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INTERVIEW

Networking and learning from best practice are key for Cape businesses Geoff Jacobs, the President of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, supports efforts to reduce red tape for business. Geoff Jacobs, President What is the history of the Chamber? The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry traces its history back through its predecessor the Commercial Exchange of Cape Town to the founding in 1804 of the Kamer van Commercie by Governor de Mist, the Batavian Government’s representative. By 1860 business in the Cape had grown to such an extent that modern business services were in demand. As a result, the Commercial Exchange was established and merged with a new body in 1861 called the Chamber of Commerce. In 1891, the Cape Chamber of Commerce was incorporated by an Act of Parliament. In recent years, the Cape Chamber has been expanded to become the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Biography After a successful career in teaching, Geoff joined the corporate sector, eventually retiring in 2015 as HR Director of Maersk South Africa. Geoff runs his own management consultancy and serves on the boards of Dinaledi Educational Coaching, School Turnaround Foundation and St James Church, Kenilworth. Geoff has BA and BEd degrees from UCT, a BA (Hons) degree from UNISA, an MA from the University of Wisconsin, and an MBA from UCT’s Graduate School of Business.

WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2020

What is your strategy and how do you express it? The strategy of the Chamber is a single word: engagement. The more we create opportunities for our member organisations to engage one another, the more value is created for members. This includes more than 200 events per annum, ranging from training programmes linked to business effectiveness and efficiency, to engaging local, provincial and national government officials on strategies to turn the economy around. The tagline of the Chamber is: Where Opportunity Meets. We work hard to remain abreast of the key challenges in our region, and through our portfolio committees to give input into legislative changes. Through our Chapters, our footprint extends across the Western Cape, addressing local issues. The biggest need for business is the need for networking and learning from best practice and the Chamber facilitates this at every event that it hosts. What are some of the challenges that businesses face in the region? In a recent survey of its 2 100 member organisations, respondents gave clear responses. Firstly, over-regulation/bureaucracy: the plethora of legislative requirements for businesses is an obstacle 28

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Western Cape Business 2020  

A unique guide to business, investment and tourism in the Western Cape. The 2020 edition of Western Cape Business is the 13th issue of this...

Western Cape Business 2020  

A unique guide to business, investment and tourism in the Western Cape. The 2020 edition of Western Cape Business is the 13th issue of this...

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