For once, something exciting on empowerment

First Rand's Sizwe Nxasana

It seems the country’s record on transformation has not been entirely dismal. In the midst of the apathy, some organisations have been going all-out to do their bit.

Recently the 13th annual Oliver Empowerment Awards honoured the organisations and individuals that have broken new ground in the sphere of business transformation and empowerment. The awards were held at Emperor’s palace in Johannesburg.

Ralf Fletcher, CEO of Topco Media, which organised the events, said that the winners represented a pool of local and multinational entrants who demonstrated the highest calibre of SA businesses.

“The quality of applications this year was remarkable. We had some big multinationals up against some of our South African JSE companies, so those being nominated were really our head and shoulders in business.”The awards were judged by a panel of independent industry insiders including Microsoft South Africa’s CEO Mteto Nyati, Government Communications Information Services’ Chief Director Donald Liphoko, South African Bureau of Standards’ (SABS) CEO Bonakele Mehlomakulu, and Siphiwe Ngwenya, Chief Executive Officer, Gauteng Growth Development Agency. Winners were selected based on their contribution to a culture of entrepreneurship, best practices and sustainable models of business transformation.

The toast of the individual category was Future Black Leader Award Winner, Simphiwe Xulu, the Mhlathuze Water operations manager. Top Black Leader of the Year winner Sizwe Nxasana, CEO of FirstRand Group was also honoured, with Top Black Female Leader of the Year awarded to Boniswa Corporate Solutions CEO, Lynette Magasa.

Despite the challenges it is facing with regards to ensuring a reliable power supply, Eskom Holdings emerged as a multiple award winner in the organisational category. It notched the Socio-Economic Development Award as well as the Enterprise & Supplier Development Award, which is in recognition of its investment in the economic sustainability of emerging business partners.

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