Secob was formed in 2005 after the Greater Germiston Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Alberton Chamber of Commerce and Industry amalgamated. The Germiston Chamber has been in existence since 1902 and still operates exclusively for Certificates of Origin that is needed for exports. We are NOT in any way connected with government, provincial, local and national. We are affiliated to SACCI – the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the ICC – the International chamber of commerce in Paris, France.
We protect business interest, formulate businesses' viewpoint on key issues, (like BBBEE, labour, trade, the present strikes, electricity concerns, in particular Eskom and local government's increases, stopping the tollroads and a business tax being considered by Ekurhuleni Metro) that influence the business environment and promote the private enterprise system. Local advocacy is our most important function, to ensure good service delivery, and integrated local economic development in a business-friendly environment.
We are one of the largest Chambers in Ekurhuleni according to members that we serve. We have 800 newsletters that we distribute and 492 fully paid-up members. We have an apolitical interest in business welfare.
Secob protects the interests of our members at local, regional and national level. We believe in business unity and pride ourselves on healthy stakeholder relationships with local government and through the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry on provincial and national level. We promote economic growth and unlock the economic development of our region. Our last convention on job creation was extremely successful.
We add value to our members' businesses through an active programme of networking. We extend our members' influence through our linkages overseas as members of the International Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
We encourage interaction among members and initiate and encourage business ventures. The more businesses participate in the endeavors of the Chamber, the stronger the voice of business.
SECOB is a non-profit organization with voluntary membership and as such, relies on subscriptions to pay its way. As a registered business organization, your membership of the Chamber is deductible from Income Tax. We are dedicated to the success of all of our members. Information is available on current economic and trade conditions, trade opportunities, government controls and trade statistics. Involvement and participation leads to collective action, resulting in economic progress and prosperity.
We are part of the Growth and Development Strategy 2030 in Ekurhuleni, we make direct input as to the local and spatial development plans as well as the Budget for Ekurhuleni Metro. We have representation on the Development Tribunal, as well as the Air Quality management Forum for the Highveld region and locally. Secob is also part of the Acid Mine drainage working group. We are totally against any more taxes for business of which the e-tolls are a prime example.
We have access to a business directory that has the information of the International Chamber organization, as well as the foreign chambers and thousands of businesses countrywide. We also have a local business directory for business people that is distributed through members and at local areas where business gather. On joining the Chamber you get access to our online business-directory as well. We have regular business networking meetings.
SECOB and Smme's
A very high percentage of small businesses fail in the first two years. The Chamber helps you beat the odds. In fact, according to statistics released by the Birmingham Chamber of commerce and Industry, nearly three times as many new businesses survive the critical first two years when they use their Chamber's services as do those that tackle this crucial period unaided.
We develop, grow and empower small business, as we need small business to be entirely sustainable. We find that most small businesses have very little or no business and financial skills. Our business linkage center is molding a new generation of entrepreneurs. We have trained approximately 80 business linkage members on average per year, that means up to now = 320. We are looking forward to making a bigger impact in 2013, as the people without work, whether retrenched or those who can't find work, increase daily. We do regular tender training workshops, like the one we had on 27 August.
We have started on a small scale with the "Generate yourself an income"-project from Bused (Business Education) as this is ideally suited to people who have no income and very little money to set up a formal business. We have trained 35 people this year so far, mentored them and assisted them to bring in R2000 a month, to put food on the table, literally working from home and either cook, bake or deliver a service on a small scale. The reasoning behind this was that many informal traders sell exactly the same items, make little or no money and work in very unhygienic circumstances. We started mid-January and completed the project by showing them the importance of costing and "bookkeeping". We have a waiting list of 200 people (and increasing daily) for this course.
SECOB supports old age homes as we find that the older generation do not have an income other than a very small pension and sometimes they have to miss out on day-to-day essentials, like toothpaste, underarm-deodorant or shampoo. We try and make up a Christmasbag with something sweet or a colddrink. We have a braai for them near the end of the year. We will appreciate your support.