Greater Clarens Chamber of Commerce Established!
28 January 2014
The business community of Greater Clarens met yesterday to establish a Chamber of Commerce for the Greater Clarens area (GCCoC) and elect directors to its Board. The meeting, attended by 47 businesses, agreed that the objective of this body was to establish a representative and inclusive structure to develop a shared vision for the business future of Clarens and effectively manage and report its implementation. The meeting followed an extensive and inclusive consultation process over the last year, involving business interests in both Upper Clarens and Kgubetswana.
In a parallel step, Kgubetswana has met to establish its own representative business body, the Clarens Business Development Cooperative. This body was represented at the meeting yesterday and will nominate two Directors to the Board of the GCCoC. Upper Clarens business elected three Directors and the consolidated Board will elect a Chairperson.
The 47 Upper Clarens business representatives attending yesterday’s meeting were entitled to vote for three representatives each, and in total 123 votes were cast for six nominated candidates. The six candidates, in alphabetical order, were Lee-Ann Benney (Protea Hotel), Malcolm Hickman (Kalm Guesthouse and Kalmer), Natalie Meyer (Clarens Brewery), Richard Rennie (Richard Rennie Studio and Gallery), Debra Stewart (Bibliophile) and Carl Swerts (The Gallery).
The successful candidates and GCCoC Board members are Natalie Meyer, Malcolm Hickman and Carl Schertz. The Clarens Business Development Cooperative will shortly nominate their two Board members, ahead of the first meeting the consolidated Board. The Board will then establish a non-profit company in terms of the draft Constitution and will be entitled to co-opt expertise to assist with development and decision-making.
In terms of an agenda for action, the electoral meeting yesterday noted a number of priorities for the Board to consider. These included business rates; public toilets; use of the Clarens Square; hawkers and a demarcated area for these to operate; sewage; water; geographic area of representation; and links with other forums such as Tourism, Rates, Conservancy and Fire.