HERMANUS BUSINESS CHAMBER

OUR STORY

Moving With The Future

The Hermanus Business Chamber was started about 20 years ago by a group of business people in the Hermanus area for the purpose of supporting business owners via networking and development opportunities to boost the local economy.

The Chamber has grown through the years, expanding to the whole Overstrand area, with members from the various towns surrounding Hermanus.

It is an independent organisation, but affiliated to the Small Business Institute, enabling it to liaise with Chambers all over South Africa, including BUSA (Business Unity South Africa).

The companies who pay an annual membership fee to the Hermanus Business Chamber according to the size of their business, vary from single owners/managers to corporate businesses. Membership is inclusive and all communities are welcome to join.

The main aim of the Business Chamber is to be a strong representative voice for its members, and to offer networking opportunities and business development opportunities.

Events are being held regularly for networking purposes, or to address crucial business issues which are of mutual concern to businesses.

A close relationship is maintained with relevant local role players and stake holders, including local government (Overstrand Municipality), as well as provincial government (Western Cape Government).

The Chamber is apolitical and does not participate in political or religious activities. The main purpose is Local Economic Development.

The Chamber is managed on a daily basis by an Administrative Manager who handles all the communication internally and externally under the guidance of an Executive Committee which comprises of a group of approximately 15 members, representing various portfolios or task groups. These Exco members are elected in a democratic way during the Annual General Meeting once per year. The Chamber is registered as a non-profitable organisation with NPO no. 207-751.  The aim is not to make profit, but to offer a relevant business service to its members according to their needs, and to cover operational costs via membership fees and regular networking events.

The Chamber has a Constitution and Ethical code which are available for perusal on this website. Membership forms can also be downloaded. The main benefits of membership are the following:

OUR CODE OF ETHICS

The HBC embraces diversity and seeks the membership of businesses without regard for nationality, race, gender, sexual orientation, or political or religious affiliation.  Businesses are welcomed into membership upon signing commitment to adopt, abide by and promote the HBC’s values and Code of Ethics.

Each section in this Code of Ethics is designed to promote honesty, civility, equality and inclusivity and to serve as a constant reminder to members to show due consideration and courtesy to every fellow member, client, customer and stakeholder. These key elements of our Code of Ethics are the pillars that will ensure that we indeed operate in business for a better world.

The HBC Code of Ethics divides into eight principles to which the HBC and its members sign our commitment:
  • Compliance with Legislation & Government
  • Promote the interests of employees
  • Ensure customer satisfaction
  • Have good relations with suppliers
  • Promote the interests of investors and owners
  • Ensure free and fair competition
  • Strive to be a good corporate citizen within the community
  • Ensure an environmentally friendly and sustainable environment

Each of the eight principles is expanded upon as follows:

Compliance with Legislation and Government

The HBC members will:

At all times obey the laws of the Republic of South Africa both in letter and spirit and those of the countries in which we conduct business;

Never knowingly assist any third party in violating any law;

Procure ethical behaviour in all business transactions, reject and actively discourage corrupt behaviour and bribery by means of the exchange of cash, gifts or information;

Not provide or attempt to provide and procure commercial advantage by improper inducements, favours or benefits directly or indirectly to influence Government officials and/ or public servants or in any way engage in corruption;

Not knowingly mislead any Government investigator or other regulatory official and always provide truthful and accurate information about our performance to any Government regulatory agency inquiry or investigation;

Align with guidelines and policies of the HBC, enhance its reputation, profile and status and faithfully represent and support the HBC in delivering on its Mission, Objectives and Goals to the business community and wider public.

