Melanie Veness has been the CEO of the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business since February 2011. Prior to that she was the Director of Pietermaritzburg Tourism for nine years. During her tenure with Pietermaritzburg Tourism, she was elected Chairperson of the Community Tourism Association KZN as well as President of Skal International Midlands.
She chaired the Chamber CEO’s Forum at the South African Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SACCI), and served on the SACCI Board. She currently serves on the KZN Economic Council under MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu. She is also the chair of the local South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) branch and she sits on the SAIIA National Council.
Melanie is a team player with plenty of passion, vision and energy. She is a creative, hands-on organiser, with a flair for marketing and a “can-do” attitude. She was nominated for a Marketing Excellence Award in 2005 for marketing implementation excellence: Art in the Park, and in 2009 was a semi-finalist in the tourism category for SA’s Most Influential Women in Government and Business Awards. She was also a semi-finalist in Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business & Government Awards (CEO Category) in 2014.
Melanie is driven by her desire to make a real difference in Pietermaritzburg. The development of business is key in alleviating poverty and addressing unemployment, and in her position as CEO she hopes to play a greater role in helping to develop this sector.
Melanie studied in Pietermaritzburg, matriculating at Carter High School and attending the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She is married to Mark who is the Production Director at Eddels and they have two children.