South Africa’s best managed companies
Seelan Gobalsamy CEO OF OMNIA HOLDINGS LIMITED, 70 YEARS OF INNOVATION 13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 1
2 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
GHOST PURE EXPRESSION Boldly re ect your character. Transform the purity of Ghost into your personal masterpiece. Contact us to discover more about commissioning yours.
[DEALER LOCATION] JOHANNESBURG Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Johannesburg Shop 1 & 2, One on Whiteley, Whiteley Road, Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, 2196 +27 (0)11 301 7000 © Copyright Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited 2023. The Rolls-Royce name and logo are registered trademarks.
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 3
UPFRONT 8 | Contributors 8 | Featured clients 9 | Editor’s letter
EDITORIAL 10 | Cover story LEADERSHIP 30 |
What kind of leader are you?
34 | Mentorship, empathy and the foundations of effective leadership 38 |
The five key pillars of a high performance sales organisation
42 | What is impact investing? 46 | Creating a sense of belonging to drive organisational transformation 50 | Four steps to building psychological safety
4 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
10 TECHNOLOGY 70 | How can AI impact business growth and investment in SA? 76 |
AI and finance: Is it a numbers game?
The ChatGPT era: How to gain an advantage
80 | Artificial Intelligence’s impact on SEO 83 |
AI and gender inclusion
PODCASTS 85 |
KC Rottok Chesaina, Author of the CEO X Factor
Jessica Spira, Virgin Active SA Managing Director
Barry Venter, Nashua CEO
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 5
TIPS & ADVICE 104 | Brand awareness: Keys to business success 108 | Managing Gen Zs in the workplace 112 | Managing a hybrid work environment 117 | Burnout: How to recognise the signs 120 | Work-life integration is the new work-life balance 126 | Five ways to improve employee mental health SECTOR OVERVIEWS
130 | Technology 132 | Energy 136 | Transport & Logistics 140 | FMCG 142 | Engineering 145 | Accounting 148 | Cement
6 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
RANKINGS & INDEX
CEO Ralf Fletcher FINANCIAL DIRECTOR Haley Fletcher
150 | How we rank the Top 500
PROJECT MANAGER Emlyn Dunn
152 | Rankings
PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Van Fletcher
158 | A-Z Listing
GROUP EDITOR Fiona Wakelin ASSISTANT EDITORS Koketso Mamabolo Sinazo Mkoko Raine St.Claire GRAPHIC DESIGNER Kerwin Pillay TRAFFIC MANAGER Daniël Bouwer
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Twaambo Chileshe Odelia Fester Charlton Mouton Justin Daniels Clayton Petersen RESEARCH MANAGER Veronique Anderson RESEARCHER Inshaaf Bardien MARKETING Thabiso M. Mohlabeng Samila Nkohla ACCOUNTS Amirah Esau IMAGES iStock Pexels Unsplash PRINTERS LAWPrint HEAD OFFICE Top Media and Communications (Pty) Ltd T/A Topco Media 2nd Floor, Elkay house 186 Loop Street, Cape Town, 8001 0860 009 590
(Scan QR code below to view website)
DISCLAIMER All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written consent of Top Media & Communications (Pty) Ltd T/A Topco Media. Reg. No. 2011/105655/07. While every care has been taken when compiling this publication, the publishers, editor and contributors accept no responsibility for any consequences arising from any errors or emissions. ISBN: 9780620500746
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 7
CONTRIBUTIRS / FEATURED CLIENTS CREDITS
CONTRIBUTORS ANDREW HONEY CEO at ThinkSales Global
FEATURED CLIENTS Air Liquide Southern Africa Bonitas
ARCHANA ARAKKAL Machine Learning Engineer at Synthesis Technologies
Fleet Africa Honeycomb BEE
CANDICE MARQUES Bizcash
CUAN HOPLEY Bizcash
Link Africa Maersk Merchants
EMMA MONTOCCHIO Head of Impact Investment Solutions at Decusatio
GORDON HOOPER MD of Bateleur Brand Planning
Mix Telematics MSCT BEE Services Nestlé
JOYCE LEBELO Managing Executive of LRMG
Oceana Group OMI Solutions
KELLY FISHER Account Director at Irvine Partners
ROWAN DE KLERK CFO Centre
Omnia Holdings Oneplan Insurance PPC
TERESA MARSICANO Executive Director of ‘and Change’
URSULA FEAR Senior Talent Program Manager, Salesforce South Africa
Productivity Pit Stop Quantum Foods Rand Water Super Group VEA Road Maintanence and Civils Zutari
8 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
EDITOR’S This letter was written during 2023 Rugby World Cup fever, on the brink of the final between the Springboks and the All Blacks – and whilst I am not a rugby follower (usually) – the gees in South Africa amongst its citizens who have been inured to a plethora of bad news is truly infectious. To be honest, even though being a rugby luddite, I am a huge fan of Siya Kolisi, who he is and everything he stands for. The feeling of optimism and relief among team South Africa at having achievements we can be proud of and leaders who don’t disappoint has been so energising, and has given me pause to think about the importance of inspirational leadership. I read with interest this article by Anthony Norton in the Daily Maverick entitled Genius of Rassie Erasmus lies in taking South African rugby where it has never been before: “The new blueprint for South African rugby encapsulates opportunity and forward thinking, while building on traditional values like grit and sheer bloody-minded determination. The fact that apart from Siya Kolisi, other recent captains have included Bongi Mbonambi speaks volumes to this … the combination of his extraordinary rugby IQ with an exceptional emotional quotient means that Erasmus’ real achievement will be taking South African rugby from a place where innovation, creativity and genuine transformation were regarded as heresy, to a place where they have a long-lasting seat at the table.”
conjunction with Morné Oosthuizen, Chief Research Officer and Deputy Director of the Development Policy Research Unit at UCT. Inside we have a cornucopia of stories and articles to interest, celebrate and inform our community of Top500 readers; these include: a look at Impact Investing; the Importance of Mentorship; and, based on findings in the Harvard Review, we ask the allimportant question: What kind of leader are you? Delving into the realm of tech, no publication would be complete without a deep dive into ChatGPT and the possibilities and challenges presented by AI. In our Tips and Advice section we look at “Managing” GenZs and how to achieve work/life balance, while our podcasts include Jessica Spira (Virgin Active), Barry Venter (Nashua MD) and the man finding the X factor, KC Rottok Chesaina. We hope you enjoy the read.
FIONA WAKELIN Group Editor
IQ, EQ, innovation, creativity, genuine transformation - this evolution of leadership is one that we celebrate in Top500 Best Managed Companies. On our f ront cover of this lucky number 13th edition, we have Seelan Gobalsamy, CEO of Omnia, who turned the ship around and led the company into profitable, sustainable waters and who has, at his core, the EQ capacity to care. The publication has 5 segments: Leadership, tech; podcasts, tips and advice; sector overviews; and, of course, the all-important index and ranking of the Top 500 Best Managed Companies in South Af rica. The index and ranking are the culmination of a year’s worth of research using criteria formulated in
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 9
AN INSPIRATIONAL STORY WITH CARE AT ITS CORE
BY FIONA WAKELIN & KOKETSO MAMABOLO
he Omnia Group comprises a diversified range of complementary chemical services businesses across mining and agriculture with a broad geographic spread. The Group extracts operational synergies and efficiencies across its businesses. It has been in business since 1953 and is listed in the Chemicals sector of the Johannesburg Securities Exchange. Getting back on course In late 2018 Seelan, a former CEO of Stanlib, joined Omnia’s board as a non-executive member after serving in various senior positions in financial services. When he arrived the chemicals company’s finances were in a dire state with their debt sitting in the billions of rands. In March of the following year Seelan, an entrepreneur at heart, had a chance to move from an oversight role to a more hands-on one as the Chief Financial Director and, a few months later, he was appointed CEO after having served in both roles during a transition period. Being in a position to have a more direct impact on the operations of the business aligns with what Seelan enjoyed as a child. “I always knew that I enjoyed tactile experiences and seeing things happen,” he says. When he joined the board it became clear that the company needed restructuring if it was to survive and preserve not only the jobs of the thousands of people Omnia employs but also the hundreds of thousands of people whose lives their work has an impact on. “So I thought, ‘let me put my shoulder to the wheel and see if I can change this,’” he recalls. “My contribution was just to help guide, to bring together the the banks, shareholders, board, staff
10 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
and other stakeholders. We’ve had a very good and successful four or five years after that.” This success is driven by a shift in focus, change in management, restructuring of debt, selling of businesses in Europe and South Africa, as well as buying businesses in Canada and Indonesia. What makes this change even more remarkable is that much of it was done under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic which collapsed many businesses. The numbers speak for themselves: In the 2022 financial year Omnia made a billion-rand profit, with no debt and more than R2-billion in cash available. One of the company’s great success stories in the products and services they offer is based on the provision of precision - Omnia is able to operate explosives with extreme accuracy both in the built environment and in the mining sector. Precision also plays a huge role in agriculture with regard to advising farmers on crops and soil content; the chemical analysis of enzymes in plants enables Omnia to assist farmers in quality control. “We can tell you how crispy an apple is going to be!” Caring for everyone Omnia’s transformation journey is marked by working towards the diversification of staff, not just in terms of demographics but also in thinking. “What I’ve done is not disrupt the company but actually bring in more and more people that think differently,” explains Seelan, pointing out how a diversity of thinking brings a ‘special’ edge to the organisation.
The Omnia Group comprises a balanced and diversified range of complementary chemical services businesses across mining and agriculture with a broad geographic spread. The Group extracts operational synergies and efficiencies across its businesses. It has been in business since 1953 and is listed in the Chemicals sector of the Johannesburg Securities Exchange
OMNIA CEO, SEELAN GOBALSAMY
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 11
Over the years, recruiting actuaries, chartered accountants and CFOs, he realised that each person brings with them a unique perspective. He says that people who have an artistic side to them, coupled with a great understanding of maths and science tend to be the “people that change the world.” Another element to Omnia’s transformation has been giving shares to every employee, regardless of their role in the organisation. The goal was to “make everybody feel included, not only from a culture perspective but also f rom a financial perspective.” And, as Seelan explains,
the company continued to give back to its employees, spending more on them as the profits grew. This reflects an approach which genuinely puts people first and one which ensures that everyone knows how important they are to the organisation’s success. “We’re now bringing in partners to do it on a greater scale,” says Seelan. His approach is to “care for them first and make sure that our people are okay.” “It’s not just f rom a work perspective, but it’s f rom an entire life perspective.”
My contribution was just to help guide, to bring together the staff, the bank, the shareholders, the board and the stakeholders. We’ve had a very good and successful for or five years after that.
It’s all about people As Seelan says, a chemicals business is one that reaches millions of people. Many industries rely on it for their work and a significant amount of production cannot take place without chemical products.
“Our explosives now look like marmite instead of honey as we’ve used dirty oil. And in that space what we’ve done is we’ve got locals; we’ve got a supply chain, in some instances, of individuals, SMMEs, folk without work gathering points for this used oil.”
“My expectation would be to see how we can be more inclusive, to have smaller businesses, communities actually involved with us. But that must be done on a basis that is underpinned by good values, underpinned by hard work, underpinned by wanting to make a positive difference.” And, of course, the Omnia spirit which underpins the company’s service ethic, brings innovation to the fore, creates value for its customers and ensures integrity in all that it does.
“Ideally, if we can do more of that, it would be good for us. My dream would be to employ thousands and thousands more people, and just have that positive impact not only in South Af rica but also in all other countries that we operate in.”
“Oil is an example of that. We use millions of litres of oil in explosives and a few years ago we started testing used oils and said, ‘why use a new oil?” He explains how new oil looks much like the vegetable oil you use in the kitchen, a golden colour. Dirty oil, which they started testing, is a dark black. They recognised that dirty oil, which is harmful to the environment, was not being recycled.
12 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
The company’s audited results reflect important ESG achievements: reduction in emissions, an increase in the use of recycled water and in the use of renewables. Caring for the planet through sustainability initiatives is a further reflection of Seelan’s core component of care. With everything the company has been through in the last couple of years, the people within it have become a family. “I think my challenge was to focus on the family here, but also to see what’s positive and what needs to change - retaining the strengths and changing what is holding us back from being globally competitive .”
“There’s always things we need to improve,” says Seelan, taking the approach of thoroughness which was instilled in him by his father, who taught him the value of hard work. “My leadership ethos is to say: ‘Let’s do things, let’s do them properly, from a values perspective, from an ethical perspective. But let’s do them big; let’s win.’”
What drives Seelan is seeing the results, seeing the impact the company can make on the lives of its people. “One of the takeaways f rom my career path is that business is not about machines, it’s not about buildings. It’s actually about people.” n
The goal was to make everybody feel included, not only from a culture perspective but also from a financial perspective.
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 13
OMNIA’S 70TH ANNIVERSARY
A TIMELINE OF MOMENTOUS MILESTONES
n September 2023, Omnia Holdings Limited celebrates its 70th anniversary, recognising 7 decades of history, transformation, success, and most importantly 70 Years of innovation. Every achievement, challenge, and learning in the past 70 years has shaped Omnia’s current strategy and purpose: innovating to enhance life, together creating a greener future. Through the Seven Pillars of Omnia, the Group recognises how it has evolved across each decade of its existence, using each pillar as a descriptor to describe Omnia’s past and presentday core values. “Reaching a 70-year milestone is testament to the foresight, operational excellence, and dedication of our predecessors.
Despite operating amid challenges and a volatile environment, Omnia has endured and is ready to move ahead as a champion of ESG and innovation, globally.” – Tina Eboka, Omnia’s Board Chair. “Omnia’s 70th anniversary is the opportune time to reflect on a rich history of achievements and an unwavering dedication to providing innovative and value-adding products and solutions to our customers. Over the past seven decades, despite the challenges, our pursuit of excellence and adherence to our values and purpose have been the driving force behind our success, and the foundation on which this proud company has been built.” – Seelan Gobalsamy, Omnia CEO.
Omnia’s Seven Pillars: 1950
1 Ambitious Omnia was founded as a family business in 1953 in Johannesburg, South Africa and has grown into a formidable organisation on the African continent. But it was the ambition of our founders, Dr Joachim Winkler and Mr Willie Marais – and their legacy – that have ensured Omnia’s exponential growth. Even with a market capitalisation of about R12-billion today, we are still striving for success, expanding our reach across the globe. Omnia’s ambitions are evident in its current
According to Group CEO, Seelan Gobalsamy,
We have a physical presence in 26
growth trajectory: having upped its dividend by
this was achieved through the company’s focus
countries, distributing to more than
over a third in a profitable, expansive year.
on leveraging its competitive advantage in
40 countries from over 60 distribution
manufacturing and its significant supply chain
centres and employing 4 000 people.
14 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
When we established the first granular plant in Sasolburg, South Africa, we already knew the power of agriculture and its interconnectedness with local lives and livelihoods. What began as bridging gaps in the 1960s fertilizer market has evolved into our patented Nutriology approach, a nuanced, highly scientific crop management system that continues to help farmers across the globe. There are so many aspects required for agricultural success, which is why we believe in the holistic approach.
