.”
“Monthly winners and runner ups are recognised. Awardees are mostly from KZN but some are also from across South Africa as our membership and service user coverage stretches beyond our province. Our Durban Chamber KZN Exporter of the Month Awards will culminate in Durban Chamber KZN Exporter of the Year Awards to be conferred during Export Week,” she explained.
The awards are presented to businesses utilising the Durban Chamber Certificates of Origin service (members and non-members), because, going forward, issued Certificates of Origin data will be the core and sole criteria.
The Durban Chamber’s online export documentation service was launched in 2018 and only 5% of users remain on the manual system. The essCert System, an electronic Certificate of Origin (eCO) solution, will thus be used to determine the KZN Exporter of the Month awards.
“To underscore the breadth and depth of coverage of the Durban Chamber’s export services, in 2019 alone, the combined export value of our members was a staggering R2,9 trillion, aggregated from our essCert online service data,” Phili revealed.
The Durban Chamber KZN Exporter of the Month Awards are endorsed by Trade and Investment KwaZulu Natal, a key stakeholder of the Durban Chamber.
“Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal is proud to be associated with the KZN Exporter Awards facilitated by the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry. We have shared a prolific and close alignment with the Durban Chamber over the years and have also participated in the adjudication of past KZN Exporter Awards. We are pleased to join the business community in acknowledging the export achievements of KZN companies once again. We look forward to celebrating the export performance of these companies which will have a positive impact on the balance of payments in our country and ultimately, contribute to the much need job creation and economic growth in our province and country as a whole,” said Neville Maatjie, CEO of Trade and Investment KZN, KwaZulu Natal.
One proud recipient of the Durban Chamber KZN Exporter of the Month Awards in 2020 is Minnies Foods.
“Established in 1993, Minnies is a bespoke manufacturer of sauces, condiments, marinades, bastings and salad dressings. Minnies supplies into the retail and food service industries in South Africa and abroad. We thank the Durban Chamber for recognising the effort Minnies has put into developing its brand and products through its exports, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s always a pleasure when one’s hard work is noticed especially given the fact that all the employees of Minnies were behind the export success. That is a huge testament to the Minnies team. Furthermore, we would like to thank the Durban Chamber of Commerce for hosting a delegation from Reunion Islands, though which we were able to secure our first order into the island. We are extremely excited and hope this will open many doors for us into the future,” said Shaazia Kolia, Chief Operations Officer of Minnies Food Enterprise.
The Durban Chamber has already started evaluating the essCert data for 2021’s top performers and will continue to profile emerging and established KZN exporters who are industry ambassadors of KZN through international trade.