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Ecco Chamber

Fortnightly Italian news made in South Africa

 III edition May 2024

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Italian Excellence: Outside its Borders

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29 June


08 Oct



Italian excellence: outside its borders

The Business Excellence Awards of 2024, an esteemed annual event organised by the Italian-South African Chamber of Trade and Industries, unfolded on Thursday 16th May at the grand @Sandton Hotel in Johannesburg. Distinguished guests including prominent figures in the Italian business community convened at the Gala Dinner, rose in a standing ovation to applaud the achievements of Mirella K. Corsetti in Kaliazin who was this year’s recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.


This award is bestowed upon individuals whose contributions have left an indelible mark on the community. Presented by Cavaliere Maurizio Mariano, a revered figure within the Italian-South African diaspora who won the award last year, the award brought the evening to a head after several other prizes had already been presented.

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In presenting Mirella’s lifetime of perseverance in the face of adversity, Mariano presented the adage wathint' abafazi, wathint' imbokodo, meaning ‘when you strike a woman, you strike a rock.’ This phrase encapsulates the life of Mirella K. Corsetti in Kaliazin whose successes have only been matched by the trials which threatened to curtail these successes. Nevertheless Mirella’s journey from being a nurse at the age of 18, to being the first female Italian ship captain, to owning company conducting logistics to Antarctica, emerges as a lifetime of perseverance with a result that is nothing less than extraordinary. In her acceptance speech Mirella delivered the message to women and anyone else: ‘if I can do it, so can you.’


Meanwhile, the first award presented at the 25th edition of this prestigious ceremony was that of the SMILE SME of the Year Award, honouring top-performing small to medium enterprises within the SMILE network for their innovation, resilience, and contributions to economic growth and employment. In the second year of presenting this award, the prize went to Slingshot Consulting, a firm showcasing remarkable growth and strategic foresight. Slinghsot’s outstanding revenue growth in just three years, 190% in FY 21/22, 350% in FY 22/23, and 80% in FY 23/24, showcased an amazing achievement for a medium sized business. And as a result, in 2023, their team grew from 20 to 34 employees. 

Slingshot Consulting has established a global presence, serving clients in South Africa, North America, Botswana, Namibia, and Australia, and opened an office in Australia to access the APAC market. They specialize in multi-phase project management and project controls services for heavy infrastructure, mining, and technology sectors, including project planning, forensic claims support, contracts management, and implementing project management business


Next, the Enterprise of the Year award went to Savino Del Bene South Africa. This prestigious accolade honours the top-performing Italian company in South Africa, showcasing their significant contributions to economic advancement, trade, job creation, and the shaping of our future economy. With an annual revenue of R1.5 billion in 2023 and a 21.3% growth rate from 2022, the company's success highlights its strategic vision and operational prowess.

In 2023, Savino Del Bene had 361 employees, adding 11 new staff.
Significant achievements include achieving B-BBEE Level 1 status, becoming one of the first AEOs in South Africa, and winning awards like Top Employer South Africa 2024 and PMR Diamond Arrow 2023 & 2024. Since 1889, Savino Del Bene has provided global freight forwarding services, expanding from Florence, Italy, to over 350 offices in 65+ countries. They specialize in international air, sea, and land transport, offering tailored logistics solutions and expert knowledge of trade lanes, customs, and regulations, ensuring professional handling and access to cargo space even in challenging conditions.

In the realm of business excellence, Matteo Brambilla, CEO of Red Rocket, emerged as a shining beacon capturing the title of Business Person of the Year. Brambilla showed visible emotion in receiving this coveted honour, which is the oldest of the awards at the Business Excellence Awards. Since 1999, individuals who have started some of South Africa's most successful companies have received this prize. From sublime entrepreneurs to forward-thinking executives, this award recognizes those whose remarkable contributions have made a significant impact on their industry and beyond. 

Under Brambilla's stewardship, Red Rocket has carved a formidable niche for itself in the renewable energy sector, pioneering ground breaking projects and initiatives that have redefined the industry
landscape. With a portfolio boasting 3GW of projects and a valuation ranging between R10 to 12 billion, Red Rocket's impact on the renewable energy sector is nothing short of revolutionary. Moreover, with total assets amounting to R10.4 billion and equity of R450 million in 2023, the company's financial stability and growth trajectory underscore its status as a trailblazer in the field.

As the evening drew to a close, attention turned towards philanthropic endeavours, with the Little Eden Society receiving widespread support from the community. Gratitude was extended to key contributor
MSC for their generous contribution of two four-night cruises which were auctioned off to raise money for Little Eden. Ultimately a sum of R135-thousand was raised for the charity which supports both adults and children living with severe disabilities.

Enormous appreciation is extended to sponsors Honor and Italtile, whose unwavering support ensured the success of the evening's proceedings. The Business Excellence Awards of 2024 served as a powerful reminder of the transformative potential of collaboration, innovation, and collective action, setting the stage for continued growth and prosperity in the Italian-South African business community and beyond.



