Leaders in business engage at KZN Business Conversations

Nick Grubb, Allan Hirsch, Boni Mchunu, Sandile Zungu, Mark Harris and Eric Apelgren at the conference.

Some of the country’s top business people gathered and put their minds together and discussed how best to enhance KwaZulu-Natal’s overall economic standing.

The province needs to be confident about its business offerings, rather than undersell itself as a business destination. This emerged at the KZN Business Conversations, which brought together some of the country’s top business minds at the Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga on Thursday.

The first installment of the KZN Business Conversations was aimed at kick starting the dialogue around how business leaders could actively play a role in changing the narrative around KZN.

KZN is the second biggest economy in South Africa, but common misconceptions often place the province further down the list.

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One of the panelists at the event, CEO of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dumile Cele, said, “Perhaps we have undersold ourselves when it comes to our business and growing our economy and some of the things investors are looking for,” he said.

CEO of the Kagiso Media Group Mark Harris encouraged businesses in the province, “You can establish a brand on what KZN is at the moment, or you can look ahead to what KZN aspires to be. For me if KwaZulu-Natal looks ahead it needs to look at maybe what the economy needs to look like in the future. I think it has got to do with what business is going to do with KZN into the future.”

Executive chairman of Zungu Investments Company, Sandile Zungu, said it was no accident that he is so heavily invested in the region.

“In KwaZulu-Natal, we have very strong social partnerships and there is a culture of dialogue among these social partners,” said Zungu.

Head of Department for International and Governance Relations at eThekwini,Eric Apelgren also urged businesses to be innovative and disruptive in their thinking. While there were a range of suggestions on the way forward; East Coast Radio General Manager Boni Mchunu said she would like to see a movement emanating from the first KZN Business Conversations

 

  AUTHOR
Zola Phoswa
Journalist

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