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The Star : 27 July 2023

Johannesburg - On the evening of July 20, 2023, at the Indaba Hotel in Johannesburg, Topco Media and Impumelelo Top Empowerment Companies presented the 22nd annual Top Empowerment Awards Ceremony.

The awards ceremony highlighted and celebrated South Africa's purpose-led transformers, highlighting their responsibility and dedication to ensuring a transformed and empowered future for the country.

Alan Committie, a gifted actor and comedian, emceed the event and set the tone for an evening of acknowledgement and inspiration. Distinguished guests, transformation captains, and business leaders gathered to celebrate the significant strides organisations and individuals have made in promoting black-owned businesses and empowering people from all walks of life.

‘’I am immensely proud to extend my heartfelt congratulations to all the winners and runners-up of the Top Empowerment Awards 2023,’’ Ralf Fletcher, CEO of Top Media, said. ‘’Their remarkable achievements and unwavering commitment to transformation have made an indelible impact on South Africa's economy and society. As we celebrate the 22nd annual Top Empowerment Awards, it is evident that each of them is a catalyst for positive change, driving us towards a more inclusive and prosperous future.’’

‘’This prestigious event brought together industry leaders, trailblazers, and visionaries who exemplify the true spirit of empowerment. Their dedication and hard work inspire us all, and I am truly honoured to witness the exceptional strides they have taken in advancing our nation.’’

The top winners of the evening include: 1. Top Empowered Company: Fast Growth Black-Owned SMME of the Year Award

Winner: NTGR Engineering

Representative: Abednico Mkhari, Director, NTGR Engineering

Runner-up: Y-BRAND

2. Top Empowered Company: Sustainable Business of the Year Award

Winner: Sun International

Representative: Anthony Leeming, Chief Executive, Sun International

Runner-up: Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa

3. Top Empowered Company: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace of the Year Award Winner: Exxaro

Recipient: Dr. Nombasa Tsengwa, CEO, Exxaro

4. Top Empowered Company: Digital Transformation of the Year Award Winner: Liquid Intelligent Technologies

Recipient: Trishen Moodley, Head of Information Technology, Liquid Intelligent Technologies

5. Top Empowered Company: Public Sector of the Year Award Winner: CEF Group

Recipient: Dr. Tshepo Mokoka, Chairperson, CEF Group

6. Top Empowered Company: Education and Skills Development of the Year Award Winner: BP South Africa

Recipient: Taelo Mojapelo, CEO, BP Southern Africa

7. Top Empowered Company: Enterprise and Supplier Development of the Year Award Winner: African Bank

Recipient: Edna Montse, Group Executive Transformation and Sustainability, African Bank Runner-up: Rennies BCD Travel

8. Top Empowered Company: Socio-Economic Development of the Year Award

Winner: Sasol Recipient: Brenda Nkosi-Bakare, Head Governance, Compliance, Planning, and Management, Sasol Runner-up: Oceana Group Limited

9. Top Empowered Company: Job Creation Award of the Year Winner: Schneider Electric Recipient: Kim Naidoo, HR Lead, Schneider Electric

Runner-up: Exponant

10. Top Empowered Company: Youth Development of the Year Award Winner: Nestlé

Recipient: Nicole Roos, Managing Director, Nestlé

11. Top Empowered Company: Public Sector Leader of the Year Award Winner: CEF Group, Zinhle Thupana

Recipient: Zinhle Thupana, Group Executive Corporate Service, CEF Group

12. Top Empowered Entrepreneur of the Year Award Winner: TakeNote IT, Mamela Luthuli

Recipient: Mamela Luthuli, Director and CEO, TakeNote IT Runner-up: Mandate Molefi, Nene Molefi

13. Top Empowered Young Achiever of the Year Award

Winner: Dimension Data, Natalie Musonda Recipient: Natalie Musonda, Head of Diversity and Sustainability, Dimension Data Runner-up: AfroCentric Health, Dr. Abongile Qamata

14. Top Empowered Business Leader of the Year Award Winner: Methano Group, Sereme Joel Maphaka Recipient: Sereme Maphaka, CEO, Methano Group

15. Top Empowered Business of the Year Award Winner: Merchants Recipient: Sydwell Shikweni, Vice President of Transformation, Merchants

Nedbank, Inseta, Amis, SAB, Bathu Shoes, and PWC were among the Legends of Empowerment who received special attention at the event.

The Lifetime Achiever Award, the greatest honour of the illustrious occasion, is given to a person who has made a lasting contribution to Africa's transformation. Velaphi Ratshefola, the managing director of Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa, received this honour. After being named managing director of Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa in 2016, Velaphi Ratshefola oversaw the consolidation of six distinct organisations to create CCBSA. Velaphi's outstanding management has brought CCBSA numerous supplier and global honours.

But his dedication to elevating women doesn't stop there; it also shows in the Women@CCBSA programme, which develops female talent and promotes representation in leadership. Beyond only making money, Velaphi's goal is to have a lasting constructive influence on society by providing economic, social, and environmental benefits.

Transforming South Africa: Celebrating the Visionaries

Distinguished judges who were instrumental in choosing the winners were present for the event, including Tshepo Ncube, Head of International Coverage at Absa, and Noah Debeila, President and CEO of the SMME Chamber of Commerce.

‘’Together, we will continue to push boundaries, break barriers, and shape a future where equality and opportunity flourish. I have every confidence that the impact of the awards will resonate far beyond the evening, inspiring countless others to join the movement towards a more connected, inclusive, and prosperous South Africa,’’ Fletcher said.

‘’Congratulations, once again, to all the winners and runners-up. Your passion and dedication to transformation have set an example for us all. Thank you for being the driving force behind change, and I eagerly look forward to witnessing your continued success and impact on our beloved nation.’’

The Star

‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


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