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Africa’s most transformative businesses of 2022 named at the top empowerment summit

Topco Media, in partnership with Nedbank, hosted the Top Empowerment Summit, which took place virtually from 20-21 July 202. The summit, aims to find solutions that will re-shape the socio-economic status quo through actionable ways to empower South Africa’s workforce and in so doing, improve the economy.

This year’s theme “Africa Driving a Transformed Economy” paid homage to those who are committed to empowering Black-owned businesses and concluded with an awards ceremony announcing 12 South African businesses that have proven to be transformative.

“The success of the economy rests on South Africa’s ability to re-shape and rebuild the economy. It’s important for government, public and private sectors to come together so that we can change the structural outlook of our country,” says Ralph Fletcher, CEO of Topco Media.

The awards consisted of 12 categories ranging from Socio-Economic Development: Enterprise & Supplier Development, Fast Growth Black Owned SMME to Top Entrepreneur of the Year and Top Empowered Business of the Year.

The 2022 Top Empowerment winners are:

  1. Top Empowerment Company: Socio-Economic Development: Ithuba
  2. Top Empowerment Company: Enterprise & Supplier Development: Nedbank
  3. Top Empowerment Company: Education & Skills Development: Sanlam
  4. Top Empowerment Company: Customer Focus: Masslift Africa
  5. Top Empowerment Company: Fast Growth Black Owned SMME: Modern Centric
  6. Top Empowerment Young Achiever under 40: Zakhele Mgobhozi, CEO of Modern Centric
  7. Top Empowerment Business Leader: Tshegetsang Sebeela, CEO of TEG
  8. Top Empowerment Empowered Entrepreneur: Talifhani Mamafha, CEO of Analytics Advertising
  9. Top Empowerment Empowered Company: Nedbank
  10. Top Empowered Company: Job Creation: Sigma Connected
  11. Top Empowerment Company Business of the Year: Sanlam
  12. Top Empowerment Public Sector Leader: Dr. Felleng Yende, CEO of P&M SETA

These companies proved they are making tremendous efforts in transforming South Africa’s evolving workforce and are encouraging all those that live South Africa to take the necessary steps to help transform the economy, not just for now, but for future generations to come.


Clem Sumter, futurologist and scenario planner, comments,  “The economy is in an extremely dilapidated state at the moment, and leaders of the biggest economies in the world need to come together to ask, what are we going to do to  further develop greater equality”.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Attendees consisted of corporates, academia, government and members of the private and public sector. In a bid to push the transformation agenda, panel discussions over the two-day summit looked for inspiration and reflected on the transformation journey thus far, providing expert solutions to the recurring issues in the context of transformation and empowerment.

Highlights from the Summit include discussions around the new BBBEE codes and the implications these changes will have on local businesses; the key role entrepreneurs play in Africa’s economic growth; the township economy; exploring ESD programmes applicable to South Africa; and the impacts of the digital revolution on skills development and transformation.

Some key takeouts on actionable insights from top empowered organisations included:

  • The need to continuously adapt and enhance skills to remain in economic competitiveness
  • A collaborative approach between government, private sector, public sector and SMMEs is needed
  • Ensuring that connectivity is no longer a challenge, but a basic service to all                                                 
  • Only by creating an enabling environment can we really hope to create an economy that benefits all
  • If there’s no transformative ownership, nothing is going to change, and the structure of our economy will remain the same and continue to increase inequality.

Watch the full awards ceremony here:

View highlights from Day 1 and 2 of the 2022 Top Empowerment Summit & Awards on Click here to view all the finalists

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