Neil Diamond has become used to the quick jokes when he introduces himself. Being a people’s person all his life, his name has more than often set the tone for conversation and broken the ice in difficult conversations.
As the founder of SA Chamber of Commerce USA (SACCUSA), Neil brings with him years of experience as an astute businessman and a wealth of knowledge of serving in government structures for many years.
At the beginning of 2020 he joined his family, who as been living in Atlanta for two years. As the Municipal Manager of Mbombela (Nelspruit, White River, Hazyview and Barberton) in the beautiful Lowveld situated in Mpumalanga province, Neil has made a valuable impact on the council and its interaction with the business community of the area.
His announcement to relocate to America was received with much sadness from his community, but his legacy was a council which received clean audits with fully functional infrastructure.
The vision of the chamber is to benefit the business community living in the USA and who has links with South Africa. “We work for the promotion of trade and tourism between the countries to promote investment, economic inclusion & growth.” He has already established a close working relationship with South Africa’s Consul Generals, Thandile Sunduza (Los Angeles), Phumzile Mazibuku (Chicago), Motumisi Tawana (New York) and the South African Ambassador in Washington DC, Nomaindiya Mfeketo.
“We work for the promotion of trade and tourism between the countries to promote investment, economic inclusion & growth.”
It was recently announced that well-known businessman, Robert Gumede, has been appointed as the Chairman of the Advisorty Board of the chamber. In a press release shortly after the announcement, Robert said: “The SA Chamber of Commerce USA has a critical role to play to grow foreign investment in South Africa and enthusiastically promote the wide array of opportunities available for trade and investment in the country’s economy.
It is important to note that South Africa, as an economic giant, is a gateway to the rest of Africa’s 1.3bn population and vast business opportunities.” Robert is a South African businessman and philanthropist and one of Africa’s most accomplished business leaders and investors. He is a global entrepreneur and the Executive Chairman of the diversified, 12,000 staffed, Guma Group of Companies. The group is a leading black-owned investment company and leaders in the field of information technology, mining, energy, tourism, infrastructure development and hospitality.
The chamber has, since its inception, held social events at various SA establishments and an e-commerce zoom event during February. “The plan in the next few months is to grow our footprint to more states. We have established chapters in Texas, California, Florida, Kentucky, Chicago, New York, Virginia and Georgia. We will communicate our activities on our fb page and via emails. I want to encourage Saffas in business to contact me directly”, Neil said.
Robert Gumede, Chairman of the Advisory Board
The SA Chamber of Commerce in USA requested assistance from the South African embassy to help resolve the delay of applications for agricultural workers with their H2A Visa. The Embassy of South Africa helped facilitate a meeting with the USA Embassy and Consulates in South Africa and worked tirelessly to aid 3000 H2A workers. Continuous negotiations are underway to make sure H2As can reach their employers in the USA.
Left: Consul General of South Africa in Chicago Phumzile Mazibuko.
Right: The Ambassador of South Africa, Nomaindiya Mfeketo.
Top: Thandile Sunduza Consul General Los Angeles.
Bottom: Motumisi Tawana Consul General New York.
Why join the SACCUSA?
· actively link, connect and network members;
· unlock new business opportunities between South Africa and the USA;
· always project South Africa in a positive way that will promote investment;
· advance transformation, inclusion and representativity of all South Africans;
· reflect South Africa’s unity, diversity and cultural richness;
work with the embassy to lobby for more bi-lateral trade and investment between the USA and South Africa
During a recent visit to South Africa, SACCUSA President Neil Diamond, met with Kruger Lowveld Chamber of Business and Tourism in Mbombela. Various investment opportunities were discussed in an effort to establish better working relationships between the two chambers.