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Cobus Oelofse – Ilembe Covid-19 resources

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

The iLembe business community, as with many other South African regions, is continuing to deal with the dynamics of the unprecedented Covid-19 situation. “We are challenged on a daily basis with situations that would have been unthinkable just a few months ago,” says iLembe Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism CEO, Cobus Oelofse.

“Acknowledging that the safety of our work teams and our communities are our primary consideration, the iLembe Chamber is continuing to support our business community in dealing with these challenges and ensuring business continuity.”

The iLembe Chamber has appealed to its members to please support its local, legitimate businesses that are supplying Covid-19 products and services, often through the realignment of production to keep workforces employed.

In addition, the Chamber is partnering with a number of professional and commercial institutions, both locally and internationally, to provide as much support as possible.

Of note South African banks (Nedbank, ABSA Bank, Standard Bank, Capitec Bank & Ithala Bank) are mindful of the economic impact that the Covid-19 pandemic is likely to have on their clients, many of whom are already under pressure due to the country’s low levels of economic growth. The banks will assess each case on its own merit and continue to be guided by existing lending policies, which include a number of solutions designed to assist clients experiencing payment difficulties. These would include tailored payment arrangements, allowing consumers to repay their arrears over time, restructuring of debts by means of term extensions and reduced instalments, and suspending or stopping legal action “under certain instances”.

The diverse range of iLembe Chamber accredited mentors have also offered their assistance to help SMME business owners and entrepreneurs navigate difficult business decisions, prepare business continuity plans, review business strategy and guide revisions of business plans.

Oelofse said, “The Chamber’s Board Standing Committee responsible for NPOs, under the leadership of Paula Owen, is also supporting our local communities that are suffering from the pandemic’s economic devastation. In this regard, the iLembe Chamber and its NPO members are working closely with the iLembe Civil Society structure under the leadership of Richard Shandu.”

“If you need any other assistance or support, whether around business turnaround strategies, business rescue practices, compliance, legislation or any other matter, please either contact myself or Sakhile Khumalo, your Business Support Manager, on 087 354 6343,” concluded Oelofse.

The resources and measures available, are electronically accessible on the iLembe Chamber’s website at:

iLembe business support requests can be logged through:


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