Welcome to the first of our DSA Online Newsletters! We hope you find the content interesting and of value. We’d love to hear from you – scroll down to the end to post your comments and ideas!
As we steer our way into the fifth month of 2018, my thanks and gratitude go to all DSA Directors and DSA member company executives who continue to support and build the DSA of South Africa. We work together in a wonderful industry that offers exceptional opportunities for entrepreneurial development and personal growth.
We have seen industry growth across the world with global retail sales increasing by 1.9% to USD 182.6-billion, as reported in June last year. In South Africa, we reported 18% growth with retail sales totalling R12.9-billion for the 2016 calendar year. There is a surge of interest in ‘being in business for yourself’ and we need to embrace this. It is an exciting time for our industry and as we work together as Association members, we can strengthen and build direct selling even further in South Africa and growing business beyond our borders.
One of my tasks in 2018 is to further evaluate the Association’s objectives and processes to ensure we continue to stay relevant and deliver value to our members.
At DSA Directors meetings held in late November and in February, we have spent many hours discussing the DSA SA’s Long Range Plan. An important component is PR strategy. Globally we need to change the language of direct selling. There are still widespread misperceptions and misunderstandings about the industry. We need to communicate that we are building successful entrepreneurs through a successful and professional distribution channel. Our task is to focus on what we are and not focus on what we are not; to talk about the positives of the industry and celebrate our successes around economic empowerment and job creation.
These conversations must go beyond the media and general public. We also need further engagement with government departments and education. This will assist in creating an environment that will support industry growth and opportunity.
The Code of Ethics and the communication around industry ethics is also a priority. I spoke about this at the February DSA meeting and you will be hearing more about this in our next newsletter.
Building DSA membership during 2018 is a challenge that has been accepted by our Membership Director, Yusuf Bhyat. Increasing membership will build an even stronger Association. Read more about this below.
A new focus this year will be looking for partnership opportunities with various institutions to support entrepreneurship and education. We enjoy an excellent industry partnership with the University of Johannesburg and so one of our objectives this year will be to extend our reach across other departments at UJ, whilst also using their influence in other areas.
History was made in December when the DSA Nigeria was officially launched and held its first meeting, having been assisted and mentored by the DSA South Africa. The DSA SA will provide continued mentorship to the DSA Nigeria, which will also benefit the DSA SA in its quest to achieve Platinum Status, the highest status ranking achievable as a WFDSA member DSA.
As Chairperson of the DSA SA, I look forward to working with you and having conversations with you, so that together we continue to build this vibrant industry.
Cornélle van Graan
DSA SA Chairperson