NAFCOC CELEBRATES IT SUCCESS
By: Nhlanhla Mthembu
The National African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NAFCOC) held their 50th anniversary celebration conference under the theme, “Lessons of the past 50 years,” at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) Thursday morning.
NAFCOC, established as the National African Chamber of Commerce in Orlando East in 1964, was set up to fight restrictions faced by black business, and to speak to the government of the day with one voice.
As a fighter for the creation of solid black businesses, NAFCOC was key in establishing businesses such as Africa Bank in 1975, black-owned retail company Black Chain in 1977, and the building concern, African Development & Construction Company.
NAFCOC President, Reverend Joe Hlongwane, said that the organisation has been around through the toughest times of the apartheid regime.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I can declare today without fear of contradiction that NAFCOC will still be alive in 50 years,” he said.
According to Hlongwane, faith has kept NAFCOC strong through apartheid and all the hard times they faced.
“If we could survive apartheid we can survive anything. If we can persevere and do business under apartheid then anything is possible.
Small Business Development Minister, Lindiwe Zulu, congratulated NAFCOC on their 50th anniversary and said small businesses should learn more from them.
“We will continue to look up to NAFCOC to help us reignite the spirit of entrepreneurship that refused to surrender to the viciousness of apartheid and its determination to make black people permanent drawers of water and hewers of wood,” said Zulu.
She added that NAFCOC has fought for black business people to obtain their space in the mainstream South African economy, and they continue to do so to date.