In September 2020 sixteen people attended the launch, or rather relaunch, of the South African Chamber in the USA (SACCUSA). The timing was perfect. Covid-19 had an impact on global economies and businesses across the world, and South African businesses in the USA were looking for a platform where they could interact and offer support
Just over a year later there are about a thousand active members, with an active footprint beyond Georgia where it started. Today there are members, in almost every state, who regularly participate in events and discussions.
President of SACCUSA, Neil Diamond, says they have managed to build strong relationships with both the South African Ambassador and the Consul Generals which in return have led to breakthroughs in assistance to South Africans who struggle with issues like Emergency Travel Certificates.
SACCUSA has also assisted to smooth out problems with H2A-applications and held several webinars and events to promote trade investments not only between SA and the USA but with the greater Southern African Development Community (SADC) region and its 16 member countries.
“There are viable investment opportunities to cross-pollinate between the countries which will benefit our South African members and the economy of the group as a whole,” Diamond explains.
He believes that support should be given not only to goods and services, but also to assist the SA community at large. “We try to tick the boxes, even assisting our members with access to religious services on Sundays.”
The chamber’s Facebook page has more than 5500 followers and the newly established association with Saffa Mag is part of the vision to stimulate the sense of community among its members.
“We not only share the chamber’s latest news, but we want to use the platform to introduce our members, and their goods and services, to each other. We are equally proud of the achievements of so many South Africans living in the USA, and we want to share their stories,” Neil says.