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Ecco Chamber

Fortnightly Italian news made in South Africa

 I edition May 2024


Food & Twine

Image by Lauren Mancke
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10 May


16 May


21 May


27 May



Chamber's Note


Food and Twine

To contribute to our vibrant tapestry of cultural exchange and economic collaboration, ItalCham seeks to intertwine delight and opportunity. As we delve into the neighbouring realms of culinary delights and professional networking, our chamber stands at the nexus, facilitating connections and fostering growth.

Through our Chamber and the broader community, Italy and South Africa, two nations renowned for their diverse culinary heritage, converge in a symphony of flavours and aromas. From the sun-kissed vineyards of Tuscany to the sprawling savannahs of South Africa, each dish tells a story of tradition, innovation and passion. Through our events and initiatives, we celebrate this rich culinary tapestry, inviting members to savour the fusion of Italian and South African cuisine.

At the heart of our chamber lies a commitment to forging meaningful connections and driving economic prosperity. Through our networking events, seminars, and business forums, we provide a platform for industry leaders, traders, entrepreneurs, and professionals to converge, collaborate, and create opportunities. Whether over a delectable glass of Cape wine or during discussions over a delicious risotto, we believe that these ingredients are key for finding inspiration, creating partnerships, and establishing pathways to success.

As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of global trade and commerce, the Italian-South African Chamber of Trade and Industries remains dedicated to empowering our members and enriching their experiences. This newsletter includes several examples of the dedication and opportunity inherent in the world of food:

•    Nedbank Members Lunch at Riva: We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all who joined us on the 25th of April for a delightful lunch at Riva. It was an occasion filled with camaraderie, networking, and of course exquisite cuisine.
•    Business Excellence Awards: Save the date for our prestigious Business Excellence Awards ceremony on the 16th of May. Join us as we honour outstanding achievements and celebrate excellence in the Italian-South African business community.
•    Inbuyer Food Online Event: Mark your calendars for the 21st to the 23rd of May for the Inbuyer Food Online Event. Explore new opportunities, discover innovative products, and connect with industry leaders from the comfort of your home or office. 
•    Annual General Meeting (AGM): Stay tuned for details regarding our upcoming AGM, where members will have the opportunity to contribute to the direction and growth of our chamber.


As we embark on this journey of culinary discovery and professional synergy, let us seize every opportunity to savour the flavours of success and forge lasting connections. 

Buon Appetito e Buon Networking! 

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Summary of the book:

The first Italian POWs arrived in the Union of South Africa in early 1941, most of them being held in Zonderwater Camp outside Cullinan or in work camps across the country. The government of Jan Smuts saw them as a source of cheap labour that would contribute to harvesting schemes, road-building projects such as the old Du Toit’s Kloof Pass between Paarl and Worcester and even to prickly-pear eradication schemes.

Prisoners of Jan Smuts recounts the stories of survival and shenanigans of the Italian POWs in the Union through the eyes of five prisoners who had documented their experiences in memoirs and letters. While many POWs seemed to appreciate the opportunities to gain new skills, others clung to the Fascist ideas they had grown up with and refused to work.

Many opted to remain in South Africa once the war had ended, forging quite a legacy. These included sculptor Edoardo Villa, who left an important mark in the local and international art world, and businessman Aurelio Gatti, who built an ice-cream empire whose gelato was to delight generations of South Africans.


The Italian-South African Chamber of Trade and Industries has been organising the Business Excellence Awards annually since 1999 as a Charity Gala Dinner. In its 25th year, the BEAs 2024 will again provide recognition of the ongoing efforts and extraordinary achievements of the Italian Business Community. The ItalCham BEA 2024 will take place 


Date : 16 May

Venue: Sandton Hotel (JHB)

Time: 18:00 till midnight

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This year the following categories will be awarded:


Business Person of the Year

Enterprise of the Year

SMILE Enterprise of the Year

Lifetime Achievement Award

Click here for table bookings and individual bookings: 

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Online B2B Event: meet Italian companies in the food industry

We are thrilled to invite all food importers to participate in an exclusive B2B online event facilitating collaboration between South African and Italian companies in the food industry. Hosted by PROMOS Italia, the event will take place between May 21st and May 23rd, providing a platform for South African companies interested in importing Italian food products.

You will have the chance to schedule one-to-one meetings with Italian suppliers that best meet your specific needs. From regional delicacies to gourmet specialties, you will have the opportunity to discover a wide range of high-quality Italian products.

You will participate in product presentation sessions to delve into the details and strengths of the products offered by our Italian suppliers. You will have the opportunity to ask questions directly to the producers and deepen your knowledge of their products.

You will take advantage of virtual networking sessions to establish new connections in the food sector and explore collaboration opportunities with other industry professionals.

How to participate? Complete the application form titled Buyer PreRegistration by using the below button and send for review by organizers. The application form must be returned to by 

Monday, May 6th. 
Participation is free of charge.


Don't miss the opportunity to discover authentic Italian excellence and expand your range of products with high-quality Italian delicacies. Join us at Food InBuyer and initiate new successful partnerships in the food sector!

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This year the Annual General Meeting of the Italian South African Chamber of Trade and Industries will be held at the Italian Club Johannesburg on Monday 27th of May 2024 at 16H30 for 17H00.


Please confirm your presence at the AGM by Friday the 17th of May 2024 using the button below

*Only members can attend


The Notice document, which contains the Ordinary Resolutions, Special Resolutions, and Proxy Form, is available below.

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Rediscover your Italian Roots with the Italea project



Traveling is not only about exploring new places, but also reconnecting with one's roots and traditions. This is the heart of the Italea project, an initiative launched by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, with financial support from NextGenerationEU, for the period 2022-2025.

Italea provides an opportunity for Italians living abroad and Italian-descendants to rediscover their origins. The program provides a wide range of tourism services, customized itineraries, roots workshops and exclusive facilities to explore the culture, history and traditions of their ancestors.

2024 has been proclaimed the Year of Italian Roots in the World, a perfect time to embark on this journey. More than 800 Italian municipalities are participating with local events and initiatives to welcome visitors from all around the world.

With the Italea Card, travelers can access discounts and benefits with a wide range of participating businesses, including accommodation, restaurants, craft stores and more. This program not only strengthens ties with Italian communities abroad, but also promotes sustainable and responsible tourism, contributing to the enhancement of small towns and rural areas.

For more information and to begin this incredible journey, visit the Italea project's dedicated website at or contact You can also use the site to find out more about your family origins. 


Don’t miss the opportunity to find out all about where you come from. 

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Nedbank Lunch at Riva

Last week, Italcham hosted this year’s first Member’s lunch at Riva Cape Town. Thank you to Nedbank for this excellent initiative and cheers to all those who attended. We salute the new close connections that the lunches are designed to forge. 

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Job Board

There are three new job vacancy on the SMILE Job Portal:​

Program Analyst and Coordinator (Advantage Group)


Summer Job-Gelateria in Southern Sardinia (Italy)

National Marketing Manager (Ital Deli)


You will find where to apply on the above link.

View this and other job vacancies on the SMILE website via this link - CLICK HERE

If you are currently hiring, please take a look at SMILE vetted candidates HERE




Alla prossima!

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