When we expanded across South Africa in the 1970s, we saw the potential to create jobs, build communities, and make a real impact on the country’s economy. This desire to make real change is still reflected in our current global expansion, but impact is so much more than reach. For those closest to us – the people of Omnia and their communities – we want to provide the opportunities they need to grow. Whether it’s investing in education, developing our employees’ skillsets, or through groundbreaking research, our
With more than 140 million people in Africa facing acute food insecurity, Omnia’s devotion to agronomic
impact will always be tangible and people-centric.
agriculture is more important than ever before.
“Omnia is committed to fostering healthy, educated,
This problem needs to be solved in Africa, through
evident through our R46 million investment in 2022,
the efforts of Africans.
which was dedicated to socioeconomic development
and resilient communities. This commitment is
These scientific solutions can be applied across the globe, which is how Omnia is spreading its approach across its numerous territories.
across our territories. We collaborated with various developmental organizations to create tangible and meaningful impact.” – Ditebogo Malatsi, Omnia Executive for SHEQ & Sustainability.
Every year, innovative new agricultural solutions are emerging in Africa, and local farming communities are determining new sustainable business practices that the rest of the globe could implement to
The promotion of education remains one of Omnia’s central impact focuses and this year, the group invested a further R5 million in secondary and tertiary education of South African women.
improve productivity sustainably and reduce the massive amount of food waste we see each year.” – Dr Mandla Mpofu, Managing Director for Omnia’s Nutriology Division.
Internally, Omnia is also promoting employee development through its Future Fund, offering financial support to employees for their education, and their children’s school fees.
4 Revolutionary Stagnation is the antithesis of our identity. We’re
always changing and looking for new opportunities – whether that means developing innovative products, entering new markets, or investing in the latest tech. This spirit was embodied in Omnia’s strategic decisions in the 1980s, from listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, identifying a niche in global seed markets, and making an explosive entry into the mining sector. This new business, BME Mining, allowed us to drive blasting technology for Africa using what was then a new cold emulsion technology that has become the industry standard.
From its patented total crop management process – Nutriology – to partnering with some of the leading tech specialists, innovation has always been at the core of Omnia’s operations.
“Using technology to ensure every blast is safe, accurate
Omnia currently uses the latest innovations to create revolutionary value for
and cost-efficient, our commitment to innovation is
its customers: satellite imaging, irrigation scheduling solutions, autonomous
driving us forward. We’ve grown our footprint to 17
vehicles, biostimulants, and more.
African countries, Australasia, North America and Brazil, with more expansion plans in the future” - Ralf Hennecke, Managing Director, BME Today, our revolutionary stance means being leaders in Agri-tech, harnessing the power of A.I.,robotics, and biochemistry to positively shift the future of our industries.
Our goal has always been to increase water- and nutrient use efficiency whilst reducing production risks of those factors we can control with our feet on the farm approach. The use of technology is essential to improving overall efficiency and this is why we offer a wide array of solutions to assist our agronomists and customers. The solutions range from new product innovation, agronomic expertise and data based products. Each of the products we exhibited at NAMPO are a part of our vision to enhance agriculture.” - Louis Strydom, Marketing Director at Omnia Nutriology
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 15
Omnia’s expansion into new territories happened early in our development and understanding the nuances of international markets – from Brazil to Australia – is central to our growth. But we have always had a clear love of the continent on which we were founded, and to which we owe so much. In the 1990s, we extended our operations deeper into Africa – Zimbabwe and Zambia – and are still building new hubs across the continent. Even today, we maintain our headquarters in South Africa. Because we see the potential of Africa, and believe we have an important role to play in the continent’s success. Outside of Africa, Omnia is making steady progress in its expansion efforts. This includes: an enhanced distribution capacity in Brazil, higher margin specialty products in India, and South-East Asia, and new offtakes in Bulgaria, Türkiye, and China. Even though we are an international organisation, we align with both international and local regulatory legislation, economic plans, and sustainability outlines: from the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals to South Africa’s National Development Plan. As a global business with a strong foundation in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region and a growing international footprint, Omnia is focused on embracing diversity and different cultures – recognising the unique perspectives they provide. “Omnia’s strategy centers around leveraging its SADC foundation while expanding into global markets within the Mining and Agriculture sectors. The company takes pride in its contribution to food security and supporting livelihoods” – Tiaan Kotze, Omnia COO.
2000 Transformative We were once a small-scale fertilizer business in rural South Africa, but as the political, social, and scientific landscape has shifted, we have transformed into a holistic, international institution with a positive impact across several sectors. We’ve been privileged enough to witness 7 decades of history and adapt not only for the good of the business, but for the good of our people. Through our BBBEE employee share scheme, Omnia continued its journey of transformation in the 2000s. Since then, we’ve recognised the need for management and employee ownership participation within the entire Omnia group and want to give our employees the opportunity to grow alongside us. Because nothing is more important than building a more diverse, equitable future.
2010 - present Sustainable The chemical sector has the potential to lead the way towards a green economy. We’ve known this for years, and in the 2010s, Omnia began investing heavily into decarbonisation. We found a new purpose: innovating to enhance life, creating a greener future together. While our Environmental, Social and Governance efforts are underpinned by this, we also recognise that sustainability isn’t something we should strive towards in the future – we urgently need it today. This has been further cemented by our 2017 partnership with Protea Chemicals, whose spirit of sustainability is evident across its diverse programmes, from water care – providing fresh water to millions – to combating food insecurity. We want to protect the things we care about most, the lives and careers of our people, their environment, and their future. In 2020, we were honoured
In South Africa, Omnia is rated as level 2 in terms of broad-
with the Global Award for biological programmes supporting
based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE). It is listed on
Africa’s agricultural development research – largely due to our
the JSE (OMN.JO) and A2X Markets.
In 2022, Tina Eboka was appointed as Omnia’s first female
At Omnia, we’re committed to fostering sustainable
board chair, in line with our ongoing aim to be a more diverse,
development and empowering communities. We’ve
equitable organisation – with transformation at our core.
interrogated the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, incorporating them into our sustainability and
“Omnia will always continue its journey of transformation with
stakeholder engagement frameworks. We have identified and
people’s wellbeing, development and growth at the centre
classified those to which we can make meaningful direct and
of all our initiatives. Because nothing is more important than
contributing to building holistic employees within a diverse and equitable environment.” – Bronwyn Murray, Omnia Group HR Executive.
Omnia has shown its commitment to promoting sustainable agriculture and community development with an initial sponsorship of R1.5-million to the Great North Business Incubator (GNBI). This partnership has resulted in the training and development of 10 community gardens, providing employment to 120 people, 58% of whom are women. Beneficiaries of this initiative also receive business and marketing training, as well as access to market opportunities. Omnia commits to investing both financial and intellectual resources in researching the viability of constructing a green ammonia manufacturing facility through its partnership with WKN. n
16 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
Education Omnia is investing R5-million in tertiary education for girls and women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The investment is in support of the company’s overarching support of healthy, educated, and resilient communities. Globally, just 35% of STEM students are women. In South Africa, just 13% of graduates in STEM fields are women, highlighting the deep gender inequity still present in our society, and critical shortage of STEM skills among local graduates. “Through this commitment, we want to take action to redress these imbalances by upskilling and providing opportunities for women in a variety of ways – from bursaries and internships to mentorship opportunities. Innovation is at the heart of our purpose, we want to build a workforce where diversity of thought directly feeds into the innovation and technology we use,” - Seelan Gobalsamy. Youth development This new investment is complimentary to Omnia’s existing education initiatives, such as the partnership with Primestars for that delivers maths, science and social entrepreneurship development programs for high school learners from underserved communities. The funding is in addition to Omnia’s R46million investment in 2022 for socio-economic development – with a primary focus in education and food security. It dovetails Omnia’s Future Fund that recently offered its employees financial support for their children’s school fees.
together creating a greener future,” - Seelan Gobalsamy. Food gardens Omnia has sponsored 10000 household gardens which have been delivered to communities where we operate in Gauteng, Free State, Mpumalanga and North West. The 10000 household gardens will have a positive impact in allowing up to 40000 primary and secondary beneficiaries access to f resh vegetables daily f rom their homes. The Reel Gardening Household Garden In a BoxTM is distributed and implemented first. Once the household has become food secure and learnt how to correctly plant, efficiently water and harvest produce they will be given the opportunity to generate an income through the Reel Gardening Household Income Garden. This project will empower selected communities and equip them with the tools and skills to generate an income and make a living through agriculture. We are driven by our commitment to uplift communities, helping them to sustain their lives and livelihoods, embracing sustainable practices and fostering self-reliance. “By collaborating with innovative partners like Reel Life, we are able to create positive change and help communities thrive. Our commitment to enhancing lives is unwavering, and we are excited to continue making a difference through future initiatives,”- Ditebogo Malatsi, Executive: SHEQ and Sustainability at Omnia. n
The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality. “It’s a theme that is meaningful to me personally and I want to make sure Omnia is intentionally opening new doors for the empowerment of women, girls, young people, and other marginalized groups – especially in developing markets. And for Omnia, it’s perfectly aligned to our purpose of innovating to enhance life,
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 17
RAND WATER BRINGING A SUSTAINABLE WATER SUPPLY TO CUSTOMERS
18 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
and Water – the largest bulk water utility on the African continent – continues to invest in infrastructure and make repair and maintenance a priority. Access to clean water for every South Af rican is a constitutional right. But for this right to be fully realised, there must be effective and comprehensive infrastructure development, with a focus on its upkeep. Unfortunately, the larger part of South Africa’s water infrastructure, which was built more than four decades ago, must be replaced to reduce the high rate of wastage through pipeline leaks. Fortunately, Rand Water has continued to focus on infrastructure maintenance as well as investing in new infrastructure like water purification plants, reservoirs, pump stations, pipelines, pump stations as well as automation and electrical equipment.
Rand Water could have faced the stark reality of not adequately providing water to its customers in line with its mandate if it did not invest in inf rastructure
In the last financial year, Rand Water spent billions of rands as part of its capital expenditure plan. This entails the upgrading, refurbishment, and replacement of assets across the entire Rand Water network. During this year alone, the water utility unveiled two noteworthy projects: the 210 Mℓ Vlakfontein Reservoir in Benoni, and Phase 1 of Station 5A at the Zuikerbosch Water Treatment Plant. The Vlakfontein reservoir is the biggest posttensioned reservoir in southern Africa and is set to provide additional water to some parts of Gauteng. Vlakfontein reservoir is part of the Mapleton System which receives water from the Zuikerbosch purification and pumping station via two pipes, which are both 2 100 mm in diameter and distributes potable water to various municipalities through two outgoing pipelines which are also 2 100 mm in diameter. Station 5A is a 600 Mℓ water purification plant, located within the Rand Water Zuikerbosch Water Treatment Plant in Vereeniging. It is one of Rand Water’s multimillion rand flagship projects aimed at augmenting water supply into its systems.
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 19
When projects of this magnitude are implemented, it is worth noting the benefits that will be derived upon its completion. On top of the list of benefits is the initial addition of 150 Mℓ/day of water into the system, serving an additional 2.4 million consumers. The final phase of Station 5A will add another 450 Mℓ/day which significantly contribute to the region’s water supply security, sustainability, and ultimately created a positive socio-economic condition for communities.
This project is a major milestone in accomplishing Rand Water’s augmentation strategy and is part of the future sustainable water supply envisaged by Rand Water. However, that addition of large quantities of water in Rand Water’s system should not encourage consumers to waste water. Consumers must continue using water sparingly because South Africa is a water scarce country.
Challenges In its effort to implement the mandate, Rand Water encounters numerous serious challenges that have the potential to compromise or even derail either the development or refurbishment of water supply infrastructure. These include, but are not limited to, vandalism, encroachment on its servitudes, non-payment of water services by local municipalities and actual corrosion of its pipelines after many years of performance. Vandalism Although the water utility has enlisted the services of security companies to protect its infrastructure in some areas, these pipelines are still vulnerable, and this is where thieves can damage the pipelines, valves, and steal valves and in some instances water itself. Encroachment of servitudes Formal and informal encroachment are some of Rand Water’s challenges that may delay the replacement of worn-out infrastructure. Formal encroachment is a situation where a formal housing project has been developed, and informal encroachment refers to a situation where an informal settlement is built on top of Rand Water’s pipeline or Rand Water’s servitude. These situations have the potential to impede Rand Water f rom having free access to the land for maintenance purposes. Non-payment Or late payment by municipal customers may negatively affect Rand Water’s financial stability Corrosion The gradual loss of material from a metal surface, is one of the major causes of degrading pipeline performance. As the coating of pipes wears out, corrosion starts due to moisture in compressed air, and these steel pipelines need to be replaced Despite these challenges, Rand Water is committed to providing clean and sustainable water to millions of South Africans. There is no better way to celebrate its 120-year anniversary than to witness the implementation of infrastructure projects like the Vlakfontein Reservoir and Station 5A.
20 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
RAND WATER: FAST FACTS Rand Water was established in terms of Chapter 6 of the Water Services Act (108 of 1997) and listed as the National Government Business Enterprise - sole shareholder
Largest water utility in Africa
Rand Water has a global reputation for providing water of high quality and had consistently exceeded National Standards and International Guidelines on water quality
Rand Water abstracts raw water from the Vaal Dam and conveys it through pipelines to the two purification systems: Zuikerbosch Water Treatment Plant and the Vereeniging Water Treatment Plant Purified water is distributed to the secondary booster systems: Palmiet Booster Pumping Station, Zwartkopjes Booster Pumping Station, Mapleton Booster Pumping Station, and Eikenhof Booster Pumping Station
Provides bulk potable water to over 16 million people
Supplies Gauteng, parts of Mpumalanga, the Free State and North-West provinces
Besides municipalities, some of its customers are the mines and farmers
Pipeline infrastructure spans 3 600 km
Been in operation for 120 years (since 1903)
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 21
STATION 5A PROJECT SCOPE A raw water abstraction pipeline that feeds Station 5A f rom the Zuikerbosch Forebay / Intake Dam
An array of chemical dosing plants (Lime, Poly, Silica and organic for coagulation and flocculation)
Horizontal flow sedimentation tanks with desludging bridges - for settling and removal of precipitates/dirty particles
A carbonation bay – pH correction and/or stabilisation with CO2
A filter plant that consists of rapid gravity sand filters – for removal of suspended matter
A chlorine disinfection plant - for elimination of pathogenic organisms
A reservoir and pump engine room – for pumping potable water to consumers
Outgoing pipelines connecting to the distribution network n
22 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
552 Impala Road, Glenvista 2058 South Af rica 0860 10 10 60 email@example.com www.randwater.co.za
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 23
MERCHANTS SA INTERVIEW
ZAIN PATEL MANAGING DIRECTOR, MERCHANTS SA
L E T A P IN
24 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
G GIN , A N M A CTO R S S A T E DIR CHAN R ME
MERCHANTS SA INTERVIEW
erchants SA is a leading BPO solutions provider, specialising in customer experience and customer interactions. Top500 speaks to its MD, Zain Patel, about the importance of building valuable partnerships with clients and providing opportunities for people.
