The 20th Durban Business Fair 2018 once again proved to be a resounding success with more than 41 554 visitors and businesses attending this premium business centenary on its 20 years of success.

This business extravaganza which was held from 18 to 24 September left participants of this event empowered and inspired with great ideas and motivational talks by key influential business people from Durban and across South Africa.

Mayor Zandile Gumede said she was thrilled with the turnout of this year’s Durban Business Fair and that it is the biggest attendance the fair has ever had.

“For us as the City, the Durban Business Fair proves to be the significant platform within the City’s business sector as it continues to grow in leaps and bounds in equipping business with skills to help them become successful,” said the Mayor.

She added that it is for this reason that the City will continue to invest in the fair as it is a platform that assist businesses to grow. “This is a stage for small businesses to network with established businesses to gain insight on opportunities available in various sectors in order to attract investors and create more employment opportunities,” she said.

As part of the two decades of empowering small businesses, the Municipality hosted Business Excellence Awards ceremony to honour businesses that have achieved and those that were instrumental in making the vision of the Business Fair a success.

This year’s fair attracted renowned influential speakers in the business sector and prominent celebrities, who shared their expertise on business development, their achievements, failures and what attributed to their success.The aim was to ensure that businesses are well informed and have access to tap into the mainstream economy.

Some of the key topics included Radical Agrarian Socio-economic Transformation (RASET), Radical Economic Transformation(RET) opportunities focusing on capital projects and localisation in Industrialisation.
The Acting Head of the Municipality’s Agribusiness Unit, Vuyo Jayiya shared with attendees that about R5.5million has been plough by the City in the last financial year towards empowering and assisting 35 local small famers which will in turn transform the agriculture sector.

The Municipality established the agriculture sector through RASET programme as the government’s effort to break down barriers in the food value chain and to ensure there is transformation in the agriculture sector.
Women Economic Empowerment was one of the exciting programme that left the attendees inspired. Keynote speakers Elinor Sisulu, a human rights activist, as well as Connie Ferguson, an acclaimed actress and TV production mogul. This segment comprised panel discussions under the theme: “She Builds, She Leads, She Inspires” – led by Londi Ngcobo, one of the youngest female ship navigators in South Africa.

Other topics include “The role of business in creating social change through” by Clive Manci, the founding CEO of OTEO Investment Holdings, “The role of the Business Chamber in Unlocking business opportunities”; addressed by the president of Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry Musa Makhunga; while Tusokuhle Farming farm manager Andile Ngcobo shared tips on “Creating value chain for smallholder farmers.Youth Economic Alliance president Afrika Mkhangala spoke on “Access to land can be your ticket to success and the CEO of Edison Power Group Vivian Reddy spoke on “The art of running a profitable & sustainable business.”

Game-changing innovations that will help manufacturers achieve massive productivity, the role of business in creating social change through innovation and technology and managing risks, as well as sustaining your business; were among the topics discussed and inspired attendees.

EThekwini Municipality Deputy City Manager of Economic Development and Planning, Phillip Sithole presented how to do business with the City. He said, “Municipality spend over R30 billion in tenders annually.” He then pointed out key common tendering problems that mostly resulted to application being dismissed.

The Durban Fashion Fair was also an instrumental with more than 40 fashion designers from local and abroad who showcased their exquisite garments. This did not only excite attendees with attractive creations, it also featured workshops facilitated by TV and Radio Personality, Anele Mdoda where aspiring designers and participants were equipped on the latest trends on beauty, fashion and style.

This was followed by the most coveted Recognition Award Ceremony with the Durban Designer of the Year 2018 went to Zama Mathe of Zarth brand.

In her opening at the award ceremony, Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer said the Municipality invested approximately R40 million in fashion development programme over the past six years and it has touched the lives of more than 1 800 designers. “It is exciting that many of these designers had showcasing their creations internationally and also built businesses and created jobs,” she said.

There were a number of exciting activities featured for the duration of the fair such as: Youth Connect Summit headlined by Nomzamo Mbatha, Film Making Master Class conducted by Anant Singh, Leleti Khumalo, Thembi Nyandeni and Tony Kgoroge and Music Production Master Class with Mthunzi Namba of Joyous Celebration.

The Business Exhibition which started on 21 to 24 September consisted of over 600 exhibitors showcasing their businesses and products; with thousands of visitors attending a star peppered Durban Business Fair Street Market with celebrity chefs displaying Durban Flavours and Cuisines.


For more information visit our Facebook page: @Durban Business Fair; Twitter: @DBNBusinessFair or Instagram: Durban_Business_Fair . Alternatively you can contact Sane Shandu on 031 311 4806 or 072 572 8658 or email:

Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Acting Head of Communications, Mandla Nsele on 031 311 4825 or email: