The awards ceremony celebrated and honoured South Africa's purpose-led transformers, recognising their commitment and accountability to securing a transformed and empowered future for the nation.
The event was hosted by the talented actor and comedian, Alan Committie, who set the stage for an inspiring evening of celebration and recognition. Distinguished guests, transformation captains, and industry leaders came together to acknowledge the major advancements made by businesses and individuals in boosting black-owned enterprises 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, stated. “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 toward 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
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
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 & Sustainability, African Bank
Runner-up: Rennies BCD Travel
8. Top Empowered Company: Socio Economic Development of the Year Award
Recipient: Brenda Nkosi-Bakare, Head Governance, Compliance, Planning & Management, Sasol
Runner-up: Oceana Group Limited
9. Top Empowered Company: Job Creation Award of the Year Award
Winner: Schneider Electric
Recipient: Kim Naidoo, HR Lead, Schneider Electric
10. Top Empowered Company: Youth Development of the Year Award
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
Recipient: Sydwell Shikweni, Vice President Transformation, Merchants
The event also witnessed special recognition given to Legends of Empowerment: Nedbank, Inseta, Amis, SAB, Bathu Shoes, and PWC.
The highest accolade of the prestigious event, the Lifetime Achiever Award goes to someone who has built a legacy in the driving transformation in Africa. This award was presented to none other than Velaphi Ratshefola, the managing director of Coca Cola Beverages South Africa.
Velaphi Ratshefola was appointed Managing Director of Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa in 2016 and led the integration of six different entities to build CCBSA. Velaphi's exceptional leadership has earned CCBSA multiple global and supplier awards. But it doesn't end there, his commitment to empowering women shines through the Women@CCBSA program, nurturing female talent and fostering representation in leadership. Velaphi's mission transcends mere profits; he's dedicated to leaving a lasting positive impact on society through economic, social, and environmental contributions.
Transforming South Africa: Celebrating the Visionaries
The evening was graced by esteemed judges, including Noah Debeila, President & CEO of SMME Chamber of Commerce, and Tshepo Ncube, Head International Coverage at Absa, who played pivotal roles in selecting the winners.
“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."