Congratulations on being first in the Top 500 Best Managed Companies Business Process Outsourcing sector! In your opinion, what gives Merchants the competitive advantage? Merchants has always been people-focused; in the last five years, however, this has been taken to a new level. Merchants as a business wanted to challenge ourselves and, in turn, the industry to be even better when it comes to our people, the communities we operate in, and the impact we can have on the whole of South Af rica. Our initiatives around people, communities, impact, and diversity continue to be recognised and drive us internally to want to do more and be more effective. This drive and the end result of leading customer experience delivery for our clients continue to see Merchants as the leading provider in the BPO sector. After 44 years in business, we are so proud that we continue to lead our sector.
What does achieving this accolade mean to you and the company? Being recognised is always nice and certainly reinforces that the hard work of our teams is producing the results we aim for. Being recognised as the leader in our industry and by such a reputable organisation such as TopCo makes it even more special and something that I know our teams will celebrate and absolutely take some time to reflect on the role each and everyone has played. The good news is that such recognition also continues to drive the passion and motivation to do more and be better, which is also a fantastic outcome.
Please unpack your role at Merchants. I often say that, as the MD of Merchants, I may very well have the best job. Being able to guide our business and people on a path that delivers so much impact and so much benefit for not only our people and communities but also that of our partners and the wider South Af rican community is truly a privilege. Fortunately, I’m surrounded by some of the industry’s best operators, leaders and minds! The result of this is that when I work with our teams to set the strategy and the way forward for Merchants, I know we will achieve the lofty ambitions we set.
My role is to challenge us as a business to think “out of this world” and to realise that we have the ability to achieve and impact so much; therefore, we cannot restrict our thinking of what is possible! My role includes being the guide, providing the vision, driving the rigour in our business and providing the environment for our people to succeed – all of these are essential to what makes Merchants the leader and I am immensely proud and thankful I get to play that role.
Please describe Merchants’ products and services. Merchants is the provider of leading customer experience outcomes. This is achieved by servicing our end clients customers over the phone, chat and email as well as other contact methods. In addition to this, Merchants provides industry-leading initiatives such as our MyCalling recruitment platform, which enables us to employ people with the potential to drive our impact sourcing model; our Human Experience Platform, which helps our clients run the technical side of their operations; our Cortex WFM and Consulting arm, which provides guidance to our clients on how to get the most out of their operations; and our Merchants Academy, which we are so proud of and is the first academy in our industry, providing SETA-certified skills to job seekers across not just our sector but many other sectors.
How important is skills development at Merchants? The company won a Top Empowerment award for being a key driver in this important area. Skills development has been an essential component of Merchants’ success for many years. We have our own view on creating impact, and we set out to ensure that the impact we have is sustainable. Skills development is such a critical part of that. The ability to provide our people and our communities with a clear path for development and then play a critical role in ensuring it is followed through certainly sets Merchants apart from many; it is something we will continue to invest in and develop. Whether it be our specific skills programmes, our leadership development, or the educational initiatives we run in the communities, we know how important all of them are, and we are committed to continuing this focus and driving corporate South Af rica in the same direction.
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 25
MERCHANTS SA INTERVIEW
Please speak about the programmes and policies which ensure diversity, social impact, inclusion and growth in the company. Merchants continues to focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and this has become a key part of who we are as a business. Our programmes that support this include:
Leadership commitment: Our senior leadership is fully committed to the gender vision, serving as role models and advocates for gender equality.
Gender inclusive policies: Merchants has developed and implemented gender-inclusive policies that address equal pay, promotion opportunities, parental leave, and workplace harassment prevention.
Equal opportunity recruitment: We implement recruitment practices that focus on equal opportunity, promote diverse candidate pools, and mitigate unconscious bias.
Mentorship and sponsorship programmes: Our mentorship and sponsorship programmes bridge the gender divide and pair women employees with experienced leaders who can help guide their career growth.
Skills development: We provide gender-sensitivity training through the Merchants Academy and the UN Global Compact Academy for all employees to raise awareness of gender bias and create a more inclusive work culture.
Flexible work arrangements: We offer flexible work arrangements that support work-life balance, including options for remote work, flexible hours, and childcare support.
Family support programmes: Through our partnership with KAELO, Merchants provide programmes such as family planning assistance and parental leave.
Community engagement: We engage in community outreach and philanthropic initiatives that benefit women and girls in the local community, in partnership with our social partners.
Gender-equal supply chain: We endeavour to work with suppliers and partners who also prioritise gender equality in their operations, with over 30% of black females owning suppliers.
Collaboration: We collaborate with like-minded external organisations and initiatives dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment.
We then complement the above components with our key initiatives, including our Sisekhaya Township Hubs, our Merchants Academy, and our impact partnerships such as Social Coding and Yes4Youth.
26 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
Overall, Merchants is committed to continuing to lead not only our sector but the wider corporate Af rica in these areas, a responsibility we take very seriously and at the same time something we are exceptionally proud of.
MERCHANTS SA INTERVIEW
To what do you ascribe the culture of a collective approach to achieving success? Having a common passion is critical, and ensuring that passion becomes reality is equally important. Many organisations have a passion and an objective but struggle to turn them into reality. At Merchants, due to our incredible leaders across the business and the relentless drive of our people, we have found the key to ensuring our passion doesn’t remain a tagline or a future state but becomes reality. A great example is our Sisekhaya initiative, which is our township contact centre hubs, where many externally said it couldn’t be done yet our passion and focus meant we did it and proved the success, a first for our industry that will result in significant change for the way the BPO sector operates in the future and increase the impact it has on the communities across South Af rica! Overall, the success you have is the result of a shared passion and a drive to make it real.
You have been with the company for nearly 14 years. What are some of the major changes you have encountered in the BPO sector during this time? The pace at which South Africa has developed. The local BPO industry has shifted f rom what was considered a developing industry to a global leader, competing with long-standing mature global regions and maintaining a fast pace of maturity in a relatively short period of time. The advancement of technology coupled with the adoption of so many new engagement channels both within B2B and B2C has allowed the BPO industry to shift to a broader GBS industry spanned across multiple sectors and adjacent industries, thereby giving the industry recognition as a strategic driver of business success for all that consumes services. Finally, the notion and change in perception sectorwide from purely operational dealing mostly with postpurchase service and customer acquisitions to that of strategic enabler of enterprises we serve. The result thereof is relevance to C-level executives’ and their desire to increase customer loyalty, increase share of wallet, and be a driver of competitive advantage.
Please share with us some of Merchants’ flagship projects. I have mentioned our Sisekhaya Township contact centres, which were a first for the BPO industry. We see this becoming a larger part of the way not only Merchants operates but the wider industry. Our Merchants Academy,
where we are taking on the challenge of creating a skilled workforce for the future, not just for the BPO sector but for other sectors, is something we believe will create a lasting impact and legacy for all involved, whether it be the people who go through the academy, their communities, the future employers, or the customers they will benefit. Then lastly, our more operational projects, which focus on making digital humans and increasing the value of the human interaction people have, are essential to Merchants continuing to be the leader in customer experience delivery.
Have you had any AHA moments as MD of the company? Yes, the fact that we can do amazing things to co-create strategic drivers of success with clients and participate actively in building and transforming businesses in a very fast-changing consumer-driven world. For many businesses changing f rom the traditional sectors they thrived in, there is often a desire or need to enter a totally new sector altogether, for example, telco to fintech. Those who have the foresight and are brave enough to take the leap are often rewarded with growth and sustainability in business and often become leaders in already established sectors.
What is your “why”? As a South African, I know all too well that employing young people and excluding youth f rom quality jobs can make a fundamental difference to their lives and that of their communities. My ‘why’, and why I have a deep love for this sector, is to intentionally solve business and client needs at the highest levels by training and developing talented youth to do complex work that addresses unemployment and career advancement. Everyone wins.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced at Merchants and how did you overcome them? I must say that the ramifications and impact that COVID-19 had on the sector, our business, and me personally were unexpected and came without a reference book, university thesis, or guide to address the business and people challenges that came with it. I know that business leaders across the globe would attest to that and would have had to deal with very similar challenges. As a BPESA board member at the time, there was a need to engage with a very wide stakeholder group, such as the government, police and emergency services, BPO members, clients, our people, and broader society.
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 27
MERCHANTS SA INTERVIEW
The volume of information and speed at which things developed required an always-on approach. The health and wellbeing of everyone we interacted with was top of mind, and we still had to make logical and rational business decisions to remain operable as a provider of essential services to the domestic and international markets. I’ve subsequently been appointed chairperson of the BPESA board and will carry through on the commitments and collective efforts of all stakeholders. Change is hard for most organisations and people, but in this instance, making the right decisions every time was the only option. I am particularly proud of how well the public-private partnership (PPP) rallied together for a greater outcome, sharing best practices
What is your preferred way of receiving information? Reading/podcasts/video/vlogs? Please share with us some of your favourites. For a long time, my preference was the traditional reading of books. My job requires me to be mobile, and shifting to digital ways of consuming information and material was a natural evolution. E-reading and vlogs are now what I use most, even surpassing books.
What is on the horizon for you in the coming year? We see huge demand f rom the international markets for the services we provide from many large Fortune 500 enterprises.
To meet that demand, we’ve taken the bold step of developing technology that is AI-backed to match beston how to preserve life while in-class behavioural profile traits to those of our clients still delivering services and specific customer outcomes. To supplement the hiring and adapting to our clients needs attracting of the best people out there, this scientifically centred around care. As a result matched individuals for jobs of the future. of its collective efforts, South Africa created a gold standard In addition, we have founded The Merchants Academy, for people’s wellbeing by which is a SaaS-driven digital and functional learning drastically minimising the risks environment to develop skills and capabilities at scale and of mortality for those brave will be an absolute game changer. individuals who chose to be of service to others. The impact Do you have a message of inspiration for our that we were able to derive readers? far exceeded that of business The world of work is changing at a pace not seen before, principles and outcomes. and the spectrum of technology development and the role it plays in how we interact in the future is unlimited and exciting at the same time. I would, however, like to remind readers that human interactions are the nucleus of technological design and development. There is a place in this world for a thriving digital environment where human-to-human connections will always matter most.
1st Floor, Rex Trueform Office Park, 263 Victoria Road, Salt River, 7925 +27 11 575 2000 www.merchantscx.com
28 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 29
WHAT KIND OF LEADER ARE YOU? NAVIGATING THE NOW: HOW THREE ACTION ORIENTATIONS CAN GUIDE YOU BY RAINE ST.CLAIRE
30 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
elements from all three orientations. This amalgamation is crucial since excessive reliance on any one orientation can lead to subpar action plans, derailing effective execution.
Navigating organisational reinvention is rarely a linear endeavour. More often than not, this process resembles an up and down journey marked by peaks of success and troughs of challenges. Even prestigious organisations face this reality, notwithstanding their leaders’ prowess in mitigating disruptions.
Raffaelli’s analysis derives f rom his deep-rooted research interest in the attributes of leaders who adeptly reshape themselves to tackle novel challenges. This perspective amalgamates insights f rom his MBA course, Leadership: Execution and Action Planning (LEAP), and observations of mid-career executives in executive education settings. Over the past decade, Raffaelli has prompted numerous students and managers to explore their preferred orientation persona and its implications.
ccording to a recent Harvard Study, the most proficient leaders adjust their tactics by reevaluating their proactive approach or “action orientation” to effectively address the current issue. In contrast, the study highlighted that executives who adhere to outdated methodologies while facing new challenges frequently encounter shortcomings.
In an ever-evolving landscape, leadership is inherently dynamic and adaptable. There exists no universal formula applicable to all circumstances. Ryan Raffaelli, the Marvin Bower Associate Professor at Harvard Business School, notes that an organisation’s triumph hinges on leaders’ ability to tailor their leadership style to specific challenges. Paradoxically, a leader’s prior accomplishments can sometimes transform into their most significant obstacle. Raffaelli delves into the concept that leaders often fall into three distinct “action orientations”— analytical, contextual, or relational—dictating their responses in unfamiliar situations. The challenge for leaders is to fashion an approach that blends
“I’ve delved into the traps that organisations and leaders face when endeavouring to transform themselves,” he explains. “Leaders often devise a strategy they believe will yield success based on their prior experiences—effectively transforming an organisation within a particular context. However, when the context shifts and they apply the same strategy, it often proves futile.”
An organisation’s triumph hinges on leaders’ ability to tailer their leadership style to specific challenges
EXPLORING THE THREE ACTION ORIENTATIONS IN DEPTH Through the study of individuals striving to reinvent their organisations and themselves at pivotal moments, discernible patterns emerge. These patterns serve as the foundation for formulating the three distinct action orientations:
ANALYTICAL Leaders inclined towards an analytical orientation often find solace in data, relying on numbers and models to formulate a plan that maximises the probability of success. CONTEXTUAL Individuals embodying a contextual orientation consider external factors that extend beyond the immediate task, such as broader market shifts, competitor behaviour, or emerging industry trends. RELATIONAL Leaders with a relational inclination devise action plans based on how their actions will be perceived and impact others, focusing on power dynamics, social networks, and personal ramifications.
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 31
Each orientation boasts its merits and drawbacks. Analytical leaders might lean excessively on data, while relational leaders might prioritise appeasement. The optimal solution does not reside in a singular approach. ACTION ORIENTATIONS IN REAL-LIFE SCENARIOS Numerous case studies underscore the challenges leaders face when adopting the appropriate orientation. For instance, consider Max Hodges’ tenure as Executive Director of the Boston Ballet. An analytical approach led to data-driven successes, such as dynamic ticket pricing. However, the impending loss of the ballet school lease demanded a different orientation and leadership strategy. Similarly, Ron Johnson’s brief tenure as JCPenney’s CEO highlights the potential pitfalls of disregarding the right orientation. Johnson’s past successes at Apple and Target did not translate, revealing the need for adaptive leadership. Drawing on his market interpretation prowess, Johnson heavily relied on a contextual orientation to develop strategies for reinvigorating the JCPenney brand. However, the organisation was ill-prepared for such substantial changes, leading to Johnson’s resignation after just 18 months. STRATEGIC APPLICATION OF ACTION ORIENTATIONS Raffaelli’s research intriguingly suggests that while a specific orientation may yield benefits across different situations and over time, excessive reliance can backfire as environmental shifts necessitate adaptability for consistent outcomes.
encompassing all three orientations isn’t confined by past achievements. Self-awareness is pivotal: Recognising when to draw from a specific orientation, acquiring skills to foster growth, and discerning when to employ an orientation in addressing managerial and leadership challenges. Raffaelli encourages students and professionals to identify their inherent “default” orientation, which can be a formidable task. Seeking insights from colleagues, partners, or confidants is advisable. He further suggests engaging individuals with diverse experiences to challenge and uncover blind spots in one’s action orientation. Kwame Spearman’s journey exemplifies the malleability of action orientations. Transitioning f rom a start-up role to acquire and rejuvenate Tattered Cover, a respected Denver-area independent bookstore, Spearman recalibrated his action orientation multiple times, as illustrated in a case study. Spearman and his team swiftly redirected the bookstore’s trajectory, introducing innovative concepts like an in-store wine bar. Recently, he undertook a more profound transformation: relinquishing his CEO role to pursue a political career while remaining the bookstore’s owner. His focus now lies in public service and running for elected office. “Another crucial juncture where leaders must be acutely attuned to their action orientation is during career transitions,” says Raffaelli. “We often overlook how our orientation shapes our thought processes and influences others’ perceptions of our leadership.” n
Counterintuitively, Raffaelli’s findings also offer optimism: developing capabilities
We often overlook how our orientation shapes our thought processes and influences others’ perceptions of our leadership.
