Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  26 Aug 2010

EMPOWERMENT: Cape Empowerment's New Look


Recent Western Cape Business News

LOCAL BEE company Cape Empowerment has completed a corporate overhaul with the appointment of empowerment heavyweight Chris Nissen as chairman.

Earlier this year the old Cape Empowerment Trust – which some years back fought tooth and nail for a strategic stake in gaming group Grand Parade Investments (GPI) – merged into corporate cousin Dynamic Cables to form new look Cape Empowerment Limited.

The appointment of the well-respected Nissen as chairman gives much needed credence to Cape Empowerment’s efforts to regain its status as a significant BEE player.

Nissen, the chairman of Boschendal and Sea Harvest as well as a director of blue chip companies like Tiger Brands, Woolworths and Standard Bank, is considered one of the Cape’s empowerment pioneers.

Aside from Sea Harvest, Nissen is also a director of a number of unlisted fishing enterprises – although it’s probably not wise to speculate that this might mean new look Cape empowerment is keen to head for the ocean.

But there can be no doubt Nissen’s experience (and renowned corporate diplomacy) will come in handy as Cape Empowerment - now shot of a pesky debt load - seeks out new deals.

And it’s not like Nissen is completely unfamiliar with the company. He was a director of Cape Empowerment Trust in the nineties.

While Cape Empowerment founder Shaun Rai and former Sasfin executive Jeremy de Villiers will still hold sway as the main directors, Cape Empowerment has also made a number of other board changes.

These include the appointment of legal eagle Peter Hesseling as a non-executive director along with Ellen Tshabalala as an independent non-executive director.

Michael Brown and Peter Volkwyn have resigned from the board with immediate effect.

The new board’s first challenge is to bring a number of investments to fruition, most notably the long awaited merger between Cape Empowerment’s security services operations with that of Cape Town-based security specialists Command Holdings.

Cape Empowerment also needs to unlock value from its remaining property development investments – no easy task in the current real estate clime.

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