GTCoC spearheading win/win turnaround in ELM

"Cometh the moment, cometh the person" - with apologies to original author.

Can it be that the whirlwind public diplomacy - backed up by stakeholder engagement, mobilisation and action - by the Golden Triangle Chamber of Commerce (GTCoC) is leading to real change in Emfuleni, a region seemingly desensitised by a never-ending stream of crisis and bad news?

The headlines certainly seem to tentatively suggest that this might very well be the case.  Ink had hardly dried on posters and headlines that the GTCoC had brokered a groundbreaking joint Business Customer Centre before it was revealed that its active leadership was already engaging with national government to unlock massive financial and administrative resources for Emfuleni.

Profit with Purpose seems to be the approach of both Klippies Kritzinger and Jaco Verwey - who both have businesses of their own to run - in their GTCoC positions as respectively CEO and spokesperson of the GTCoC.  Their engagement on especially a Business Customer Centre with the Emfuleni Local Municipality (ELM) is expected to not only resolve longstanding issues between many firms and the local authority, but also to unlock possibly hundreds of millions of Rands in unpaid revenue for ELM.

Red tape, queues and unresponsive administrative processes could thus become a thing of the past for business in dealing with ELM, which with organised business seeks to stimulate investment and job creation in the region.  Ditto the sudden service interruptions so destructive of economic activity.  The activity levels of Kritzinger and Verwey to get involved and find practical solutions for the myriad of problems confronting Emfuleni seem complemented by another stakeholder in direct engagement with local government - top business consultant Tommy Diedericks for Growthpoint, owner of Vaal Mall and Three Rivers Mall amongst many others throughout South Africa.

ELM leadership has also stepped up to the plate with Municipal Manager Oupa Nkoane and Chief Financial Officer Andile Dyakala closely involved in engagement with GTCoC and other stakeholders.  Vaalweekblad has learned that at the core of the process is first engaging Emfuleni's top 500 businesses to resolve all billing and payment issues before moving to other businesses.  Organisers should not necessarily follow an orthodox development curve for the facility but could start incrementally to develop both a low-resource walk-in and virtual office capacity followed by a business outreach capacity if necessary, sources informed Vaalweekblad.

"The GTCoC believes that the prosperity and good of all is out business and accordingly we engage with the appropriate stakeholders," say both Verwey and Kritzinger.  Perhaps the chemistry clearly developing between these business leaders and top officials, may yet result in meaningful change for all residents of Emfuleni. - Editorial comment by Craig Kotze