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The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry NPC announces new president, board, and business council

Updated: Mar 22, 2023

The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry NPC officially inaugurated the Board of Directors and Council Forum leaders at the 166TH Annual Gala Dinner, held on the 20th of September 2022 at Moses Mabhida Stadium ‘A night under the African Sky’. The newly elected Board and Council will be led by the new president, Mr Prasheen Maharaj who in his personal capacity is the Chief Executive Officer at SanDock Austral Group. Mr Maharaj takes over from now Immediate Past President Mr Nigel Ward. Mr Maharaj, who has also served as a Non-executive Board member at the Durban Chamber for the past term, brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge in his sector Maritime and the chamber business community.


In his official inauguration address Mr Maharaj, highlighted his key strategic objectives that he will focus on during his two-year term, as he takes over the baton from Mr Ward. Over the past three years, Durban KwaZulu Natal has been through a difficult time, the economy has been battered more than once, from fighting the Covid-19 Pandemic, to the July 2021 unrest and more recently the April /May 2022 floods. The two years need strategic focus that is driven by the recovery of the economy.


Over his two-year tenure, Mr Maharaj’s major focus will be driven by three strategic objectives:

Membership, Revenue generation and continuing with protecting the Durban Chamber brand and legacy for the benefit of our members. A stronger Chamber is the foundation and pillar of strength for the Business Community of Durban.


On Membership, he highlighted “Relationships are the true currency of commerce, and the Durban Chamber creates a platform for its members to develop business relationships with each other, and other key stakeholders to promote economic growth and business opportunities. It’s critical that we continue to offer value to our members. We want to make membership affordable and accessible. Most importantly, businesses must be able to derive immense value from being members of the Chamber. We are confident that we are well positioned to service the business community in Durban through our extensive networks, service offerings and our strong Policy and Advocacy. We encourage all members to make extensive use of the Chamber’s service offerings and networking opportunities. Remember, your NETWORK is your NET WORTH.”


On revenue generation

“As many of you may know, The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry is a non-profit organisation, who source of income is generated from two main sources Membership and our Certificates of origin. I believe the past three years have proven to be difficult times for the business community. This challenged us an organisation to rethink the way we do business. As the newly appointed President, I will strive to explore ways to generate income and make membership even more cost-effective for businesses to join whilst also sustaining the chamber and the staff. I strongly believe this must be done through cooperation, collaboration, and mutually beneficial strategic partnerships. The number priority of any business should be business sustainability – not profit maximisation. Therefor a key objective during my tenure would be to drive business sustainability for the Chamber and its members through creative and innovative products, services, solutions, and networking events. If you want to achieve something that you have not achieved before, then we got to do things that we haven’t done before. We cannot do the old things and expect new results.”


Brand Preservation and Durban Chamber Legacy

“Over the past three years the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry has earned its status of being a trusted voice for business. We have become relevant and intentional in the way we conduct our business. Furthermore, the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry holds a high standard of ethics and corporate governance. Over the next two years I commit to continue this legacy, protecting, preserving, and enhancing the brand of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry. We hope that through the Chamber we can simulate a culture of Entrepreneurship within the eThekwini Municipality. We need an Entrepreneurial Revolution if we are to address the triple challenges of Poverty, Unemployment, and Inequality. The Government or the large corporates can’t create jobs fast enough, but individual entrepreneurs can, through starting a business, a cooperative or through self-employment. The American Chamber of Business is the largest Business Chamber in the world with 3 million members. 96% of its members employ less than one hundred people and 74% of its members employ less than 10 people. Its only through an Entrepreneurial Revolution that we can create jobs and a prosperous economy. The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry stands ready, willing, and able to be your foundation and pillar of strength as people strive to get

into business.”


Further to the above key objectives, Mr Maharaj stressed the importance of strategic partnerships, particularly the private and public sector, bridging the gap between the two, and reducing the trust deficit that has been in existence for years.


The President of the Durban Chamber is supported by a strong leadership team with Non-Executive Board members, Council Chairs and deputies who come with strong executive leadership, wealth of experience and pioneers in their field, from their respective industries.


The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry 2022 Board of Directors are as follows:

President : Mr Prasheen Maharaj (Sadock Austral Group)

Deputy President : Ms Mpho Lethoko (SAPPI)

1st Vice President : Ms Jacqui Bhana (JD Bhana Consulting)

Immediate Past President : Mr Nigel Ward (Toyota)

Non-Executive Directors : Mr Gladwin Malishe (B.I.L Architects)

· Mr Matthew Khumalo (MTN)

· Ms Tholile Cibane (TS Cibane Consulting)

· Mr Werner Pelser (Mr Price Group)

Executive Directors : CEO, Ms Palesa Phili

· CFO, Mr Mike Raftery

· CGO, Ms Zanele Khomo


The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry Business Forum Chairs and Deputies are as follows:

Bongani Gumede - Chairperson Infrastructure Forum - Kwande Invest

Prince Africa Zulu - Chairperson - Traditional Leaders in Business Forum - Royal House

Deepa Seepersad - Chairperson Environmental Affairs Forum - Defy

Dr Ajiv Maharaj - Chairperson Economic Affairs /Trade and Investment Forum – eThekwini Municipality

Lerina Subbiah - Chairperson ICT Forum - Subb10 Technologies

Mickey Wilkens - Chairperson SMME Forum - Domino Business

Niresh Bechan - Chairperson Health Professionals Forum - eThekwini Hospital and Heart Centre

Nkululeko Mthembu - Chairperson Youth in Business - Pista Ventures

Preeya Daya - Chairperson Human Resources Forum - Leadership Dialogue

Shaun Tait - Chairperson Non-Profit Organisation Forum - Domino Foundation

Sinqobile Khuluse - Chairperson Manufacturing Forum - South African Shipyards

Suben Moodley - Chairperson Southern Area Business Forum - Toyota

Udeen Singh - Chairperson Safety and Justice Forum - Unilever

Bonnie Mnchunu - Chairperson Women in Business - ECR

Mervin Govender - Chairperson Western Area Business Forum - Spar

Tshepo Marumule - Chairperson Agriculture Business Forum - Illovo

Samanth Croft - Chairperson Tourism Business Forum - Southern Sun

Venketiah Norman - Chairperson Northern Area Business Forum - ABSA

Willie Coetsee - Chairperson Durban Port Committee - Transnet

Jacquie Bhana Vice - Chairperson SMME Forum JD - Bhana Consulting

Maglen Govender Vice - Chairperson Safety and Justice Forum - Defy

Lenore Maitjie Vice - Chairperson Women In Business Forum

Vickey Singh Vice - Chairperson Western Area Business Forum - SPAR KZN


Through the newly elected strong leadership, the Durban chamber will continue to advocate and lobby for the business community and its needs and strive to fulfil the vision of being “in business for a better world” a true reality. We continue to encourage our members to participate in our 21 Business networking forums, particularly as we have added a new forum that is in line with our collaborative strategic objective, The Traditional Leaders forum. This Forum is aimed at tackling advocacy matters concerning rural traditional leaders, through the formalising of the informal sector businesses and exploring the opportunities that are in this sector. Through collaborative effort across all business sectors, and public private partnerships, we will restore and rebuild the city of eThekwini, to what it was before.


For more info, contact the Durban Chamber on 031 335 1000 or info@durbanchamber.co.za

Our website is www.durbanchamber.co.za


Media contacts:

Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry NPC

Ms Zanele Khomo

Chief Growth Officer

T: +27 31 335 1000


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