Survey: Nelson Mandela Bay business still confident, despite challenges

MAY 4, 2016

Despite the subdued economic conditions in the country, more than 80% of businesses surveyed by the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber are investing in their companies this year.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber Membership Survey 2016 was conducted earlier this year amongst our member companies in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Of the respondents who indicated that they would invest in their businesses this financial year, 38% said they would invest in human resources and infrastructure; 24% only in human resources and 22% in infrastructure.

However, the respondents cited several challenges affecting their Nelson Mandela Bay companies’ bottom line including political instability, the shrinking economy, unemployment, the Rand/Dollar exchange rate, raw material pricing, high taxes and petrol price increases.

High electricity prices were one of the biggest challenges faced by businesses in Nelson Mandela Bay (33.6%), followed by unreliable supply of electricity (25%) and bad maintenance or poor road infrastructure (17%) according to the Survey findings.

As the authoritative voice of business in the region, the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber has positioned itself to address the challenges affecting the sustainability of our member companies, said Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber CEO Kevin Hustler.

“Electricity, water and roads make up the core of our Priority Focus Areas for 2016 and we have also recently aligned our task teams to these priorities. Our Business Chamber task team volunteers play a critical role in delivering on these key priority areas,” Hustler said.

Other core priority focus areas in the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber Strategy include Transport and Logistics, Metro Collaboration and SME Development.

Hustler said he was pleased with the results of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber Membership Survey 2016 and the confidence shown in Our Business Chamber by its members. 96% of respondents said they would recommend becoming a member of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber to fellow businesses.

“We value all the feedback we received from our member companies and are being responsive to suggestions made by the respondents. I would like to invite and encourage all businesses in Nelson Mandela Bay to get involved with the Business Chamber, whether as a task team volunteer or attending a networking function,” Hustler said.

Tangible value was received by 35% of respondents who attended a networking event hosted by the Business Chamber, who formed a business relationship, met a new client or received a professional referral as a result of the event. Respondents also listed skills development for staff (20%) and a change in the way they do business (22%) as other results of attending a Business Chamber networking event.

“This shows the true value of connecting with other businesses on the Business Chamber platforms,” Hustler said.