32 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
A global logistics and mobility group www.supergroup.co.za
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 33
AND THE FOUNDATIONS OF EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP IN SOUTH AFRICA’S BUSINESS LANDSCAPE
BY GORDON HOOPER MD OF BATELEUR BRAND PLANNING
outh Africa’s transformative journey from the shadows of Apartheid to the vibrant Rainbow Nation has been a testament to the pivotal role that mentorship and empathy play in shaping robust leadership and fostering resilient organisations. In an exploration that delves deeper into the empathetic leadership legacy of Nelson Mandela, intertwined with Prof. Larry E. Greiner’s organisational concepts, a richer understanding emerges of the transformative power that mentorship holds. The Madiba blueprint of leadership and empathy: A lasting legacy Nelson Mandela’s leadership, defined by an unparalleled sense of empathy, continues to resonate across global leadership paradigms. Beyond politics, his post-Apartheid strategy of reconciliation and understanding serves as a profound lesson in leading with empathy. Notably, South African corporate giants like Bidvest and MTN have woven these ideals into their ethos, recognising that understanding the diverse backgrounds of their employees cultivates an environment primed for innovation and inclusivity. Evolution, revolution, and the unyielding call for dynamic leadership Superimposing Greiner’s evolutionary and revolutionary organisational phases onto South Africa’s past half-century narrative weaves a compelling story about the core of dynamic leadership. Mandela’s era embodied stability in the immediate post-Apartheid phase, while leaders like Cyril Ramaphosa, drawing from his business acumen honed at MTN,
34 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
emerged as linchpins during economically tumultuous periods. In an era of shifting global dynamics, where challenges range from technological disruptions to sustainability imperatives, the significance of empathetic leadership takes centre stage. Noteworthy is Capitec Bank, standing as a paragon in this context. An internal study conducted by Capitec highlighted that around 75% of its employees reported a stronger alignment with the company’ values due to its empathetic leadership approach, resulting in elevated job atisfaction and decreased turnover rates. Navigating the future landscape of leadership Contemporary leadership is transcending its traditional task-oriented disposition to embrace a profound people-centric approach. Leaders navigating South Africa’s 21st-century landscape find themselves traversing intricate socio-political complexities, underscoring the necessity for an innate comprehension of a culturally diverse workforce. One organisation at the foref ront of this paradigm shift is Naspers. Their commitment to transparent leadership and inclusive decision-making isn’t theoretical posturing; it’s grounded in results. Their comprehensive 2021 report unveiled that teams nurtured through robust mentorship programmes exhibited a remarkable 30% upswing in productivity. Additionally, these teams showcased a 25% acceleration in problem-solving compared to their counterparts.
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 35
Mentorship: The cornerstone of empathetic leadership The essence of South African mentorship crystallises through establishments like the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation. This institution, dedicated to nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs, offers a nuanced blend of mentorship, equipping protégés not only with tangible skills but also the often undervalued soft skills, including emotional intelligence. Another stride is seen with Discovery Limited, where an unwavering dedication to mentorship finds expression in their bespoke Leadership Academy. A dive into their 2020 metrics unearths a compelling trend: a staggering 80% of participants in their mentorship programmes ascended to senior leadership roles within a mere three-year span, highlighting the intrinsic link between mentorship and upward mobility within the corporate hierarchy. South Africa’s burgeoning start-up ecosystem owes much of its vigour to the mentorship culture. Start-ups steered by seasoned entrepreneurs with a robust mentorship
foundation tend to outpace their counterparts, exhibiting higher revenue growth and enhanced sustainability during the tumultuous initial years. Towards an empathetic leadership legacy In sum, the harmonious blend of South Africa’s historical trajectory, entwined with tales of corporate triumph, illuminates the irreplaceable role that mentorship and empathy play in effective leadership. As the journey unfolds, mentorship isn’t just an integral aspect of nurturing leaders; it’s the very bedrock on which successful organisations stand. South Africa, enriched by its unparalleled heritage and a tapestry of experiences, is poised to be a torchbearer of leadership steeped in empathy and mentorship. Expanding the dimensions of leadership in South Africa’s business landscape Beyond the illuminating discourse on mentorship and empathy, several key dimensions expand our comprehension of leadership in the South African business milieu.
1 Visionary goal setting: Guiding the trajectory
At the core of effective leadership lies the ability to set visionary goals. A leader’s capacity to chart a course forward, providing a clear destination for their organisation, is pivotal. South African businesses have exhibited commendable strength in this dimension, with most department and organisational leaders adeptly defining and pursuing desirable outcomes.
2 The command of strategy: Orchestrating success
Commanding an organisation involves not only decision-making but also the meticulous orchestration of detailed activities required to execute strategies and achieve goals. In this realm, South Af rican leaders have showcased their prowess, skilfully planning, coordinating, and controlling activities to ensure strategic alignment and accomplishment.
3 Shepherding cohesive teams: Navigating diversity
Shepherding diverse teams towards a common purpose demands inclusive powers, conflict resolution, and the cultivation of teamwork and cooperation. While South African leaders face the challenge of an intricately woven cultural tapestry, fostering a sense of unity and shared values within teams has proven to be a complex task.
36 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
4 Inspiring beyond boundaries: Igniting extraordinary efforts
Leadership has evolved from task delegation to inspiring teams to exceed expectations. While South African businesses have made strides, there is room for growth in terms of inspiring employees to be energised, engaged, and willing to go beyond the ordinary. Mentorship, trust, and transparency are pivotal in this endeavour. In conclusion, the tapestry of leadership in South Af rica’s business environment is intricate and multifaceted. Beyond the realms of mentorship and empathy, visionary goal setting, strategic command, team shepherding, and inspirational leadership converge to shape the landscape. As the nation propels forward, a holistic approach to leadership will continue to define its success story, underscored by a harmonious blend of empathy, mentorship, and multifaceted leadership dimensions. n
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 37
THE FIVE KEY PILLARS OF A HIGHPERFORMANCE SALES ORGANISATION
BY ANDREW HONEY CEO AT THINKSALES GLOBAL
38 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
2B market-leading companies are led by CEOs who understand the factors that impact revenue growth and profitability and then design a strategy to address these factors.
FACTORS IMPACTING REVENUE GROWTH AND PROFITABILITY IN THE B2B LANDSCAPE: • • •
Attempting to out-do competitors in a head-to-head battle in a defined, limited growth market. Driving up costs and lowering profits by adding more features and benefits to differentiate. Competing on price, even though the company is not the market’s top low-cost option with the fastest service delivery.
Ultimately, for B2B companies to excel, they must enable the Sales organisation within the business to deploy a customer-centric, differentiated customer engagement process. The 5-pillars of a market-leading B2B sales organisation The foundation of a successful B2B organisation is what we call a ‘revenue growth approach’ that
REVENUE GROWTH ENGINEERING: HOW MARKET LEADING B2B COMPANIES DO IT •
They design a company strategy that is different to their competitors. It’s not just a business strategy, it’s a new way of planning and executing. They develop a set of sales organisation activities that are different to their competitors. They create market growth opportunities by ensuring their company strategy enables the sales organisation’s revenue drivers.
simultaneously focuses on sales growth and margin protection. There are five key pillars that must be developed and then matured in every organisation to achieve this goal, finally reaching a level of optimisation that ensures a strong, sustainable and above-all competitive B2B business.
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 39
The five key pillars of a high-performance sales organisation:
Many companies do not have a documented, customer-centric sales organisation strategy that differentiates the organisation for a competitive advantage. Instead, many companies simply have a set of actions they will take to make a budget, not founded on market opportunity, but rather an increase on the previous year’s sales. Furthermore, strategy too often fails to be translated into an execution. As a result, sales managers are not equipped with a clear road map of where to focus or what exactly their sales reps should do differently. THE SOLUTION: Executives should conduct a 360-degree GAP analysis of their sales organisation and then design an ideal future-state strategy. The potential for a competitive advantage for a company is for the sales organisation to perform a set of activities differently to their competitors. This is simultaneously differentiating and difficult to commoditise.
If the process and systems for prospecting and customer engagement is either not defined or randomly followed by sales reps, the business has no control over how customers are perceiving a B2B organisation. This can result in sales teams who are unable to articulate value to customers or guide them through a quality decision-making process. THE SOLUTION: B2B organisations must develop an agile approach to mapping, refining and testing processes in response to changing business environments and customer needs.
An ill-defined approach to hiring and developing sales talent means that leadership teams do not develop star performers who are able to articulate value and differentiate the business. This often leads to missed opportunities and missed targets, because the sales team is unable to engage on value and with the correct level of stakeholders on a B2B level. THE SOLUTION: Building a strong sales force starts with hiring. Companies that rely on scientific assessment tools over gut instinct to identify competitive sales DNA will win in the end – as this will result in a high percentage of sales reps who can meet their revenue targets.
40 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
In many organisations, top sales reps are promoted into sales management positions in the hope that a star performer will somehow rub off on sales reps who report to them. The reality is that this is seldom the case, particularly if the sales rep in question relied on their charisma and relationship-building skills to close deals. THE SOLUTION: Strong sales management abilities rely on a systematic, metrics-driven approach including coaching to drive sales rep activities and outcomes. They also need good change management capabilities as B2B customers are constantly evolving and changing, and so how an organisation sells to them must be both agile and adaptable.
Since 70% of B2B buyers are doing their own online research before they even reach out to a brand, presenting compelling collateral that effectively positions your solution is an important foundational principle. How a customer engages with your brand is therefore the product of sales collateral that supports the entire buying funnel. THE SOLUTION: A buyer-centric view is essential when developing engaging collateral. Industry-aligned and needs-driven content captures a buyer’s attention, while evidence-based case study content that demonstrates a strong return-on-investment is important to help position your brand as a leader, overcome scepticism and justify buying decisions.n
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 41
WHAT IS IMPACT INVESTING?
BY EMMA MONTOCCHIO HEAD OF IMPACT INVESTMENT SOLUTIONS AT DECUSATIO
As a business, we tend to prefer the term “impact investing”.
42 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 43
ou can pick any acronym or buzzword and you’ll find that it’s being vociferously debated at every level in corporations across the globe, with supporters and detractors trying to get their points across. Net zero. ESG. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD). Socio-Economic Development (SED). Corporate Social Investment (CSI)… As a business, we tend to prefer the term “impact investing”. “Impact” because this is the desired outcome from these activities. “Investing” because these projects do need to be viewed through a lens of delivering economic returns for stakeholders. Globally, the increasing focus on social responsibility and social impact investments has grown significantly in recent years as more companies seek to benefit from the positive outcomes of their investments. According to the Global Impact Investment Network (GIIN) this market now has over $1.16-trillion in assets under management and according to research out of Riscura in 2022, South Africa has over 120 impact investment funds that are operational. Companies are embracing the idea of making contributions that benefit both the environment and society and there is an increased focus on impact investments that have the potential to generate both financial returns and positive social outcomes beyond ad-hoc ESD, SED and CSI initiatives. Companies that invest in these types of investments can stand out from their competitors and attract new customers and partners. Furthermore, companies that invest in social impact investments can benefit f rom increased employee engagement and morale. We have a very good example of this f rom a project we run in KZN which has seen a forward-thinking corporation recognising the importance of youth employability and new venture creation, but also recognising that it needs to meet certain other impact metrics. Over the past 24 months they have established a sanitary pad manufacturing operation,
44 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
a beauty spa and recently a solar energy project which trains and deploys accredited solar installers across the country.
This project brought together a variety of funding channels including ESD, skills development, YES B-BBEE incentive and in its latest phase funding out of a Development Finance Institution (DFI), but its integrated nature means that it can meet a number of goals for the participating corporate including: • • •
Net Zero commitments B-BBEE goals Meeting Sustainable Development Goals 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing), 5 (Gender Equality), 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), 10 (Reduced Inequalities), 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities)
On top of this, the creation of youth jobs in the region leads to a lower cost of doing business and stronger relationships with communities. As Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) f rameworks mature and sustainable finance becomes more mainstream, we can also expect to see more innovative funding models coming through. So why should your organisation care about impact investing? In answering this, perhaps we need to start with a loaded question: “Is it the prerogative of South Af rican businesses to do good?” This is an intriguing question on many levels. Recently there was survey data released by Afrobarometer, led by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) and Plus 94 Research and its high-level conclusion was: “Almost two-thirds of South Africans agree with taxing the rich at higher rates to fund government programmes that benefit the poor – especially those that support the youth.”
Circulate this statement around your workforce and we suspect you will find broadbased agreement… right up until the point where you add in another dimension: The definition of “rich”. There’s a fabulous tool called the “World Inequality Database” and I want you to consider just 2 data points: • •
If you earn the National Minimum Wage of R4 407 per month, 59% of the South African population is poorer than you If you enter the median salary bracket in South Africa of around R12 500, you are in the top 20% of earners in the country
Now consider that Tax Freedom Day falls on around the 1st of June in South Africa – the average taxpayer is working 5 months of the year, just to fund the government and there’s a lot of debate around what you actually get for your taxes. As a business owner, you are paying tax but you’re also contributing at least 1% of your Net Profit After Tax (NPAT) to Enterprise
Development (ED), and at least 1% or 2% of your NPAT to Supplier Development and then another 3% - 6% on skills development. But where is the return on this investment? GDP is stagnant, youth unemployment is rampant with a massive skills deficit, salaries are not growing in line with inflation and infrastructure is crumbling and the private sector is having to step in. Cas Coovadia who heads up Business Unity South Af rica (BUSA) made a very powerful comment recently that the government needs to stop waiting for crises before dealing with them. Corporate South Af rica is a step ahead and this is why we believe Impact Investing is going to play a key role in unlocking growth in South Af rica in the coming years. Overall, investing in social impact investments provides numerous benefits to companies. Not only can it generate a financial return, but it can also make a positive contribution to society and the environment. Companies should consider investing in social impact investments in order to benefit from the positive outcomes and remain competitive in an increasingly socially responsible market. n
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 45
CREATING A SENSE OF BELONGING TO DRIVE ORGANISATIONAL TRANSFORMATION
BY TERESA MARSICANO EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF ‘AND CHANGE’ & JOYCE LEBELO, MANAGING EXECUTIVE OF LRMG
epresentation matters. Diversity of thought matters. Belonging matters. And the organisations that realise this early are the ones that are making a social impact and experiencing financial success. Thanks to a widely cited McKinsey study, we’ve known for years that
46 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
companies with more diverse teams were seeing higher profits and better performance. Companies in the top quartile for genderdiverse leadership were 15% more likely to generate above-average profitability than
their predominantly white-male competitors. Organisations with higher levels of ethnically diverse employees also had a 35% performance advantage over those without diversity. In South Africa, we’ve recognised the need to transform our economies and leadership structures for decades, and Women’s Month is when we are asked to reflect on the importance of gender parity. Gender equality is important in the social sense – with women in South Africa facing high rates of domestic violence, unemployment, and discrimination – and also in helping to build the local economy. Accenture posited in 2019 that improving gender parity could unlock R319-billion into SA’s GDP. In corporate structures, South Africa’s business leaders are seemingly realising this and talking about diversity and inclusion (D&I). Deloitte research from 2020 states: “80% of South Af rican leaders (surveyed) cited D&I as “important” or “urgent/very important” to business (up f rom 59% and 70% in 2014, respectively)”. But are they walking the walk? The same report wrote that many companies still underestimate the change required to become truly inclusive. “Cultural change only starts to become more substantial when leadership buy-in appears and is further enhanced by fully integrating D&I into the organisation, including staff behaviour and business processes. Cultural change is difficult and requires more effort than many leaders anticipate,” it reads.
