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Not the easiest of times to do business – a word from RMI’s CEO

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As we start our new financial year on the 1st of July, business continues to slowly recover from the battering we took during the COVID-19 pan­demic. Unfortunately, the problems experienced with loadshedding, and other endemic infrastructural problems, and the alarmingly high unem­ployment figures, continue to plague every business and every South African.

We collectively watch and wait with bated breath for the economy to improve so that businesses can once again kick start a period of regrowth and prosperity in our country. It is in times like these that I believe the strength of belonging has never been more important.

The RMI has continued to reflect record surpluses and reserves and in an effort to give back to our members, we have introduced the concept of Special Projects, all aimed at improving and enhancing our member businesses and the environment that they trade in.

The following are just some of the Special Projects we have embarked on, or will be embarking on:

Increasing the visibility of our brand

The strength of association with the RMI logo is clear and this year the RMI Board approved a special project to fund production of RMI branding materi­al, specifically to assist members in bringing their premises up to date with the new RMI branding introduced three years ago. This enables mem­bers to reflect our brand consistently and uniformly and makes them instantly recognisable to customers and other key stake­holders as members of the RMI. The branding material has been produced and has been distributed nationally for collection.

Financial assistance

RMI membership renewal invoices for 1 July 2023 include a discount that will benefit all members within the RMI and is a token of our appreciation for your ongoing support and loyalty. The discounted amount will reflect on your invoice and there is thus no requirement for further calculations. A fur­ther discount per standalone business will be provided on receipt of your BBBEE compliance information for 31 December 2023. The normal terms and conditions apply to this offer so please contact our local RMI office for further details and if you are part of a corporate membership, please contact your Associational Director for further information.

Professionalising our sector

We have scheduled a host of special webinars and podcasts for members to assist on a variety of topics and concerns impacting all South Africans. A special Skills Development Facilitator Project is also currently being de­veloped and scoped with rollout expected during the latter part of 2023. In addition, we have once again planned our third RMI Women Driving Change awareness event for later in the year.

I am encouraged that a number of our associations have also embarked on Special Projects unique to their needs and these continue to highlight the benefit of belonging, particularly in today’s challenging times.

The RMI are currently in the midst of our national roadshows. A variety of factors including the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a change in the way we communicate and the emergence of digital engagement. Digital and online meetings became par for the course during this period.

As a result of very valuable feedback received from members through the membership satisfaction survey, the need for the re-establishment of face-to-face engagement with members was identified and as a result, the RMI is currently hosting a series of roadshows throughout the country which will continue throughout July 2023.

The purpose of these roadshows is to update members on developments within the industry, and to provide members with the opportunity to engage with the RMI team, to share experiences, express needs and engage on industry specific issues.

I would like to end off by expressing my appreciation and pride for the way our member businesses have conducted themselves over the last 12 months. I have no doubt that if we maintain our focus and continue to look for ways to add value and sustain our businesses, our sector will find the opportunities to come back stronger together.

Jakkie Olivier - RMI CEO