The evening carried a sense of celebration yet, also, food for thought. Keynote speaker Dr Mathews Phosa's heartfelt speech on former President Nelson Mandela's vision of nation-building will be long remembered by all present.
“If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named 'Goodness and Forgiveness' I want to say to you the young people here, the next generation, our future: be proud of who you are; take a leaf from Madiba's book and be fulfilled with who you are,” Phosa said.
Then it was on to the eagerly awaited award handovers; with well-known entertainer Soli Philander leading proceedings as charismatic Master of Ceremonies. Volkswagen SA took home the Socio-Economic Development award, while entrepreneurial Brodwen Koen, from Koen & Associates Architecture, won the Top Empowered: Young Achiever (under 40 years) Award. The honorary Lifetime Achiever of the Year was announced as Cyril Ramaphosa, while the Public Service Award (sponsored by Arms Audit) went to the South African Civil Aviation Authority. It was Travel with Flair, though, which took the evening's most high-profile accolade: Business of the Year, a Nedbank- sponsored award.
The 2017 Top Empowerment Awards once again underscored the importance of sustainable economic transformation in bringing substance, and measurable progress, to the cherished vision of Mandela.
Full list of the 2017 Oliver Top Empowerment Award Winners:
|Fast Growth Black-Owned SMME Award||Calvin and Family Group|
|Top Empowered Diversity Award||Isilumko Staffing|
|Top Empowered Skills Development Award||Digital Generation|
|Top Empowered Enterprise & Supplier Development Award||Multichoice South Africa Holdings|
|Top Empowered Socioeconomic Development Award||Volkswagen South Africa|
|Top Empowered Public Service Award - Sponsored by Arms Audit||South African Civil Aviation Authority|
|Top Empowered Job Creation Award||Isilumko Staffing|
|Top Empowered Entrepreneur of 2017 Award||Connie Mdladla - Khaas Logistics|
|Top Empowered Public Service Leader of the Year Award - Sponsored by Public Sector Manager||Mothobi Edward Mothobi - North West Parks Board |
|Top Empowered Young Achiever under 40 years Award||Brodwen Koen - Koen & Associates Architecture|
|Top Empowered: Business Leader of the Year Award||Khalid Abdulla - African Equity Empowerment Investments|
|Top Empowered Business of the Year Award - Sponsored by Nedbank||Travel with Flair|
|Lifetime Achievement Award||Deputy President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa|
|Honorary Award: Legends of Empowerment||Bidvest Group, Aspen, South African Breweries, Vodacom, Nedbank, Old Mutual, Life Assurance, Liberty Holdings, Alexander Forbes Group Holdings, MMI Holdings, Basil Read, Group Five|