This change becomes even more complex if the organisation deploys D&I in a cross-cultural context (e.g. multinationals). Our experience in change management has taught us that fundamental transformation can only be brought about by creating a sense of belonging. Belonging has become interwoven with D&I, because that sense of belonging allows organisations to retain diverse talent and maintain trust even in the face of significant structural and cultural changes. Belonging, we now know, is firstly good for business. Consulting firm BetterUp conducted research about the role of belonging at work – with high belonging linked to a 56% increase in individual performance, fewer sick days and more loyalty to their organisation – meaning a 50% drop in turnover risk. So, how do we create this sense of belonging? Most importantly, by allowing for open communication, inviting feedback – and taking it seriously – and prioritising connection between colleagues and their managers. Empathy and the ability to facilitate open conversations are our superpowers for change management practitioners and are central to preventing resistance to change. Resistance is inevitable for any change, but transformative policies around D&I or gender equality are on the same level as a major cultural shift in the organisation. Getting people to accept transformation is also about enhancing feelings of belonging – allowing people to feel heard as the change is
Gender equality is important in the social sense – with women in South Africa facing high rates of domestic violence, unemployment, and discrimination – and also in helping to build the local economy.
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 47
implemented and adjusting change strategies accordingly. This multi-layered and reinforced model for communication is at the heart of Prosci’s ADKAR model. ADKAR (Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement) is about equipping leaders with the tools and partners with the correct information to move through organisational changes successfully.
many potential social and otherwise shifts that need to take place to remain competitive.
Because when a significant change must be made, it must also be leader-led – especially changes that are fundamental to the success of an organisation and its people. Unfortunately, many organisations and their leaders don’t realise that change is rarely completed quickly. The move towards a more gender-equal and diverse organisation, for example, is a lengthy process that requires consistent growth in the organisation’s change capabilities to manage correctly. But this capability and skill sets are transferable across the
In the South Af rican context, we have a rich legacy of transformation. Our government was able to implement an entirely new government and create one of the world’s greatest Constitutions.
48 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
However, failing to maintain these changes – or reinforcing them as per the ADKAR model – often leads to future failures. Support from the very top of an organisation and coordination across all levels is necessary for successful implementation.
But now, it is up to other sectors to assist in changing society for the better by looking inward and transforming their own policies, workforces, and leadership structures. Yes, it makes financial sense, but it’s also the right thing to do. n
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 49
4 STEPS TO BUILDING PSYCHOLOGICAL SAFETY STRATEGIES TO STRATEGIC RISK-TAKING AND FORWARD-THINKING CREATIVITY
BY RAINE ST.CLAIRE
eading or managing through fear is no longer a viable option. In a world marked by uncertainty and interdependence, fear serves neither as a motivator nor as a facilitator of excellence.
by the COVID-19 pandemic, this notion gained heightened relevance for organisations. In today’s work milieu, Edmondson asserts, “You no longer have the option of leading through fear or managing through fear.”
In the modern work landscape, the significance of psychological safety within teams has surged, and a recent analysis by Harvard Business School Professor Amy C. Edmondson offers valuable insights into its nurturing.
An abundance of research has delved into the creation of psychologically secure workplaces, culminating in an analysis by Edmondson and Harvard doctoral researcher Derrick P. Bransby, encapsulating insights from 185 research papers. The timing of psychological safety’s evolution as a research domain aligns notably with the business landscape’s needs. Throughout the pandemic, adaptability, transparency, and candour became paramount for leaders and employees alike. Whether healthcare workers candidly acknowledging errors or employees establishing boundaries amid lockdowns, psychological safety stood as a linchpin.
While benefits like remote work and flexible vacations hold appeal, genuine fulfilment in the post-pandemic professional realm hinges upon psychological safety. Coined by Edmondson during the 1990s, the term “team psychological safety” characterises environments where honesty is anticipated and employees can voice their opinions without apprehension of repercussions. This atmosphere empowers employees to experiment and embrace risk, consequently enhancing team performance. The concept gained prominence in 2012 through Google’s Project Aristotle, which identified psychological safety as pivotal for thriving teams. Amidst the uncertainties and intricacies induced
The authors present four empirically supported actions for leaders to instil psychological safety among their workforce. A comprehensive grasp of these four dimensions, as explained by Edmondson, can uplift team performance and foster a conducive work culture across industries:
Foster team relationships through everyday tasks Efficiency thrives on knowledge sharing, teamwork, and consensual decision-making. These dynamics necessitate a certain level of interpersonal comfort. Those feeling psychologically secure perform better in teams, enabling them to exchange information transparently. Productivity itself becomes a catalyst, creating a feedback loop that solidifies team bonds and lays the foundation for psychological safety. “Uncertainty and interdependence are attributes of most work today. And, therefore, without an ability to be candid, to ask for help, to share mistakes, we won’t get things done,” explains Edmondson.
50 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 51
Given that few tasks occur in isolation, trust and camaraderie remain crucial in an era marked by remote work and geographically dispersed teams. For instance, research among hospitality workers in Turkey demonstrated how a psychologically secure setting bolstered performance by facilitating error-based learning. Similarly, such an environment proved particularly advantageous for minorities, amplifying outcomes and performance.
Encourage a culture of embracing lessons from errors Edmondson dubs these behaviours “learning behaviours.” They encompass actions like convening a team meeting to dissect failures and derive lessons for future endeavours. While seemingly informal, these behaviours are discretionary, effort-intensive, and occasionally uncomfortable. They involve interpersonal risk. ‘I need help. I’m uncertain about the approach here.’ This admission constitutes “learning behaviour” she explains. While potentially awkward, such openness often translates into improved outcomes—be it a healthcare facility rectifying and reducing errors or a company innovating collaborative processes for more effective vaccine manufacturing.
Ensure that everyone feels noticed and appreciated Initially centred on work processes during the 1990s, Edmondson’s focus shifted to workplace culture, revealing its profound connection to successful processes. The contemporary narrative emphasises employee experience. Previously, the question was: How do we accomplish the work? Today, equal emphasis lies in understanding how individuals are faring. Research underscores that psychological safety is a predictor of positive work experiences. Authentic visibility fosters psychological safety, minimising stress and strain. Additionally, it cultivates inclusivity, particularly for historically marginalised individuals.
Seek input with humility and openness Leaders vested in psychological safety exhibit vulnerability. This involves candid statements conveying the value placed on others’ contributions. Edmondson underscores,“It’s about making honest statements that make clear that you value others’ voices”. Regularly inviting perspectives and clarifying the genuine interest in others’ observations characterise this approach. Leaders also pose questions like “What are your thoughts?” or “Do you have insights?” This grants individuals a platform to respond, fostering a safe atmosphere for expression. Effective questioning, communicates appreciation for diverse voices. Importantly, adept leaders respond without anger to dissenting views or undesirable news. Edmondson concludes with the age-old adage, “Don’t shoot the messenger”. Maintain your composure upon encountering differing opinions or unfavourable information. “In a world of volatility, uncertainty, and complexity, unwelcome news is inevitable. Don’t become angry when you hear a dissenting view or bad news. If it appears absent, it’s not due to its absence; rather, it’s because it hasn’t been conveyed”. n
52 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
ENGINEERING FOR THE FUTURE
s a full lifecycle infrastructure, engineering and advisory practice, we believe infrastructure has unparalleled potential to create enduring impact. Never more relevant, this potential can be realised only if we plan, design, deliver and manage infrastructure in ways that maximise its value. Our work in water, transport, energy, resources, and built-environment infrastructure does just this – helping to nurture thriving communities, growing economies, and healthy environments. At Zutari: We connect differently. Our broad collective of inhouse experts connects across traditional disciplines to provide integrated results. We collaborate with clients, partners, and end-users, leaning into diverse perspectives to create superior solutions – together. We work smarter. Our people lead the industry. We draw from deep technical skills accrued over decades and embrace the transformative power of digital technology to find simpler, better, and more innovative ways to deliver value.
We stay rooted. Few can rival our local capacity and understanding. Building on solid foundations, more than 90 years in the making, we are trusted to shape locally relevant solutions through our extensive footprint in Af rica and the Middle East. We deliberately seek diverse perspectives, engaging clients, end-users, and stakeholders as co-creators, ensuring robust outcomes. Our interdisciplinary experts collaborate seamlessly, yielding faster, superior results. Leveraging extensive networks, we uncover shared interests, unveiling fresh opportunities. Our Global Design Centres further extend our reach, connecting our proficient experts worldwide. Zutari solutionists connect technical mastery, creative intelligence, and digital smarts. It’s how we connect the old with the new – ref raming traditional engineering for a new world. n www.zutari.com
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 53
NESTLÉ CLIENT INTERVIEW
UNLOCKING THE POWER OF FOOD EXCELLENCE:
NESTLÉ ACHIEVES TOP SPOT IN TOP500 RANKING
THE JOURNEY OF NICOLE ROOS: A TESTAMENT TO PURPOSE-DRIVEN DEDICATION BY FIONA WAKELIN AND RAINE ST. CLAIRE
icole assumed the position of Chairperson and Managing Director for Nestlé (South Africa) (Pty) Limited, East and Southern Africa Region on November 1, 2022. Leading this diverse region, we explore her experiences and vision for Nestlé's future. The road to success Nicole views Nestlé's achievement of securing the Number 1 position in the Top500 ranking as an exceptional honour. She attributes this accomplishment to several key factors; unwavering dedication and collaborative efforts from the global team at the forefront. “Each day we strive to live out this purpose – to unlock the power of food to enhance the quality of life for everyone, today, and for generations to come. I attribute our strong teamwork to this success.” Unwavering values and principles form a solid foundation for operations. The ongoing pursuit of excellence, spanning product innovation to sustainability initiatives, has played a pivotal role in Nestlé's prestigious ranking. It is the collective dedication and shared commitment of employees worldwide that have propelled
54 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
the organisation to this achievement.
Business Executive Officer for Coffee and Beverages.
Milestones, leading the way and setting the course A standout moment in Nicole's career has been overseeing operations in 23 countries, gaining insights into the diverse region. Her leadership style shines in her ability to navigate nuances in various markets.
As Chairperson & Managing Director, Nicole leads the company and thrives in diverse markets. Her career path, from graduate to the first female CEO, exemplifies the power of determination, skill, and commitment to excellence for aspiring professionals.
Her recent achievement involves presenting a 5-year master business strategy to the Nestlé Executive Board, highlighting Nestlé's commitment to using food to enhance the quality of life in East and Southern Af rica and aligning their goals with broader societal well-being.
A journey of change Nicole's journey has witnessed significant changes, particularly in digitalisation, that has positioned Nestlé as a global leader and is inspired by Nestlé's sustainability initiatives that benefit consumers, communities, and the planet, all while staying true to the company's enduring purpose, values, and business principles.
A wealth of experience Nicole's extensive 20-year career at Nestlé has given her a deep understanding of the company's value chain, people, models, and markets. Her journey, starting as a Marketing Trainee, has seen her take on various roles, including Brand Manager for the Eastern Af rican Region, Category Marketing Manager for the Eastern and Southern Africa Region, and a position in the US as Category Marketing Manager for Gerber. Returning to South Africa, she served as Country Business Manager for Infant Nutrition before becoming the
Nurturing talent What truly excites Nicole is the daily opportunity to develop and nurture diverse talent, both within and outside of the organisation. Diversity, inclusion and nurturing talent – the secret to the future Deep within the DNA at Nestlé the objective is to ensure the everyday culture is always respectful, safe and inclusive. “The key focus is on clear and
NESTLÉ CLIENT INTERVIEW
unequivocal messages to leaders, accessible routes and clear processes for reporting anything not aligned with my own and company values. A continued focus on diversity, equality and inclusion work and our diverse region truly exemplifies all of this.” “Having the ability to lead a diverse and highly motivated team to bring out the best in every employee to be their best selves and fostering a sense of commitment to the broader organisational vision truly excites me.” ESG commitment: creating shared value Nestlé's core global and local focuses include nutrition, sustainable sourcing, climate change mitigation, waste reduction (especially plastic waste), and promoting diversity and inclusion, backed by transparent governance and progress reporting. Nestlé's corporate social investment (CSI) programmes, like the RE initiative, partner with local organisations to reduce waste and create shared value. “Over 100 waste collectors have been empowered through financial training, turning their hard work into school benches and bins. We have touched over a thousand livelihoods through supporting dairy and cocoa farmers for local supply chains in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Kenya, Nicole proudly shares.” Digital transformation Embracing digital opportunities in response to evolving business and consumer needs has been crucial to enhance operational efficiency, business agility, and sustainable profitability. We've also explored how technology can ease the employee
workload, enabling them to focus on essential strategic tasks. “What I find interesting is what has not changed – our purpose, our values, and our business principles. These keep us grounded and focused. It is easy to stay in an organisation that you can connect with at this deep level.” Empowering youth The Nestlé Needs Youth programme concentrates on supporting young individuals in terms of employability readiness, entrepreneurship, and agripreneurship. Collaborating with like-minded industry peers through the All4YOUth SubSaharan Af rica Alliance. “This area truly excites and keeps me going. We have helped thousands of young people find jobs or start a business. We provide training, support young entrepreneurs and offer first-job opportunities. Grants are available for those with a passion for venturing into agripreneurship, building a solid pipeline into our much needed skills gap closure in this very important sector, Nicole enthusiastically shares.”
23 markets they operate in across Eastern and South Africa, is invigorating.”We will also have some exciting developments in ESG, D&I and sustainability circularity in particular, alongside building our strong brands!” A message of inspiration “Stay curious, be intrigued with learning. Find purpose led work that switches you on and drives you to make an impact. This way, fuelled by values, you will love what you do!” n
CHAIRPERSON AND MANAGING DIRECTOR FOR NESTLÉ (SOUTH AFRICA) (PTY) LIMITED, EAST AND SOUTHERN AFRICA REGION
Core offerings and exciting prospects ahead Nestlé, as an FMCG company, focuses on creating delicious and nutritious products, including infant formula, breakfast cereals, confectionery, dairy, supplements, coffee, pet care, and more. They are dedicated to empowering consumers to make healthier choices. “The newly approved master strategy in hand for deployment and fulfilling work across the
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 55
56 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
MAERSK CLIENT INTERVIEW
MAERSK AREA MANAGING DIRECTOR SOUTHERN AFRICA & ISLANDS: LUBABALO MTYA
MAERSK'S EXCEPTIONAL STANDING AMONG THE BEST MANAGED COMPANIES •
right environment for our people. Our name: Signifying everything we stand for.
