What is the Purpose of a Chamber of Commerce and Industry?

There is often confusion around the purpose of a Chamber of Commerce and Industry, sometimes called a Business Chamber. Misconceptions abound regarding the why, how and where of a Chamber’s purpose. The reason a Chamber of Commerce and Industry exists, however, is actually very simple – to help businesses do business, better and more profitably.
A Chamber of Commerce and Industry is effectively a network of businesses, established to advance the interests of its business members. It is a formal, structured, voluntary association that seeks to promote, develop and sustain the business community of a region. It is non-governmental, but influential in its area nonetheless. In some countries, a Chamber may be partially subsidised by government, but this is not the case in South Africa.

New Act broadens access to insurance

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The Insurance Act, which was signed into law earlier this year, aims, among other things, to increase low-income earners’ ability to access insurance products and foster transformation in the insurance sector. The Act, which was approved by Parliament in December last year, aims to bring smaller players into the fold under the auspices of the regulator, the new Prudential Authority, which will fall under the South African Reserve Bank. “Not only will the new law making it easier for low-income consumers to access insurance products that cater to their needs, but it also gives small businesses the opportunity to enter the insurance industry,” says Vera Nagtegaal, the executive head of Hippo.co.za. Nagtegaal says the Act seeks to link licensing with the sector’s overall transformation targets as set out in the financial sector code. “This will empower the [regulator] to push for development targets, financial inclusion and transformation objectives.” The framework’s transformation component is linked to the Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Act and the financial sector code, which has made a transformation in the insurance industry a priority.

5 Things Everyone Gets Wrong about the Employment Equity Act

The Employment Equity Act (No.55 of 1998) is part of the South African labour law landscape, but it can be a source of stress and confusion for businesses. Failure to comply with the legislation can result in heavy fines, but meeting equity requirements can be challenging. Here we look at five common mistakes and misunderstandings about the Act, to making compliance a little easier for companies.