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The Giovani Association in Cape Town is excited to announce the first collaboration of 2024 with the Italian Club of Cape Town. This event, aimed at football players and fans alike, seeks to raise as many funds for charity as possible while connecting Italians and non-Italians through the beautiful game of football. A large portion of each ticket price will be donated to charity, and further donations will be accepted on the day. Regardless of experience, everyone is encouraged to play. However, spectators are just as welcome. Join for a day of football for a good cause!


Date: 29th June 2024
Venue: Italian Club of Cape Town
Time: 11:00–15:00

Please click the link to purchase tickets: 



Origini Italia program 2024 

We are thrilled to announce the launch of the ORIGINI ITALIA PROGRAM 2024, a collaborative effort between the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) and the esteemed MIB Trieste School of Management in Trieste, Italy.


The ORIGINI ITALIA PROGRAM 2024 is an intensive Export Management and Entrepreneurial Development Course designed to equip participants, descendants of Italian emigrants residing abroad, with the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in today’s business system. Through an extensive curriculum, participants will explore key areas of export management, entrepreneurship, and business development.

Course Details:


Duration: November 4, 2024 – April 5, 2025

Location: MIB Trieste School of Management, Trieste, Italy and Italian Trade Agency, Rome, Italy language: English

Cost: Participation is free, travel and accommodation is included

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Descendant of a family emigrated from Italy

  • Age between 23 and 35 at May 31, 2024

  • Academic degree or equivalent qualification

  • Work experience, preferably in entrepreneurship, management, marketing, sales, and more

  • English proficiency (B2 level)

  • Preference is given to citizens of extra-European countries

  • Preferred basic knowledge of Italian language (not mandatory)


Interested candidates are invited to complete the Online Application Form available at by May 31, 2024. Upon initial evaluation, selected candidates will proceed to a selection interview. The final results of the Admission Process will be communicated by July 2024.


For further inquiries or to learn more about the ORIGINI ITALIA PROGRAM 2024, please visit or reach out to Prof. Stefano Pilotto, Program Director, at



We are excited to announce an extraordinary opportunity for filmmakers, screenwriters, and cinema professionals:

The Way of Creativity 2024-2025. 

Hosted in the city of Gorizia, in Friuli Venezia Giulia, the European Capital of Culture 2025, the event aims to offer a space where cinema professionals can come together, exchange ideas, and embark on creative journeys through meaningful discussions. From project incubation to co-production opportunities, this program aims to be a workspace to celebrate the diversity of cinema and storytelling. 

Participation is reserved for projects with significant artistic and innovative value from selected candidates who have already made at least one feature film or come from an excellent cinema and audiovisual school. 

For more information about the event and to read the regulations, click the button below:



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La Camera di Commercio del Sud Africa together with Italian Exhibition Group invite you as Hosted Buyer to INOUT 2024. 

InOut|The Contract Community is the event dedicated to the entire contract community, both indoor and outdoor, and takes place 
from 9 to 11 October 2024 at the Fiera di Rimini Exhibition Centre.

InOut is addressed to all the players in the out-of-home sector: 
General managers, Hotels Owners, Decision makers of International Hotel Chains, Design and Architecture Studios, and Managers of open-air Campsites.

Why join the buyer programme?

  • You will have the opportunity to:

  • Discover future hospitality industry trends, product innovations and new hospitality concepts (hotel services, technology, indoor and outdoor furniture, design and innovative surfaces).

  • Meet the leading companies in hotel hospitality design and access the most important business opportunities

  • Use the online Appointment System My Agenda during the weeks leading up to the fair to contact exhibitors and create your own meeting agenda.


What does the Hosted Buyer programme include?
•    Hotel Accommodation in a 4* Hotel with B&B treatment (3 nights) 
•    Daily Shuttle Service from hotel to the fair and viceversa

  •  Partial reimbursement on flight tickets

•    Lunch at the Buyers Restaurant 
•    Exclusive access to the Buyers Lounge (business desks, laptop and coffee area)
•    Networking Cocktail at the Fair on 10 October 2024
•    Welcome Kit to collect during your check-in at the hotel accommodation 
•    Exclusive access to MyAgenda platform to schedule business meetings with INOUT Exhibitors 

If you are interested in attending the INOUT 2024 and benefitting from the above services, please email .

Please keep in mind that the Hosted Buyer tickets are limited – if interested, please submit your application as soon as possible.

Click to read the brochure 


To register and for more information, email


The Red Bench Initiative 

The Red Bench Initiative Against Gender Violence at the Consulate General of Italy in Johannesburg

The Consulate General of Italy in Johannesburg has recently launched a significative initiative in its garden: the installation of a red bench, as a symbol in the fight against gender-based violence.


The initiative, supported by Minister Antonio Tajani, welcomed by Consul General Emanuela Curnis aims to represent solidarity, commitment, and awareness regarding the issue of gender-based violence. The red bench symbolizes the void left in society by a woman who is a victim of femicide.


Italy has long demonstrated its commitment to combating gender-based violence: it promotes gender equality and women’s empowerment, moreover it had an important role in the creation of the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network and the Global Alliance of Regional Women Mediator Network, recognizing the value of women in conflict resolution.


In this context, the gesture by the Consulate General of Italy in Johannesburg desires to prompt reflection on gender-based violence and on the importance of its prevention and eradication.

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