Deeply interlinked with the company ethos, Lubabalo firmly believes that Maersk's competitive advantage can be attributed to a carefully constructed triad of core pillars.
ecently appointed as the Maersk Area Managing Director for Southern Africa & Islands, Lubabalo takes immense pride in the organisation’s achievement as one of the best-managed companies in the transportation and logistics services industry. He considers this recognition as a testament to Maersk’s unwavering commitment to excellence within the industry.
Enduring vision and values
As a pioneer and leader in the industry since 1904, Maersk has held firm to its vision for over a century. Their core values form the bedrock of Maersk's identity and guide their actions in the world of global logistics: • Constant care: Taking care of today while actively preparing for tomorrow. • Humility: Listening, learning, and sharing to create value for others. • Uprightness: Upholding the principle that our word is our bond. • Our employees: Fostering the
Firstly, customer centricity is not just a buzzword for Maersk; “We strive to understand the unique needs of each customer and offer customised flexible solutions that add tangible value to their supply chain. Our agility in responding to the market changes and customer needs has significantly contributed to our success.” Secondly, Maersk adopts a peoplefocused leadership approach. “Whether it is our employees, vendors or stakeholders we believe that empowered individuals who are empathetic contribute to a robust organisational fabric. We invest in developing a highly skilled workforce and create an environment that nurtures empathy which translates into how we treat our customers, asking the right questions, listening carefully and translating this into action.”
“This encompasses complete transparency throughout the supply chain as well as the capability to enhance supply chain efficiency for our customers.”
Core products and services
“In the world of logistics, our aim is to connect and simplify our customers' supply chains.” Maersk, as an integrated logistics company, offers a wide range of end-to-end solutions designed to manage comprehensive supply chains for their customers. The portfolio of services is extensive and includes ocean shipping, which is the backbone of global trade, overland transport via road and rail to connect different parts of the supply chain, efficient air f reight options, as well as warehousing and distribution services to ensure smooth handling and storage of goods. But it does not stop there. “We offer services aimed at enhancing and streamlining the flow of goods through our supply chain management offerings and compliance solutions for global trade and customs.” n
Furthermore, Maersk has meticulously curated an extensive portfolio of assets, encompassing vessels, storage facilities, and a range of diverse transportation solutions. “It is the strategic integration of these various assets that enables us to coordinate cargo movement worldwide with exceptional agility.” A distinctive factor in Maersk's success story is their commitment to advanced technology.
4 Jetty St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8001 021 408 6000 www.maersk.com
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 57
BONITAS MEDICAL FUND CLIENT INTERVIEW
BONITAS MEDICAL FUND
MEDICAL AID FOR SA LEE CALLAKOPPEN PRINCIPAL OFFICER
Congratulations on being number 1 in your sector. What do you think sets Bonitas apart from the competition?
There are a number of factors we feel set us apart, including having a member-centric approach to everything we do. As the ‘Medical Aid for South Africa,’ we have a wide and diverse membership and strive to keep abreast of their healthcare needs through extensive research and data analytics. This includes all stakeholders but specifically members, employers and healthcare providers. We have strong corporate governance and leadership from our Board of Trustees. Decisions made always have members at the foref ront, with a focus on providing quality healthcare at affordable pricing structures. We take great care to balance our benefit enhancements to provide value to our members, while still ensuring that contributions remain affordable. This was demonstrated by the Scheme announcing the
58 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
lowest increases for large open medical aid schemes for 2024. This amounted to an average weighted increase of 6.9%. Networks We know that consumers face economic pressures so we engaged and collaborated with healthcare providers to find solutions. We implemented networks at the most favourable tariffs for our members so that they can avoid out-of-pocket expenses and get more value f rom their medical aid. This applies to GPs, medication, dentistry, optical, specialists and hospitals. Not only do we direct members to the most efficient hospitals, with the best healthcare options but the discounted tariffs reduce co-payments or eliminate them. Introducing the Bonitas Be Better Benefit! Funded completely from risk, this unique benefit provides a range of tests and benefits to ensure members have access to the necessary screenings, to allow for early detection and to be put onto a path to wellness.
BONITAS MEDICAL FUND CLIENT INTERVIEW
Benefit Booster It is the only benefit in the healthcare industry that provides members access to additional funds to use for out-of-hospital expenses. It has been boosted significantly for 2024 and is available after completing an online wellness questionnaire or a wellness screening.
Bonitas has been operational for over 4 decades. Please tell us about some of the biggest changes the company has experienced
Mental health Mental health prevalence is at an all-time high. This is exacerbated by factors such as an increased economic burden and increased psycho-social challenges, such as loadshedding.
Our mantra ‘The Medical Aid for South Africa’ underpins all we do including finding innovative solutions to help reduce the cost of private healthcare, without compromising on quality. We put our members first when we negotiate rates and source reputable service providers. We do not believe in ‘one-size-fits-all’ and adjust our wide range of benefit options annually, while keeping plans simple and user-friendly.
We have seen a 25% increase in the number of mental health hospital admissions, indicating a need for additional support. For this reason, we have included the Bonitas Mental Health Programme across all plans for 2024 and included depression as a chronic condition. We also offer access to Panda, a digital platform available through the Bonitas app, giving members easy access to expert help, mental health information and community support.
Please describe Bonitas’ membership, products, services
Our members are f rom all walks of life – they are gogetting entrepreneurs, SMMEs, chief executive officers, newlyweds, young couples with children, retirees and minimum wage earners. South Af ricans who need peace of mind when it comes to healthcare. Which is why we offer a wide range of plans, 15 in total, grouped in five categories: Savings, traditional, hospital, Edge (virtual) and income-based. We have tried to keep things simple and easy to understand, with plans structured to meet a diverse range of quality healthcare options that are easier on the pocket. To this end, we introduced Efficiency Discounted Options (EDOs) – plans that use network healthcare providers - this means members pay around 15% less for the same benefits. EDOs currently cover over 70 000 lives. Our Edge plans are aimed at new entrants to the workplace, economically active singles or couples, living in the larger metros, aged between 18 and 35. The plans are driven by technology and ease of access through virtual integration and digital intervention. We also have strong networks with the best providers and a host of supplementary benefits, paid f rom risk.
For just over four decades, Bonitas has been providing affordable, quality healthcare to South Africans and is now the second largest open medical scheme in the country.
Our core focus is to ensure that we act in our members best interests at all times. It’s multi-faceted and covers various aspects including creating value via an outcome-based healthcare model, as well as partnering with healthcare providers to improve clinical outcomes. We therefore, play a more critical role as a healthcare partner to our members on their journey to wellness. The biggest challenge over the past 40+ years has been the rising costs of healthcare and the increase in disease burden, especially lifestyle diseases. We have a responsibility to be proactive in terms of guiding members towards living a healthier lifestyle. In order to do this, we need to take cognisance of all socio-economic factors impacting South Africans – such as poverty, unemployment, mental health and gender-based violence are impacted by healthcare and must therefore be considered within the broader value chain. We see the future of healthcare revolving around preventative care and sustaining well-being, as opposed to responding to illness.
Our core focus is to ensure that we act in our members best interests at all times. It's multi-faceted and covers various aspects including creating value via an outcomebased healthcare model as well as partnering with healthcare providers to improve clinical outcomes.
The Care programmes include cover for chronic conditions such as cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, back and neck problems and mental health.
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 59
BONITAS MEDICAL FUND CLIENT INTERVIEW
LUKE WOODHOUSE CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER Work from home policies have now become commonplace and employers have become better equipped to deal with some of their workforce working f rom home. Furthermore, employers are now acutely aware of the impact of workforce health on the productivity of their organisation. For this reason, employers must partner with medical schemes to improve healthcare outcomes of their employees. However, we have also seen an increasing disease burden since the onset of COVID-19. This includes an increase in mental health and other noncommunicable diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes. Medical schemes need to enhance their disease management programmes and introduce better preventative measures to reduce the onset of disease and improve outcomes.
What have been some of your most memorable milestones as CFO? In the past few years, the Scheme has been successful in winning various industry awards for being best in class in the medical scheme sector. However, I believe that our success story is largely due to a number of small steps being taken by the collective on a day-today basis. What I am most proud of is how the Scheme has managed to deliver consistent growth and financial sustainability without compromising on affordability.
Bonitas grew its reserves and solvency f rom R4.3-billion and 24.9% in 2019 to R8.8-billion and 41.3% in 2022. This performance was not compromised by high premium increases. In fact, over the past three years Bonitas effected premium increases in total of 16.9% versus the industry average of 21%. Over the same timeframe the Scheme grew f rom 338 751 principal members in 2019 to 353 763 in 2022, which included a successful amalgamation with the Nedgroup Medical Aid Scheme. Bonitas also achieved a value for money score of R1.78 for every R1 spent on admin and managed care in 2021 which was calculated by Deloitte. This score far exceeded the industry proxy of R1.59. This means that members who join Bonitas can be confident that their contribution goes further than with any other medical scheme.
In your opinion how has the Medical Aid sector landscape changed over the last 5 years?
COVID-19 has accelerated a number of trends that were taking place within the medical aid sector.
60 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
We also cannot ignore the significant macroeconomic challenges that are plaguing everyday South Africans. The increasing unemployment rate and reduction in household income, due to high bank lending rates, is creating significant barriers for South Af ricans to enter and remain in the private health sector. Members are being forced to buy down into lower cost options or to give up their medical aid all together. For this reason, medical schemes must remain affordable and innovative in their product design to promote access. On a positive note, COVID-19 encouraged the public and private sector, to work together to deliver healthcare to all South Africans. Bonitas believes that this is a step in the right direction towards achieving universal healthcare. A mutually beneficial partnership between the public and private health sector is the key to delivering a successful universal health programme.
What are you excited about in the coming year?
At our 2024 Product Launch held in late September, we highlighted a large number of exciting benefit enhancements that have created a real buzz in the market – these include: Chronic cover for depression and access to our mental healthcare programme, which I’m sure will give our members the support they need – particularly with the high prevalence of depression and anxiety in South Africa. Our proposed weighted average increase of 6.9% for 2024 is also the lowest of all the large open medical schemes. I am confident that the Bonitas product lineup for 2024 is unparalleled. n Please note: Contributions and benefits subject to approval by the Council for Medical Schemes.
LINK AFRICA ADVERTORIAL
THE FIBRE OPTIC NETWORK OPERATOR DESIGNED TO GROW WITH YOUR BUSINESS
fter 10 years of experience, Link Africa is the largest independent fibre optic network operator which builds and operates cost-effective, high-speed, open-access telecommunications infrastructure in South Africa. We have been supporting mobile network operators, fibre network owners and internet service providers by innovating ways for them to operate on our network as an extension of theirs. Our agility means that links in connected buildings are delivered in as little as 30 days from order acknowledgement, delivering earlier revenue recognition to our customers. Our customers choose Link Africa because our next generation carrier grade network passes through a number of businesses and homes in most suburban areas in SA. They stay with us for the certainty that we deliver in uncertain times, be it with our loadshedding-ready network or the benefits of our exclusive FOCUS ™ fibre network. With coverage in major cities in Gauteng, Western Cape, KZN and Eastern Cape, Link Africa has: Unmatched expertise With years of experience and a deep understanding of the connectivity industry, Link Africa has built a reputation for delivering exceptional solutions tailored to the unique needs of each client. Scalability and flexibility Link Africa’s solutions are designed to grow with your business. Whether you’re a small startup or a large Telco, our scalable connectivity options can be customised to accommodate your current and future requirements. Reliability and redundancy Link Africa boasts an extensive network infrastructure, ensuring uninterrupted connectivity for your business. Our redundant systems and failover mechanisms guarantee maximum uptime, minimising the risk of disruptions and downtime.
Imran Abbas - Chief Executive Officer
Accelerating your success When you choose us as your connectivity partner, you gain a competitive advantage through our remarkable speed of delivery. Uninterrupted connectivity amidst loadshedding In South Africa’s challenging energy landscape, Link Af rica’s network stands strong amidst loadshedding. We have invested in robust backup power solutions, ensuring that you stay connected. Exceptional Customer Service At Link Af rica, we prioritise customer satisfaction above all else. Our dedicated support team is available 24/7 to address any concerns or technical issues promptly, allowing you to focus on what’s important. n TM
Gauteng - Adcorp Place, Building A - 1st Floor, Southwest Wing: 102 Western Service Road, Gallo Manor Ext 6, Woodlands, Sandton, 2191 087 980 9994 KZN: 2 Sinembe Crescent, Somerset Park, uMhlanga 010 020 0410 Cape Town: Unit 5, 7 Milan Street, CTI Business Park, Airport Industria, 7490 021 722 0001 firstname.lastname@example.org www.facebook.com/linkaf ricafibre www.instagram.com/linkaf ricafibre/?hl=en www.linkedin.com/company/link-africa/ mycompany/?viewAsMember=true
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 61
OCEANA GROUP LIMITED CLIENT INTERVIEW
THE SUCCESS OF AN ICONIC LUCKY STAR BRAND
OCEANA GROUP LIMITED CEO, NEVILLE BRINK
ucky Star is a much-loved household name in the SADC region for the past 70 years, something that the Kasi Brand benchmarking survey confirmed, naming it the top township brand. Lucky Stars demand and consumer love is all about the taste of home. It has become part of everyday life. Relative affordability compared to other proteins, ease of preparation (hot or cold) and its availability at almost every food store in the country makes it number one. The fact that it’s shelf-stable so does not spoil when there’s load shedding has helped to recently enhance its popularity. We will continue to pursue our strategy to drive increased consumption for canned fish, by containing the shelf price increases as much as we can, to ensure food security for the millions of South Africans who rely on it as a healthy, affordable and loved canned pilchards brand.
