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Heidelberg Business Chamber dissolves

“New beginnings frequently are disguised as painful endings.”

After 30 years, the Heidelberg Business Chamber has dissolved.

The Heidelberg Business Chamber’s AGM was on April 10 at the Heidelberg Club. Its primary purpose was to decide if the chamber should continue or dissolve.

Yolandi Boshoff served as chairperson for three years and would have gone into her fourth if it were not for the business chamber’s constitution, which limits it to three years, so the decision to continue or dissolve was vital.

Yolandi Boshoff, the exiting chairperson of the Heidelberg Business Chamber. She served as chairperson for three years.

After Boshoff opened the meeting, she gave a brief overview of the past year. Besides being the exiting chairperson, Boshoff is the only executive member board member left because all the other board members had resigned over the past two years.

“The past year was not a good year for the business chamber. Due to a lack of attendance and outstanding membership fees, the chamber could not fulfil its mandate,” Boshoff said.

The vision of the Heidelberg Business Chamber was to create a platform for business owners to connect, network and implement projects that could positively influence Heidelberg’s economy.

Toto Yende, who served on the exco, said it was not an easy decision for him to resign, but with the drop in membership and lack of volunteers to perform tasks, there was no one to add value.

The attending members were asked to vote in favour of dissolving or to continue. After the majority vote was to dissolve, Boshoff officially announced that the meeting resolved that the Heidelberg Business Chamber had its final AGM on April 10 and was now dissolved.

A unanimous decision cleared the way for the chamber’s remaining bank funds to be transferred to the NPO Heidelberg Hope.

Albert Grobler, a local business owner and co-ordinator of Heidelberg Hope, gave the attendees an overview of the organisation and its work so far.

Heidelberg Hope’s sole purpose is to bridge the gaps by collaborating with other NPOs, businesses, government agencies and community organisations to leverage resources and expertise to restore Heidelberg to its former glory.

“While it is sad to have presided over this final meeting of the business chamber, I am not despondent. Thank you to every member who diligently supported the chamber for many years.

To the exco members who contributed time and resources, thank you for your support and efforts. I look at the people surrounding me here tonight and know that as sad as it is to see the end of the chamber, in our fast-changing world, we are all still connected through our love for our town, Heidelberg.

New beginnings frequently are disguised as painful endings,” were Boshoff’s final words as chairperson before the meeting adjourned.

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