mec-enjoys-champagne-with-oupa-pilane-800x600The inauguration of the new Kruger Lowveld Chamber of Business and Tourism (KLCBT) president on October 18, affirmed the shared vision of both business and government to create a prosperous and sustainable region.

Nelspruit-born Oupa Pilane (47) took over the reins from Dr Norah Fakude in the presence of top businessmen, local and regional government officials and KLCBT board and committee members, who gathered at the Dream South Business Lounge in Mbombela.

Mpumalanga MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Sikhumbuzo Eric Kholwane expressed his confidence in the impact Pilane can make on the region as head of the integrated KLCBT.

In 2015, the KLCBT convened all the business chambers and tourism organisations within the Kruger Lowveld region to present the formation of a regional chambers forum to allow business and tourism in the region to speak with one voice when tackling district and provincial matters.

Members of the Kruger Lowveld Ehlanzeni Business Alliance include the KLCBT, NAFCOC, FABCOS, AHI and all of the business chambers within the Ehlanzeni District (Lydenburg-Mashishing, Bushbuckridge, Pilgrim’s Rest, Graskop, Sabie, Hazyview, Malalane and Barberton), as well as the broader Kruger National Park.

In his inaugural address, Pilane told MEC Kholwane and other audience members that the KLCBT boasts men and women with the capacity to understand the dynamics needed to grow the region. “We all belong to the same picture of a puzzle; each piece is needed to complete the picture,” he said in championing a dynamic relationship between business and government.

This sentiment was echoed by the MEC, who said that proper communication will enable government and the private sector to augment rather than duplicate each others’ efforts.

Pilane – a KLCBT veteran – holds a Master’s degree in Public Development from Wits University. He is the owner and founder of Nelspruit’s Ubuntu Kraal guesthouse and currently holds the position of Executive: Municipal Business Intelligence at the Guma Group, which provides integrated revenue solutions for municipalities.

He was previously an advisor to Nelspruit’s executive mayor and the spokesman for former Premier Mathews Phosa.

Integrity Pledge

You simply cannot run a successful business without good ethical practices. This is the view of the KLCBT.

Pastor TJ Mare, who is the KLCBT Business Chairperson, introduced the Hand on my Heart campaign at Pilane’s inauguration.

“Integrity does not just happen. You have to make it happen,” said Pastor Mare, adding that the new campaign emphasises that doing business takes integrity and a conscious decision to make South Africa a better place.

In accepting the position of KLCBT president, Pilane raised his hand and repeated a solemn pledge after Pastor Mare, committing himself to upholding and promoting good integrity in all his dealings and attitudes.

At the end of the evening, many a dignitary took the Integrity Pledge themselves, including MEC Kholwane. They received a pin to wear with pride and publicly proclaim their commitment to ethical dealings.

For more information, contact the KLCBT on 013 755 1988 or email