Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  30 Nov 2010

COMMERCE: New Head For Cape Chamber


Recent Western Cape Business News

AN economic development specialist, Ricardo Hansby, has been appointed the new Executive Director of the Cape Chamber of Commerce.

He takes over from Albert Schuitmaker who is retiring after 26 years with the Chamber, 11 of them as CEO.

The Chamber is the oldest and biggest business organisation of its kind in South Africa and he says he is acutely aware of both the tradition and the challenges faced by the Chamber in a rapidly changing business environment.

My first priority will be the members,” he said. “We want to grow membership and give them real value for money in terms of the services we provide and to connect them with business opportunities.

In broader terms, we want to play a role in generating economic growth and job creation.”

Hansby is well qualified to promote economic growth. He has an honours degree in political economy from UWC and, as managing member of Senzenina Consultants, he produced economic development plans for four Western Cape municipalities and two provinces.

Before that he was the manager of Transnet’s infrastructure development subsidiary, Protekon.

He gained an intimate knowledge of the Western Cape economy when he was head of the foreign trade and investment section provincial Department of Economic Affairs and RDP and was responsible for developing policies and strategies to attract foreign direct investment to the Western Cape.

During this time he worked with the Cape Chamber to create the highly successful Export Development Programme which trained a number of businesses in the nuts and bolts of exporting.

Hansby is a strong believer in partnerships. “Partnerships give us a way of working together with government on projects which can translate policies and strategies into practical businesses and programmes to create jobs and add to the wealth of the region.

Perhaps even more important is that partnerships between the public and private sector bring us together and get us working toward the same goals. They promote a better understanding of a shared future.”

He said he had been concerned for some time about policies which failed in the implementation stage. “Very often the policies are sound but unless they are implemented in a strong and businesslike manner they will not produce the desired results. This is where partnerships can play a role. If we can combine the practical business approach with good policy we can all succeed,” he said.

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