Promote the interests of employees

The HBC members will:

Foster and provide a respectful, non-discriminatory, safe and harassment-free workplace as required by law;

Aspire to create a work environment of mutual trust and respect in which diversity and inclusion are valued;

Recognise and seek to competitively reward employees for their performance, based on merit, and assist employees to maximise their full potential within the means afforded by our company;

Recruit and select employees based on merit, qualifications, demonstrated skills and achievements;

Ensure that our employment practices and policies comply with all labour laws and are consistent with good industrial relations practices.  Specifically, we will employ only South African citizens and foreigners who are legally permitted to live and work in South Africa, and foreign employees will constitute no more than 40% of employees;

Refrain from using forced or child labour;

Respect the right of employees to freedom of association and engage in bona fide negotiations when conflicts arise within the appropriate legal framework;

Respect the confidentiality of all information relating to our employees, refrain from making judgments based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, marital status or disability; be honest and open in communications with employees sharing information of common interest limited only by legal and competitive restraints and matters of confidentiality.

Ensure customer satisfaction

The HBC members have a responsibility to:

Treat all customers fairly in all aspects of our business transactions and respect the integrity and diversity of the cultures of our customers;

Provide all customers with quality goods and services for use in accordance with the directions of the manufacturer;

Provide all our customers with appropriate remedies for addressing customer dissatisfaction, and observe and uphold the provision of any Consumer Protection legislation in force in South Africa for addressing such complaints;

Maintain the standards for advertising as determined by the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa; and

Preserve the confidentiality and trustworthiness of business relationships, divulging only such information as may be required by law or authorised by the customer.

Have good relations with suppliers

The Members of the HBC share the common principle that our suppliers are our business partners and play a critical role in our ability to operate and provide goods and services to our customers. We members therefore have a responsibility to:

Be fair in all business activities, ensure that business activities are free from coercion, vexatious or frivolous litigation, thus promoting fair competition;

Foster long-term stability in the supplier relationship and respect that sanctity of contracts and business relations in return for value, quality and reliability;

Share information with each other subject to legal and competitive constraints, and integrate suppliers into our planning processes in order to achieve stable relationships;

Respect the confidentiality of business relationships, divulging only such information as required by law or authorised by the supplier and careful not to give one supplier’s confidential business information to another; and

Seek, encourage and conduct business with suppliers who act in a manner consistent with the HBC Code of Ethics.

Promote the interests of investors and owners

The Members of the HBC believe in honouring the trust our investors and shareholders place in us, and therefore have a responsibility to:

Apply professional and diligent management in order to secure a fair and competitive return on investment;

Conserve, protect and enhance shareholders’ assets;

Disclose all relevant information to investors and shareholders in a timely manner;

And address all requests, suggestions, complaints and formal resolutions made by investors and shareholders.

Ensure free and fair competition

The Members of the HBC agree that free and fair competition is critical for well- functioning open market economy and contributes to increasing the wealth of the country and its citizenry.  We therefore will:

Engage in fair trade and competition within the realms of the law;

Subscribe to the standards for advertising according to law;

Not knowingly make payments, offer inducements or grant favours in exchange for competitive advantages; and

Respect both material and intellectual property rights.

Strive to be a good corporate citizen within the community

The Members of the HBC have responsibilities to the communities in which we do business and therefore will:

Strive to be a trusted corporate citizen, play an active role in the community;

Demonstrate compliance with the 2017 King IV on corporate citizenship, exercise corporate social responsibility by supporting local causes and in particular contributing to social and environmental programmes run by or promoted by the HBC;

Support any public and HBC policies and practices that promote harmony between business and other segments of society;

Promote and stimulate sustainable development;

Support measures that promote peace, security and diversity in the community; and

Embrace measures that promote the advancement of the community through educational, cultural environmental and other similar initiatives.

Ensure an environmentally friendly and sustainable environment

The HBC members will:

Minimise any damage to the environment arising from business activities;

Reduce the environmental and health impact of business operations through the responsible use of natural resources, conservation practices and the reduction of waste and emissions;

Ensure that in the production of goods and services that we meet lawful environmental standards related to our industry;

Arrange for the safe handling, transport and disposal of raw materials, products and waste according to law; and

Work in partnership with others to promote environmental care, increase the understanding of environmental issues and disseminate good practice.

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LOCATION

Hermanus, South Africa, 7200

MOBILE

+27 (0)73 538 3685

HOURS

Mon – Fri (09:00 – 16:00)
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