62 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
OCEANA GROUP LIMITED CLIENT INTERVIEW
In your view, what have been some of the noticeable trends in the fishing industry over the last few years? AMore than ever countries and customers are demanding sustainable fishing practices. Oceana is an avid supporter of this trend and believes it is the only way to continue to feed the world and remain competitive. Catching sustainably is crucial to ensure a species can repopulate annually, which means using fishing practices that don’t catch or harm non-targeted species or other marine life. We also provide decent working conditions and pay for our sea-going employees. The other big issue is climate change. It is rightly in the headlines a lot and there’s no doubt it’s altering marine dynamics. Whilst we are concerned, its impact isn’t universally negative and is yet to be full y understood. Some fish populations will benefit, and others will not. For example, the current moratorium on catching Peruvian anchovy benefits Oceana, gulf menhaden stocks enable us to meet some of the increased demand for fishmeal and fish oil. Oceana is as a provider of high-quality fishmeal and fish oil to the global aquaculture and animal feed sector, ongoing growth in these sectors has resulted in positive pricing globally. How would you describe your leadership style? I consider myself to be a performance driven leader, that encourages healthy debate and allows managers the freedom to make decisions. I always say you need to have the ability to make mistakes as the only way you grow and learn is to make a decision. Progress over precision. They know I have an open-door policy and any employee at any level is encouraged to share their ideas, concerns or just connect. Having spent most of my career in the fishing industry I consider myself well equipped to guide the organisation across all our operations. Whether it’s on the deck of a trawler, a pilchard cannery or in an Oceana boardroom. I love what I’m doing and work for the passion of making a difference and positively impacting lives.
needed stability and someone to guide employees through troubled times. I stayed because I believe in this business, its people and its resilience to last another 100 years. I made a commitment to everyone at Oceana that, with their help, we’d continue to drive performance delivering value to all stakeholders. The interims were a vindication that this wasn’t just talk. We unequivocally proved that we were doing what we said we would. Do you have a message of inspiration for our readers? Oceana is only as good as its people. We operate in three clear clusters. The Lucky Star canned food business, the USA and SA Fishmeal and Oil businesses and the Wild caught seafood businesses. They are diverse across geographies, markets, species, currencies and demographics. It only works because we have passionate committed people that enjoy what they do. My message to everyone is, be true to your own values and live the Oceana values of Respect, Courage, Teamwork, Trust and Accountability. Together we are stronger and will continue to grow the Oceana brand. n
7th Floor, Oceana House, 25 Jan Smuts Street Foreshore, Cape Town, 8001 email@example.com www.oceana.co.za
What have been some of your most memorable moments as CEO of Oceana? After almost 35 years in the fishing industry, I was considering doing something different and travelling the world. Then in early 2022 the Oceana Board asked me to take on the role of CEO. It was an offer I simply could not refuse as the company
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 63
DIVERSITY IS OUR SECURITY LEADERSHIP IS OUR STRENGTH
The Oceana Group is a global fishing and food processing company with a strong, experienced management team, and businesses that operate across the full value-chain which includes catching or procuring, processing, distributing, and selling.
facilities across three countries on two continents, selling products to customers in 41 countries.
With a history dating back over 100 years, Oceana is one of Africa’s largest fishing companies and the most established. It is listed on the JSE, NSX and A2X stock exchanges.
The diverse range of species, geographies, and markets we operate in reduces our business risk and absorbs the impacts of external factors such as currency volatility, weather phenomena and inherent variability of fish resources.
Oceana has nearly 4 000 employees based across South Africa, Namibia, and the United States. The Group operates 54 vessels and 8 production 64 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
Our purpose is to make a positive impact on society by creating long term sustainable value for all our stakeholders.
Our people are at the core of our success and our ability to deliver on our three-cluster strategy:
LUCKY STAR FOODS BUSINESS The iconic Lucky Star brand produces foods that feed millions of people daily. With its sophisticated global supply chain, Lucky Star keeps its factories fully operational throughout the year to meet ever-growing demand by sourcing frozen pilchards globally.
WILD CAUGHT SEAFOOD Our wild caught seafood business exports hake, lobster, squid, and horse mackerel across the globe.
FISHMEAL AND FISH OIL Diversified across the USA and South Africa supplying globally to meet increasing demand in the animal feed and aquaculture markets. 13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 65
AIR LIQUIDE SOUTHERN AFRICA CLIENT INTERVIEW
AIR LIQUIDE SOUTHERN AFRICA
SECURING PRODUCT SAFETY AND QUALITY AIR LIQUIDE SOUTHERN AFRICA CEO NKULULEKO Z MAGADLA
“Developing innovative, effective solutions for our customers and patients is what makes us a key contributor to the country and society at large, in the areas where we can make a difference,” says Air Liquide Southern Af rica CEO, Nkululeko Z Magadla, who has been at the helm of the company since the beginning of 2021.
What do you enjoy most about your role? I’m driven by seeing young talent develop, experiencing the sense of oneness with colleagues and making a difference in the communities we operate. The ability to partner with our customers to ensure their growth and sustainability is core to our being. We are part of a larger group and we share good practice with and extract similarly f rom the group - our local stakeholders are the net beneficiary.
Please share with us Air Liquide’s core products and services.
NKULULEKO Z MAGADLA AIR LIQUIDE SOUTHERN AFRICA CEO
66 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
Air Liquide Group is a world leader in gases, technologies, and services for industry and health. Air Liquide started its business in South Af rica over 75 years ago and today employs an estimated 950 people in over 10 sites. Air Liquide supports the large industrial, food and pharmaceutical, healthcare and speciality sectors like the space and electronics industries. We operate air separation plants with the largest oxygen producing site in the group located in South Africa. Air Liquide also supplies rare and specialist gases to research and tertiary facilities. We provide
medical and therapeutic gases as well as related equipment to patients at home, hospitals and healthcare institutions. From f rozen food to large scale manufacturing, semiconductor industry evolution, the space programme and decarbonisation, Air Liquide is a core partner.
How does Air Liquide contribute to a sustainable future for us all? As a responsible company, Air Liquide Group has long endeavoured to protect the environment - working to combine growth with concern for the environment and society. Air Liquide contributes through its environmental and societal actions and commitments to achieve several of the Sustainable Development Goals set up by the United Nations. This ensures we can make a real difference through supporting our customers and addressing the urgency of climate change and societal transformation. Air Liquide commits to decreasing its CO₂ emissions in absolute value by 33% by 2035 and reach carbon neutrality by 2050. To this end, we announced over 400 MW of renewable energy purchase in South Africa. We are not only reducing our carbon footprint but also helping industrial customers do the same. Drawing on our technological expertise and capacity for innovation, we are inventing cleaner, more sustainable solutions to reduce their emissions.
AIR LIQUIDE SOUTHERN AFRICA CLIENT INTERVIEW
How important is gender empowerment to Air Liquide? Air Liquide has a strong commitment to gender empowerment, as evidenced by its inclusion of gender equality as one of its sustainability goals. We are committed to making a difference in the lives of women and girls around the world. Air Liquide’s approach to gender empowerment is focused on three key areas: • Promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace: Air Liquide has a number of initiatives in place to promote diversity and inclusion, including mentorship training, flexible work arrangements and as part of our commitment to creating equal opportunity for all and promoting an inclusive culture, Air Liquide is aiming to increase our female manager and professional target to 33% by 2025. Today in South Af rica, we have surpassed this target and achieved 39.5% female representation in management and professional positions. Air Liquide is also involved in a number of external programmes that support gender empowerment. For example, the company has partnered with a business school in a Women in Leadership programme that aims to promote the development of women in the workplace
Investing in education and skills development: Air Liquide invests in education and skills development programmes for women and girls. We support the Inspire Leadership Program through Valued Citizens Initiative
What exciting plans do you have for the coming year? People are at the core of any organisation’s success. I would like to create a culture that gives all of us a sense of being a key part of a bigger whole. An inclusive culture that fosters and celebrates continuous learning, innovation, diversity and excellence is what we all seek. We have an opportunity to reflect on our historical performance against what we set for ourselves and define a strategy that sets us up for success. Significantly, our success will be built on not only attracting the best talent, but ensuring an environment in which everyone thrives. Our customers are the reason for our being. I would like us to be closer to our customers, to understand their businesses better, to offer services that meet their needs and to serve them better. This will be built on us being both visible and accessible to our customers across all levels of the business. n
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 67
AIR LIQUIDE SOUTHERN AFRICA ADVERTORIAL
AIR LIQUIDE SOUTHERN AFRICA
MAKES A MEANINGFUL DIFFERENCE
BY LARESSA THAVARIN, HR DIRECTOR SOUTHERN AFRICA AND AFRICA SERVICES
ir Liquide’s ambition is to be a leader in its industry, deliver long term performance and contribute to sustainability.
Inclusion and diversity (I&D) is a key part of our human resources strategy and is embedded in all dimensions of our values, f rom safety to growth opportunities. I&D enables us to leverage our differences, and contribute to creating sustainable and innovative solutions to society’s major challenges. Air Liquide Southern Af rica is working to create a more inclusive workplace for women, by providing training and support to help them develop their careers. These include events, learning & development offerings, mentoring, networks and communities for different interest groups such as women careers and disabled employees among others. In 2020, we launched in partnership with Wits Business School our Women in Leadership programme, inspiring Air Liquide women across different entities with commercial knowledge and business tools. In June 2023, we launched The Leaders of Tomorrow Programme
featuring dynamic young aspiring middle managers. The programme is a transformative programme designed to unlock the leadership potential of our young professionals through mentoring, distance learning, group work and personal development.
Corporate Social Investment We are committed to achieving commercial success in ways that honour ethical values, and respect for people and all our stakeholders. For Air Liquide, CSI means using its resources and expertise to make a positive impact on the communities where we operate. Our CSI Strategy is focused mainly on three key areas:
Education and training: We are committed to supporting education and training programmes that help people develop the skills they to succeed in the workforce
Healthcare: Air Liquide provides access to oxygen and healthcare in underserved communities
Environment: Air Liquide works to reduce its environmental impact and to help its customers decarbonise their operations
Air Liquide (Pty) Ltd
Air Liquide Southern Africa is working to create a more inclusive workplace for women, by providing training and support to help them develop their careers.
68 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
In collaboration with Valued Citizen Initiative (VCI), Air Liquide rolled out the iNSPIRE Programme to 50 girl learners f rom Eden Ridge High School in Katlehong. Working in close collaboration and upon instruction from the Department of Basic Education. Blossom: The mission is to improve education about menstruation and provide access to sanitary pads is vital in addressing a significant issue faced by many girls and women in South Af rica. The partnership with the Air Liquide Spirit of Ubuntu Committee to support local schools is commendable and can make a meaningful impact on the lives of young girls in township communities. The locally designed machines producing up to 50 pads a minute are a practical solution to enhance access to sanitary products.
AIR LIQUIDE SOUTHERN AFRICA ADVERTORIAL
This initiative is a positive step towards addressing both financial and knowledge barriers related to menstruation in the region. MyWalk Foundation a non-profit organisation, in partnership with Air Liquide, that is supported by Netcare and Adcock Ingram Critical Care, recycles uncontaminated Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) drip bags, oxygen masks and associated tubing to manufacture durable and fully recyclable school shoes that are then laced up, packaged with love, and distributed as a gift of dignity to children in the lower LSM schools at no cost to the children and the school.
created (to address the special needs) to be used by the teachers and learners in the classrooms. Education is Our Future NGO: Mobile libraries (300 books) in the foundation phase were delivered and the Kibooks online library platform was also implemented. The team visits the schools monthly. Activities and projects were shared with the schools for the learners to participate in on a monthly basis. Prize giving was held at the end of 2022 for top learners in the book reviews competition. One of the learners authored her own book without instruction, just inspired by the launched literature project. n
The My Walk partnership is an example of embracing a circular economy. It shows how a green solution can fulfil a material need for a business while simultaneously benefitting society – in this case by supporting education, job creation and enterprise development. The partnership further demonstrates the meaningful and wider impact that an innovative approach to solving business challenges can have.
VitalAire In 2023, VitalAire contributed to The Living Hope Trust with the rental of five stationary oxygen concentrators to the healthcare centre facility. The healthcare facility provides physical rehabilitation, palliative care, recuperation following hospitalisation and respite care for the community. Living Hope undertakes community development through educational, social, income generation, and health related programmes; and plays a vital role in the prevention, care and treatment of people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses.
Air Liquide Healthcare (Pty) Ltd The associations (NGOs) we partnered with are Mine is Education and Education is Our Future. Our joint mission is to help improve the literacy and numeracy skills of young children in South Af rica. To this extent, and in partnership with the above NGO’s, to date we have donated mobile science kits, mathematics kits and library books to the selected schools. Beyond the donations, we visit the schools to monitor the progress of the learners and usage of the materials in the classrooms. The projects to date are: Mine is Education NGO: One of the selected schools is a school for learners with special needs. We customised the kits to meet their special needs. A Subject Specialist is assigned to visit the schools quarterly and spend the day in the classroom to attend to the teachers and learners’ needs. Videos of all the syllabus experiments have been
LARESSA THAVARIN HR DIRECTOR SOUTHERN AFRICA AND AFRICA SERVICES
Cnr Vereeniging & Andre Marais St Alrode, Gauteng, 145 (+27) 87 288 1100 www.airliquide.com
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 69
HOW CAN AI IMPACT BUSINESS GROWTH AND INVESTMENT IN SOUTH AFRICA?
WE ASKED CHATGPT AND BARD
BY RAINE ST.CLAIRE
s a quirky experiment we asked AI to take a look at itself and tell us how it can impact business growth and investment in South Africa. In this article CHATGPT and BARD did some introspection! AI ACCORDING CHATGPT Here are some key areas where AI can make a difference: Operational efficiency AI-powered automation can streamline business processes, reducing manual work and increasing efficiency. This can lead to cost savings and improved resource allocation, ultimately contributing to business growth.
Data-driven insights AI can analyse large volumes of data to extract valuable insights and patterns. This can help businesses make informed decisions, identify market trends, and tailor their strategies to meet customer needs effectively. Personalised customer experiences AI can enable businesses to deliver personalised experiences to customers. By analysing customer preferences and behaviours, AI can recommend products or services that are more likely to resonate with individual customers, leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. Enhanced marketing and sales AI-powered tools can optimise marketing campaigns by targeting the right audience with
70 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
the right message at the right time. This can improve lead generation, conversion rates, and overall sales performance.
Risk assessment and fraud detection In the finance sector, AI can improve risk assessment and f raud detection mechanisms. By analysing transaction data and patterns, AI algorithms can quickly identify anomalies and potentially f raudulent activities, enhancing security and trust. Supply chain optimisation AI can optimise supply chains by predicting demand fluctuations, identifying potential disruptions, and suggesting efficient inventory management strategies. This can lead to smoother operations and reduced costs. Healthcare advancements AI can play a significant role in medical diagnoses, drug discovery, and patient care. By analysing medical data, AI can help doctors make more accurate diagnoses and recommend tailored treatment plans, leading to improved healthcare outcomes. Energy efficiency AI can optimise energy consumption in various industries, including manufacturing and utilities. By analysing data and adjusting energy usage in real time, AI can lead to cost savings and contribute to sustainability efforts.
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 71
Infrastructure and urban planning AI can assist in designing smart cities and optimising urban infrastructure. By analysing data from various sources, AI can help city planners make informed decisions about transportation, energy usage, and resource allocation. Education and skill development AI-powered platforms can provide personalised learning experiences for students and professionals. This can help bridge skills gaps, enhance workforce capabilities, and contribute to a more skilled labour pool. However, for AI to have a positive impact on business growth and investment in South Af rica, several challenges need to be addressed:
Infrastructure and connectivity Reliable internet access and technological infrastructure are crucial for AI implementation. Addressing digital divides and improving connectivity is essential for businesses to harness AI’s potential. Skills shortage Developing a skilled workforce with expertise in AI-related fields is essential. Initiatives for education, training, and upskilling can help address the shortage of AI talent.
