Almost every day at some plush convention centre in the country an organisation claiming to be an arbiter of standards in a certain sector presides over a ceremony honouring what it considers to be ‘super achievers’. With the event management business awash with charlatans out to make a quick buck from generous corporate sponsorship, the authenticity of some of the accolades is increasingly becoming questionable.
However, accolades from one of the country’s most respected personalities, who is widely credited for playing a pivotal role in the country’s smooth transition from apartheid to democracy carry more weight. The annual 2014 Shanduka Black Umbrellas National Enterprise Development Awards, the brainchild of South Africa’s Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, were presented to black entrepreneurs who have excelled in their respective sectors.
The cream of the crop was Johannesburg electrical engineering company, Nerm Applications and Testing, which was named overall winner. Involved in the testing of electrical protection schemes and metering in substations, Nerm is owned by Dorian Engle, Mduduzi Motsa and Reginald Nkosi. It has a substantial contract with Ekurhuleni Municipality and is planning to expand operations into Africa with advanced negotiations underway to do work in Kenya.
Indrani Govender of Durban-based Ricinz Construction took top honours in the Jobs Created category, while another KwaZulu-Natal company M&L Business Solutions, owned by Nokwanda Kambuwa emerged Best Performing Company (based on profit generated and net asset value).
Samson Sekgolea, owner of the Johannesburg company Time Keeper Trading, which supplies protective equipment for mining and construction companies, was named Best SBU Ambassador.
Shanduka Black Umbrellas (SBU) – the innovative non-profit business incubation programme – established the Enterprise Development (ED) Awards to reward and acknowledge those businesses in its programme which are making a difference and creating employment.
Cyril Ramaphosa in the company of Minister of Small Business Development, Lindiwe Zulu, presented the awards.