ANY attempts to derail the work done by Msunduzi administrator Johann Mettler and his intervention team would be catastrophic for Pietermaritzburg in general and its economic development in particular.
This was the serious warning issued by Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business (PCB) president Tinus Havinga, who addressed guests at the annual PCB banquet held on Friday evening.
Havinga praised the work done by Mettler and his team and warned that the municipality will be in deep distress if the intervention process ends prematurely.
“If we want to see economic development in the city, investor confidence in the city and its administration need to be restored and that is a process that will take time.
“I think that there are many people in the city who may feel threatened by their actions and have a total disregard for authority.
“Although certain people within the municipality have been replaced, there are still active forces that want to derail the recovery process for political gain.
“I urge the provincial government and political structures not to allow political interference of self-centred individuals to undermine the foundation that is being laid by the administrator and his team.”
Four businesses were honoured at the event.
The search for new markets and opportunities, coupled with a deep commitment to skills development and training, delivered rich rewards for Ramsay Engineering, which was named the Nedbank/PCB Business of the Year of 2010.
The Small Business of the Year award went to Bovasol CC, a business based in Mooi River, while Martin Dlamini of Nutrend Publishers was named the Champion Entrepreneur of 2010.
Uraisha Naidoo Haswell of Bridgemonkey Brand Engineers was awarded the Emergent Black Businessperson of the Year title.
PCB chief executive officer Andrew Layman said Ramsay Engineering emerged from the recession as a strong survivor in the automotive component sector, which was affected more than most by drastic decreases in orders. The company employs over 450 people.
Ramsay was able to grow its client base with the addition of at least two major auto manufacturers during the recession.
Bovasol, steered by Debbie Odell, designs and markets animal feeds, supplements and nutraceutical products.
Layman said the judges were very impressed by Bovasol’s ability to exploit a niche market very successfully.
Dlamini of Nutrend Publishers was praised for his careful and studious nature, coupled with an accumulation of business assets worth about R9 million, including newly-built premises in Pentrich.
Naidoo Haswell impressed the selection panel with her dynamism and the entrepreneurial culmination of her impressive academic successes.
Havinga also praised Layman, who is to stand down, for his sterling contribution to the chamber over the past 13 years.
“Mr Chamber is leaving us. Tonight is not the time to say goodbye, but I want to say one thing to Andrew. You will be leaving us with one of the most active and well run chambers in the country together with very dedicated staff,” Havinga said. — Business Editor .