Kumba Iron Ore was the big winner at the 2012 African Access National Business Awards on Tuesday night.
The mining company scooped the Employer of the Year award, the Investing in People award and CEO Chris Griffith (47) was named Top Performing Businessman of the Year.
The Anglo American plc subsidiary was widely praised for its Envision broad based employee share scheme which saw its non-managerial staff walk away with payouts in excess of R570 000 each late last year.
Top Performing Businesswoman of the Year went to Dawn Rowlands of Aegis Media. Accepting the award, Rowlands thanked her team for always following her lead, being passionate and enthusiastic.
Aegis also bagged the Innovation through Technology award for its Digibate – an online live stream debate platform. Having grown revenue from R400 million to R2.2 billion in four years, Carat, also part of Aegis Media, won the Fast Growth SMME award.
Marc Sternberg, of Spark ATM Systems, won Top Performing Entrepreneur. Founded in 2005, Sternberg’s business employs 80 people and operates a distribution of 1 700 ATMs.
Minister in the Presidency: Planning Commission, Trevor Manuel was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement award as voted for by listeners of SAFM and the station’s social media platform’s users. Manuel was in Mitchells Plain preparing to celebrate former President Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday with the constituency and was not present to receive the award.
Co-founder of women’s investment company Peotona Group Holdings, Thandy Orleyn delivered the keynote address. Orleyn spoke about the importance of smoothing the path for upcoming entrepreneurs.
“We must reflect that as much as there are hundreds of us in here, there are millions out there,” she said. The issue of access to resources – not just funds but knowledge – had to be addressed, she said.
Orleyn reiterated that with unemployment at 25%, entrepreneurs would be the ones to create the required number of jobs.
This year marked the 10th anniversary of the 'Oscars' of business, as the awards have come to be known.
Chairman of Africa Access Holdings Seth Phalatse said of the 100 companies that participated, 50 were in attendance. Phalatse said Africa Access wanted to celebrate the country's success, hence their involvement with the awards. SABC2’s Morning Live duo Vuyo Mbuli and Leanne Manas directed the programme.
The panel that judged the entries included Investment Solutions’ Chris Hart, Standard Bank’s Shirley Zinn, PwC’s Raj Dhanlall, Effectiveness Company’s Suzanne Ravenall, FoneWorx Holdings' Mark Allan Smith, Norton Rose’s Sbu Gule and Godfrey Vatsha of NBC Holdings.
Other winners included:
• Calgo M3 Holdings – Alt-X award.
• Imperial Logistics – Logistics award. The Independent Electoral Commission was highly commended.
• Microsoft SA – Customer Focus award for the second year running.
• Kraft Foods SA – Marketing Excellence award
• Demographica – Small/Medium Internet Business of the Year
• Multichoice SA – Business Education & Training award
• Renault SA – Recognition of Social Responsibilities
• Bambanani Club and Siyazama Club – joint winners of Stokvel award
• Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC) – Top performing parastatal