Co-hosted by Top Companies Publishing and Events, ABSA and Metropolitan, this decadent event in which guests rubbed shoulders with South Africa's business high society, consisted of a conference 'Doing Business in South Africa: The Gateway to Africa'; a prestigious awards gala; a fast-track networking event; a cocktail party and an exotic masked ball.
Richard Fletcher, Chairman of Top Companies Publishing and Events said, "The Awards Weekend was the quintessential networking event, celebrating the success of South Africa's top achievers who have made strides in the international business sphere by installing significant confidence in Africa and its new business model."
The conference highlighted pertinent issues South African businessmen and women are faced with on a daily basis and provided a forum for successful business strategies to be exchanged and adopted. Keynote speakers at the conference included renowned business personalities Bheki Sibiya (Business Unity SA); Dr Matthews Phosa (Vuka Forestry Holding (Pty) Ltd); Mogwailane Mohlala (City Power); Riah Phiyega (Absa); Mohsien Hassim (Ernst & Young South Africa); Dr Iqbal Surve (Sekunjalo Investments); Dr Sebiletso Mokone-Matabane (Sentech); Dr Carl Niehaus (GEDA) and Victor Mathale (Nepad).
Top Companies acknowledges that there remains no substitute for face-to-face interaction with a potential trading partner. The fast-track networking event provided the ideal opportunity for business partnerships and strategies to be negotiated and created. It was however the lavish awards ceremony that caused the greatest stir as award winners were only announced at the event. Keynote speakers at the awards were Mrs Portia Molefe (Department of Public Enterprises) and George Sebulela (Absa).
The awards celebrated not only South Africa's top companies but also individuals who have contributed to the growth and success of the country's business development and achieved excellence in broad-based empowerment, development and social investment. Says Impumelelo: SA's Top Empowerment Companies Editor Sam Dominy, "These awards are a tribute to those men and women throughout South Africa who have demonstrated an unparalleled commitment to empowerment; social upliftment and human development. And that commitment is one that they carry through to all aspects of their lives: They live and breathe an inner spirit of transformation, and carry that through to the benefit of all South Africans."
Winner of the Businessman of the Year award, Dr Iqbal Surve said, "The Award is a validation of the business model and value systems that I stand for. Most importantly, such awards gives one the energy to take the business process forward. The award is essentially an acknowledgment that what one is doing is on the right path, in terms of the business processes required for the country."
Dr Igbal Surve went on to say that the awards give various NGOs and business initiatives, to which he gives an enormous amount of time, validation. He added, "It is my belief that the most important award one can get is when one gives of themselves and one sees the hope and upliftment of someone else."
Monhla Hlahla, winner of the Businesswoman of the Year award, reiterated Dr Iqbal Surve's notion that "at the end of the day it is important to find business leaders who will give of themselves, their time and resources". She added, "This award is a sign of confidence in me and in Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) to continue provision on world-class airport infrastructure for the benefit of the South African economy. I therefore appreciate it deeply, and hope that it will give me the confidence to continue contributing to the improvement of our people's lives."
Says Israel Skosana, Absa Executive, "Impumelelo's stature is due to the fact that it is a driving force in empowerment. Impumelelo is and does many things. It rewards companies and individuals. It showcases. It creates opportunities to network and do business. It addresses issues, legislation and industry charters. Impumelelo helps companies formulate empowerment goals. Our partnering with Impumelelo will extend our empowerment work in all of these directions."
The event supports the authoritative, widely respected and empowerment driver: Impumelelo: South Africa's Top 300 Empowerment Companies publication. The publication showcases empowered organisations who are going beyond duty and compliance, while assisting businesses to navigate the annual empowerment landscape through contextual analysis of empowerment issues. Both are further supported and partnered by BEEOnline, an authoritative empowerment news portal and weekly ezine.
Notes Fletcher, "Our work has been extremely rewarding as we have seen the enormous growth in the number of empowerment deals being made and the shifts they have led to in the South African business place."Details of the Absa Impumelelo Awards2005 Businessman of the year
Dr Iqbal Surve
CEO: Sekunjalo Investments Ltd
Chairman of The Western Cape Sports Academy; on the board of Siemens; the Mantu Shabablala Bursary Trust; the Music Academy; the Clinton Global Advisory Board as well as the Prince of Wales Environmental Initiatives Board
Became an important business figure in the Western Cape after setting up the hugely successful Black Empowered Company Sekunjalo2005 Businesswoman of the year
Monhla Hlahla, managing director of Airports Company South Africa, heads a successful, commercialised and semi-privatised state company that paid its shareholders a dividend of R360-million in 2004 (2003: R330-million)Personality Award Winners
Dr Iqbal Surve
Lazarus ZimCompany Sector Awards
Resources: Eyesizwe Coal
Health Food Processors & Producers: I&J
Health: Sizwe Medical Services
Pharmaceuticals: Enaleni Pharmaceuticals
Leisure, Entertainment & Hotels: Tsogo Sun Holdings
Support Services: G4S Security Services
Transport: Airports Company
Information Technology: Sentech