Africa Down Under Business Briefing – 1 August 2019


Networking Function – 25 July 2019


Farewell Reception – 23 May 2019

ABCSA’s Chair Chris Hamilton from BankservAfrica hosted a farewell reception in Johannesburg on 23 May for the outgoing Australian High Commissioner HE Mr Adam McCarthy. The High Commissioner said that he will greatly miss interacting with Australian businesses and ABCSA members including Cotton On, FCM Travel, Orion Minerals and Macquarie Bank who attended the farewell, along with South African businesses with interests in Australia like Growthpoint Properties. Colleagues from DTI, InvestSA and BrandSA attended, along with Tutwa Consulting, Iraj Abedian from Pan African Investment & Research Services and Judi Nwokedi as the IORABF Chair. The High Commissioner said that the economic ties between Australia and South Africa continue to strengthen, with Australia the seventh largest foreign investor in South Africa

ANZAC Day – 25 April 2019

ABCSA members were proud to be represented at the official Australian High Commission Anzac Day remembrance service in Pretoria on 25 April 2019. Australia was grateful to commemorate the service in South Africa, a nation that shares the same values of democracy, freedom, equality and respect. The best way we can honour the Anzac spirit is to stand against intolerance, racism and xenophobia, and value compassion which is central to the spirits of Australia and New Zealand.

AGM & Networking Drinks – 28 March 2019

On 28 March, 2019, the Chamber conducted its Annual General Meeting followed by networking drinks at the Maslow Hotel in Sandton.  All office bearers were reappointed, including yours truly as Chair and committee members: Danielle Magidson, Kym Fullgrabe, David Eggleston and Neville Munien.  

I spoke briefly about the member survey we have just conducted, which indicated a general satisfaction with the events and services and a desire to grow membership and improve networking. Chamber members made some useful observations and comments which your Executive Committee will consider at their next meeting.

A cheerful crowd joined us for drinks afterward, to celebrate another year of chamber activities. 

Chris Hamilton

Economic Breakfast Seminar – 26 February 2019

Many thanks to Nedbank for hosting a fascinating business and economics breakfast on 26 February 2019 in Johannesburg for ABCSA members. Nedbank’s Senior Economist Nicky Weimar gave a riveting readout of South Africa’s budget and the economic trajectory going forward. The Australian High Commissioner HE Adam McCarthy provided opening remarks on the continuing strength of the Australia-South Africa economic relationship, with Australia the seventh largest foreign investor in South Africa.

Australia Day – 24 January 2019

ABCSA was thrilled to participate at the Australian High Commission Pretoria’s Australia Day 2019 celebrations with a traditional Aussie Barbeque, entertainment by the Grammy award winning Soweto Gospel Choir, and an Australian business showcase. The Australian business “marketplace” showcased a number of ABCSA members including Cotton On, Flight Centre-South Africa, Qantas and Worley Parsons, with R.M.Williams, PEAK Destinations, Solahart, and Orion Minerals also participating. World Vision-Australia showcased Australian Government funded projects in Lesotho, South Africa and Eswatini, and Palladium promoted the work of Australia Awards in Africa. Complementing the business showcase was the photo exhibition ‘Memories of the Struggle’ which documented Australia’s contribution to the South African anti-apartheid struggle.

Year-end Networking – Maslow Hotel, Sandton – 15 November 2018

On 15 November 2018, ABSCA members gathered at the Maslow for our annual year end drinks, kindly sponsored by Austrade.  The Australian High Commissioner HE Adam McCarthy and wife Nicky were kind enough to join us to raise a glass in the good cause of SA/Australasian trade relations.  They were joined by colleagues from the New Zealand High Commission, plus corporate and individual members, new and old. 

Thanks to Austrade, Capital 20 West and Hogan Lovells we also had some goodies to give away –  wine, chocolates and Bed and Breakfast for two in Sandton. Congratulations to all the lucky raffle winners! 

On behalf of the Executive committee, I want to wish all our members and friends a peaceful, joyous holiday season

Australian High Commission Welcome Reception – 15 October 2018

New Zealand Business Delegation Reception Event – 4 October 2018

On Thursday 4 October 2018,  the Chamber was delighted to host a reception for the first New Zealand trade mission in 22 years, jointly organised with NZ Trade and Industry based in Dubai.  Led by Undersecretary Fletcher Tabuteau,  the trade mission gave members of the NZ business community the opportunity to explore the enormous potential of Africa.

There was a great turnout of ABCSA members to honor the delegation from NZ, with the assembled community addressed by NZ High Commissioner Mike Burrell, ABCSA Chair Chris Hamilton and the Undersecretary himself.  The Undersecretary’s speech in the laconic NZ style displayed his natural talent for stand-up comedy, while still conveying an important message about the long-term value of cultural and business exchange between NZ and SA.  His SA audience applauded enthusiastically.  They may not have been doing so after the All Blacks narrowly edged out the Springboks at a different kind of cultural exchange the following Saturday.

Networking function at The Maslow, Sandton – 23 August 2018

The Chamber welcomed new and old participants to our regular drinks last Thursday at the Maslow.  Nice, in particular, to see the team from the NZ High Commission, as well as Mike Morgan from the Canadian Chamber here in South Africa.  As usual, delectable finger food and plenty of drinks provided a welcome refuge from the Sandton traffic.

A heads up:  our next event will be a reception on 4 October for a visiting trade delegation from New Zealand headed by the NZ Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and including business leaders from NZ.  This will not only be great networking, but an exceptional opportunity to explore SA-Australasian trade and investment opportunities, so do please come along and hear from the Minister.

Networking function at The Maslow, Sandton – 21 June 2018

Michael Page was pleased to sponsor the monthly ABCSA networking drinks at the Maslow Hotel on 21 June and it was a great farewell for our ABCSA Vice-Chair Nathan Byrne. Nathan has been offered a position with Michael Page in the United States and we wish him all the best of luck. Nathan was one of the original ABCSA Board members and we thank him for his years of support of ABCSA. ABCSA was pleased to welcome at the networking drinks Carte Blanche journalist Derek Watts and South African explorer Riaan Manser, along with a number of Australian Government supported volunteers who are placed in various NGOs throughout Gauteng.

Networking function at Balalaika, Sandton – 17 May 2018

The chamber held its monthly networking drinks – third Thursday each month – on 17 May at the venerable Balalaika in Sandown – a quirky but pleasant venue.  The Australian Trade Commission and Hogan Lovell were our kind sponsors this month,  allowing us to regale the throng with a fine selection of drinks and tasty treats. While we are still establishing this regular event, it is already clear that there are some keen “regulars” – and what better way to unwind late in the month than with some convivial Australians and New Zealanders?

Networking drinks at Capital 20 West, Sandton

Australia Day at the Australian High Commission, Pretoria