Governance

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER'S STATEMENT

 

 

KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board Maritime Centre of Excellence Acting CEO, Mr. Harry Mbambo.  

 

It goes without saying that 2020 has been an extraordinary year.

I categorically, in my capacity as the Accounting Officer feel a great sense of pride in what Sharks Board has achieved this year, particularly in the second half of facial year 2020/21 where we adopted a new leaving normal. Like every other global company, Sharks Board has faced substantial challenges as business operations and supply chains were disrupted and normal work routines and social structures were interrupted. Every one of our people has felt some strain and stress. But we have demonstrated, conclusively, that Sharks Board remains strong, keep being the only organization of its kind in the world, stable and capable of delivering for our stakeholders, our employees, our shareholders, our clients, and our communities in a facial year filled with unexpected challenges owing to Covid 19 pandemic.

Sharks Board celebrates its 57th progressive years of great service to the public, a proudly local organization of its kind in the world, the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board Maritime Centre of Excellence (KZNSB) has always been keeping to its roots as it had been mandated as a global leader in bather protection against shark attacks while minimising environmental impact and promoting marine tourism. This has been carried out through the maintenance of shark safety gear at 37 localities from Richards Bay in the north to Port Edward in the extreme South Coast.

Deprived of safe bathing at protected beaches, the tourism industry would not grow. Through the development of new shark-repellent technologies (SRT), the Board’s research and monitoring programme contributes to innovation and economic development. This led to the enhancement of the Board’s vision as “Environmentally sensitive bather protection against sharks.

The KwaZulu-Natal coastline is renowned for its warm waters and its favourable weather. Approximately 85% of the visitors from all over the world, it is believed that, at least 60% would head towards KZN’s coastal beaches due to their warm waters and the protection of the beach against shark attacks. In return, these visitors stay in hotels, and shop at the local shopping malls resulting in a considerable shopping spend that contributes hugely into the GDP of KZN as a province. The protected beaches have therefore, become a vehicle for exploring strategic economic opportunities within KZN province.

We accomplish this purpose through a combination of collaboration, agility and care. Everything about that statement feels right to me, and I hope those of you who know Sharks Board will fully concur.

Steeming back at the full fiscal year, we began just as we planned, by collaborating to deliver value, quality and safety to all bathers visiting our KZN coastlines.  

Then, the world changed. The COVID-19 global pandemic arrived, with the resulting economic recession not far behind. We knew like every other organization the pandemic reality would bring an entirely new set of challenges, requiring an extremely agile response.

We wasted no time adjusting our mission, with our newly articulated purpose in mind. We committed to three very specific and clear objectives, and have stuck with them:

  1. To protect our people;
  2. To be there for our clients; and
  3. To keep Sharks Board strong.

Most important, through all the challenges of fiscal year 2020/21, our culture as created and sustained by each of our colleagues was revealed to be our greatest strength. In the moment when we needed it most, we came together as one firm, a community aligned to our shared values and committed to our shared future. We demonstrated the truth in our new purpose statement, by truly making business more personal for our clients and people, and by building trust into every result.

That is how we responded with creativity and resolve to the greatest test of our careers, and that’s how we’ll continue to serve through collaboration, agility and care all to go beyond expectations for those we serve.

Sincerely,

Harry Mbambo

Acting Chief Executive Officer