Why you Should Join the Kokstad Chamber of Commerce – how much has changed since 2008

There is a saying that the more things change, the more they stay the same. 

The basic job of the Chamber, whether in Kokstad, Durban or Johannesburg remains the same, to provide a collective which has a louder voice & a larger presence when representing matters which impact business whether that is objecting to a rates increase or demanding an improvement in service delivery.  The Chamber is constituted to assist businesses by ensuring Economic Development in and around the town.

Over the last seven years, the Kokstad Chamber has made significant contributions to Kokstad.  A number of issues have been undertaken and successfully won – one of these was the planned rates increase in 2013 which was reduced to a reasonable figure when the Chamber mobilised and planned a protest.

Many business owners or managers will still be asking about the costs and the benefits of joining the Chamber.  The answers remain the same

  1. We have a committee who take time out of their own businesses in order to look after the interests of all businesses in Kokstad.  If you are unable to commit your time to serving on the committee then we still need your support financially in order to continue to make a difference by ensuring that business has an audible voice.
  2. Our numbers will never compete with the larger Chambers in Durban, Pietermaritzburg or East London and due to the fact that we have expenses which match those in a larger town, we do unfortunately have to ask for what some may see as a high membership fee but when you consider the value for money you receive for your fees I believe that these are not at all high.  The highest fee is still under R400 per month and when you consider what R400 buys you these days it is less than a business lunch for two, it is a fraction of the cost of a cell phone contract, approximately a third of a tank of fuel, a little electricity or a few drinks on a night out – not as bad as it may appear on first consideration.

We still need to consider what an unaffiliated business does in any of the following situations:

  • An increase in the municipal rates from 1c to 2c
  • A cut off of the water supply to your business
  • Eskom’s withdrawal from Kokstad due to arrears
  • A change to the road in which your premises are located from a two way to a one way system
  • Service Delivery failure by the Municipality and a lack of interest when you object
  • What action to take when objections lodged by you are ignored and a questionable business opens next door to you.
  • You are aware of serious issues with the municipal tenders
  • You have concerns regarding health  or environmental actions of a neighbouring business
  • Illegal traders are compromising your business with impunity
  • An investor you have been negotiating with has become so bogged down by bureaucracy they they have withdrawn their support in favour of a neighbouring town.