In conclusion AI has the potential to bring about transformative changes in various aspects of business in South Africa. However, addressing challenges related to infrastructure, skills, regulation, investment, and cultural adoption is essential to fully realise the benefits of AI for business growth and investment in the country. AI ACCORDING BARD Bard offered less information when asked the same question on how to achieve an AI driven impact on economic expansion and capital deployment in South Af rica. Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to significantly impact business growth and investment in South Af rica in a number of ways. Here are some of the key ways: Automating routine tasks AI can automate many of the routine tasks that are currently performed by humans, f reeing up employees to focus on more creative and strategic work. This can lead to increased productivity and efficiency, as well as reduced costs.
Personalising customer experiences AI can be used to personalise customer experiences by understanding their individual needs and preferences. This can lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, as well as improved sales and revenue.
Regulation and ethics Clear regulations and ethical frameworks are needed to guide the responsible use of AI, especially regarding data privacy, bias mitigation, and accountability.
Making better decisions AI can be used to make better decisions by analysing large amounts of data and identifying patterns and trends. This can help businesses to improve their products and services, target their marketing more effectively, and make better financial decisions.
Investment and funding Adequate investment and funding are required to support research, development, and deployment of AI technologies.
Innovating new products and services AI can be used to innovate new products and services by exploring new possibilities and generating new ideas. This can help businesses to stay ahead of the competition and grow their market share.
Cultural adoption Businesses need to adapt their cultures to embrace AI-driven changes and innovations. This might involve a shift in mindset and willingness to adopt new technologies.
72 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
Improving operational efficiency AI can be used to improve operational efficiency by automating tasks, optimising processes, and identifying areas for improvement. This can lead to reduced costs and increased profits.
In addition to these direct benefits, AI can also indirectly impact business growth and investment in South Africa by:
Attracting inward investment AI is a hot area of investment, and South Africa is well-placed to attract inward investment in AI-related businesses. This can bring new capital and expertise into the country, which can help to accelerate the growth of the AI sector and the economy as a whole.
Creating new jobs AI is expected to create millions of new jobs in the coming years. These jobs will be in a variety of fields, including software development, data science, and artificial intelligence engineering. This can help to reduce unemployment and boost economic growth.
Improving education and skills development AI can be used to improve education and skills development by providing personalised learning experiences and helping students to develop the skills they need for the future. This can help to create a more skilled workforce, which can attract investment and drive economic growth.
Overall, AI has the potential to be a major driver of business growth and investment in South Africa. By embracing AI, businesses can improve their productivity, efficiency, and customer service, and they can also innovate new products and services. This can help businesses to stay ahead of the competition and grow their market share. In addition, AI can attract inward investment, create new jobs, and improve education and skills development. This can help to reduce unemployment and boost economic growth. Comparative observations between ChatGPT and Bard responses: Given the existing economic, educational, leadership, and energy challenges in South Africa, ChatGPT emerges as the more insightful option. This inclination is underpinned by ChatGPT’s extensive analysis, which not only elucidates the conceivable merits of AI but also delves into the nuanced challenges and imperative considerations for its effective integration within the nation. Here’s the rationale for this perspective: In-depth exploration of challenges South Af rica is grappling with an array of obstacles spanning its economic landscape, educational structure, leadership dynamics, and energy sector. ChatGPT meticulously examines these challenges, encompassing dimensions such as infrastructure and connectivity, skill scarcities, ethical regulations, financial backing, and the assimilation of cultural transformation. Notably, these challenges align cohesively with the domains in which South Africa encounters difficulties.
Tailored approaches ChatGPT customises its discourse to cater to South Africa’s specific contextual requisites. Particularly noteworthy is its discourse on tackling challenges unique to South Africa, prominently including issues related to inf rastructure and connectivity. In a nation characterised by the unequal dispersion of reliable internet access and technological infrastructure, the focus on mitigating these concerns acquires pronounced significance. Emphasis on skills and education Given the prevailing education-related predicaments in South Af rica, ChatGPT’s pronounced emphasis on education and skill enhancement via AI-enabled platforms is of heightened significance. The platform adeptly underscores how AI can bridge skill gaps and amplify workforce competencies, thereby contributing to a more adept pool of human resources.
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 73
Regulatory and ethical considerations The pivotal role played by South Africa’s leadership and regulatory framework in facilitating the seamless adoption of AI is underscored by ChatGPT. The platformelucidates the indispensability of lucid regulations and ethical frameworks, seamlessly aligning with the necessity for prudent AI deployment that addresses ethical concerns and upholds data privacy norms. Energy efficiency Given the discernible energy-related challenges prevalent in South Africa, ChatGPT’s discourse on AI’s capacity to optimise energy consumption across diverse sectors resonates with the nation’s ongoing endeavours to enhance energy efficiency and advance sustainability goals. Infrastructure and urban planning Of particular relevance to South Africa’s urban planning aspirations is ChatGPT’s exploration of AI’s potential role in conceptualising smart cities and streamlining urban infrastructure. This dovetails seamlessly with the nation’s pressing urban planning prerequisites.
74 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
Conclusion While Bard does touch upon the latent advantages of AI, its coverage is more succinct and predominantly centres around direct benefits. It refrains from conducting an in-depth analysis of the intricacies and nuances unique to South Africa’s contextual environment. Consequently, ChatGPT’s comprehensive appraisal of challenges and potential solutions is poised to furnish a more insightful blueprint for addressing the nation’s prevailing challenges in economics, education, leadership, and energy dynamics. n
By embracing AI, businesses can improve their productivity, efficiency, and customer service, and they can also innovate new products and services.
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 75
IS IT A NUMBERS GAME?
AI AND FINANCE
BY CANDICE MARQUES (BIZCASH) CUAN HOPLEY (BIZCASH) ROWAN DE KLERK (CFO CENTRE)
ccess to finance remains a very real challenge for high-growth businesses in South Af rica, but at the same time does every company fully understand the types of funding solutions that are available to them? Can Artificial Intelligence (AI) bridge this gap or is Human Intervention (HI) still required to successfully secure funding? Entrepreneurs behind high-growth businesses use “capital” as a catch-all phrase for funding but a good CFO can help you navigate different types of funding while contextualising the business to lenders. In an environment where interest rates are rising, supply chains are under pressure and entrepreneurs are needing to draw on every inch of resilience in their being, we’ve unpacked some of the key considerations for applying for funding.
Algorithms are one thing but who is the master of your financial data? While there are a number of fintech platforms in South Africa who are improving access to finance, many of these are formula and algorithm driven with a focus on short-term cashflow. A quality CFO is not only able to ensure that your compliance and financial data is in an appropriate format that reflects historical matters, they are also able to put together cashflow forecasts and management accounts that lenders will require in their decision making process.
76 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
The CFO can have the difficult conversations Many entrepreneurs who are looking to access funding are not aware that their own credit health is a key consideration for lenders. How you run your personal finances is a determinant in how you are going to manage a loan that is extended to your business. COVID-19 was an incredibly challenging time for entrepreneurs who often had to access their own personal balance sheets, personal loans and savings to keep their businesses afloat. Just as the economy had begun to recover, we have seen pressure from rising interest rates being exerted. An experienced CFO is able to have this very personal discussion with the executive leadership and directors of a business and guide them around how they present themselves. Know the type of funding you are looking for As an entrepreneur, you are aware that you need capital to
facilitate growth. But do you know the difference between Invoice Discounting, Supply Chain Finance, a Term Loan, an Overdraft Facility and a Business Loan?
credit scoring criteria. If poor quality information is submitted to funders the simple answer is to decline the application. So you have one shot at making the right impression.
In all likelihood, you probably require a combination of facilities to help you navigate your monthly cashflow requirements but, do you have the time to identify what you need and when?
AI remains input driven and need human intervention to contextualise and strategise accordingly.
CFOs are able to speak “the language of finance” and can identify the most cost-effective solutions for the business. For a lender, this de-risks the process and lowers the cost of funding for the business. If you think it is expensive to hire a professional and AI can do everything… There is an old adage which says: “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do a job then wait until you hire an amateur” and we believe this is incredibly relevant when it comes to the access to finance discussion. Short, medium and long term debt all have different requirements, interest costs and
The entrepreneurs behind growth businesses want to be able to focus on the activities they enjoy while lenders want to know that the entrepreneurs they back, have the systems and controls in place to deliver a low-risk lending environment. Although AI is becoming more involved in the process of allocating funding, experienced human intervention is imperative to ensure you feed the right information into your application to have your application approved. If you are serious about accessing funding for your business then give serious consideration to understanding that applying for funding is more than just a numbers game. n
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 77
THE CHATGPT ERA HOW TO GAIN AN ADVANTAGE
BY URSULA FEAR SENIOR TALENT PROGRAM MANAGER, SALESFORCE SOUTH AFRICA
78 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
any workers in the knowledge economy are trying to reckon with the concept of using AI in their daily work life. The revolutionary Chat-GPT3, arguably the tool that brought AI to the forefront for a critical mass of people, launched mere months ago, in November 2022. But while we were meditating on what this all means, GPT-4 came out in March 2023. It’s perhaps the best example of exactly how fast technology, and by extension the world of work, can change. This particular tool became widespread and even got upgraded before we could adjust to the fact that it exists.
The people best suited to thriving in this scenario aren’t necessarily the ones with computer science and software qualifications. The world has not even had time to set up formal training and certification for using AI at work. The ones who thrive and develop a competitive advantage will be those who take the initiative to experiment with this new tool and learn from others’ experiences, which can be accessed via the many articles, discussion threads and videos that now exist about generative AI. The capacity to thrive isn’t about being able to use ChatGPT per se – that specific skill is just a good example. Rather, it’s about facing a strange and sometimes fearful situation by finding a way forward rather than resisting or avoiding change. Would you choose fight, flight or figuring it out? Being able to adapt to new situations in this way is known as learning agility. It involves a combination of cognitive, emotional, and behavioural factors, such as seeking out new experiences, learning through errors and experiments, taking calculated risks, and admitting when you made a mistake so that you can move on and find a method that works. It’s a matter of coping with uncertainty rather than being undermined by it. Another definition of learning agility is ‘knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do’. Right now, South Africans probably find themselves not knowing what to do for a multitude of social, political and economic reasons, but also needing to figure it out as soon as possible. At Salesforce, our ethos is that skills development is a crucial means of finding ways forward, for both individuals and society. And, in the term ‘skills development’,
I like to put slightly less emphasis on the ‘skills’ and more on the ‘development’. Effective skills development recognises that lifelong learning – another way of conceptualising learning agility – is the means to adapting in a world of constantly changing technology, and the way to have a more fulfilling life in general. Because what happens when people get stuck and don’t know what to do? They become anxious, stubborn and defensive. They might resort to old methods and reject the risk inherent in new ideas, or double down on their mistakes rather than admit to error. Or they just hunker down in a rut of demotivation, and complain about the conditions there. That’s not a great way to live or work. Learning agility, in contrast, gives you a ‘growth mindset’. This is when you think of yourself as someone who can change, adapt, move. In contrast, people with fixed mindsets see themselves as trapped with their personal qualities, skills and identities, especially when it comes to their professional personas. But we’re not trapped. We can always choose to develop new skills, new ways of being in the workplace. As the senior talent programme manager at Salesforce South Af rica, I love being able to point people towards Trailhead, our skills development initiative, where you can get started with free online courses, and connect with others via classes and communities. We believe that business is a platform for change, and this is our way of making that belief manifest and actionable. At the current rate of change, there’s no knowing what the world of work will look like in 2026, but for the curious and agile, that’s not something to worry about. Embracing learning agility means being able to thrive in uncertainty and helping others to do the same, so we’re choosing action instead of fear. n
Learning agility, in contrast, gives you a ‘growth mindset’.
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 79
AI AND SEO
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE’S IMPACT ON SEO
BY RAINE ST.CLAIRE
80 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
nnovation is reshaping the world as we know it, blurring boundaries, and revolutionising tools
Regenerative AI is set to play a central role in the digital transformation journey - and embracing it is imperative to avoid falling behind. Generative AI, an innovation of utmost significance, is driving substantial changes across multiple sectors, encompassing the realm of SEO. The domain of SEO is undergoing an exceptional revolution, fuelled by AI-powered algorithms that possess the remarkable capacity to generate captivating, unique, and genuine content at an unparalleled magnitude. Understanding generative AI Generative AI generates novel and creative outputs like text, images, music, or complex data patterns. By leveraging machine learning and deep learning techniques, it discerns patterns and relationships from extensive input data. Notable examples include Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) and Transformer-based models like GPT-4. Generative AI autonomously produces unique and high-quality content, offering scalable solutions for digital marketing and SEO. Benefits of generative AI for SEO The convergence of Generative AI and SEO revolutionises digital marketing. Generative AI reduces manual labour in SEO by producing large volumes of unique content. AI’s personalization based on user behaviour takes SEO strategy refinement to a new level. AI generates tailored content for individual users, aligning effectively with search engine algorithms
prioritising user intent. The predictive capabilities of Generative AI anticipate trends, providing a competitive edge in the SEO landscape. Scalability, personalisation, and predictive prowess positions AI as a game-changer in the digital world. The power of AI in content generation Generative AI simplifies creation of high-quality, unique, and relevant content. Models like GPT4 mimic human writing styles, enhancing user engagement, and resonating with diverse audiences. AI scales content creation beyond human capacity, ensuring a consistent flow of f resh content for top search engine rankings. Additionally, AI analyses user data to personalise content, enriching user experiences valued by search engines. AI-generated unique content helps businesses avoid penalties for lowquality content, increasing chances of higher search result rankings. AI’s content generation capabilities offer a multifaceted boon to SEO, heralding a new era in digital marketing. AI’s predictive capabilities and user intent Generative AI transcends traditional keywordbased SEO by understanding user intent and search patterns. By analysing vast quantities of search data and past queries, AI predicts future trends and addresses user needs and queries, enhancing relevance and value. Moreover, AI anticipates and responds to shifts in search trends, ensuring ongoing relevance. Generative AI strengthens SEO strategies, ensuring optimal visibility and relevance in a landscape where understanding user intent is paramount to search engine rankings.
AI-generated unique content helps businesses avoid penalties for low-quality content, increasing chances of higher search result rankings
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 81
Implementing Generative AI for SEO Harnessing Generative AI for SEO is a powerful strategy for maintaining a competitive edge in the digital era. Various tools, platforms, and models assist in this journey. Select suitable tools like SEO.ai, designed for SEO, and integrate Generative AI capabilities to optimise content. Use features like AI-powered keyword research, content optimisation, and trend analysis to align SEO strategy with search engine algorithms. Define clear goals for AI-powered SEO strategy, whether improving SERP rankings, increasing organic traffic, or enhancing user engagement. Clear objectives guide AI implementation. Prompt AI tools with high-quality and relevant data as the lifeblood of AI. Supervise all AI-generated content for accuracy and alignment with brand voice and values. Regularly update and fine-tune AI models to align with changing search engine algorithms and user trends. Continuously monitor and measure AI-powered SEO strategy performance using metrics like organic traffic, bounce rates, conversion rates, and SERP rankings. Make necessary adjustments based on evaluations. Implementing AI in SEO is
82 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
a continuous process of learning, adapting, and improving. Proactivity and adaptability maximise the potential of Generative AI and keep SEO strategy ahead. The future of SEO with Generative AI The integration of Generative AI in SEO represents the future of digital marketing, not just a passing trend. Embracing AI-powered approaches early grants significant competitive advantages. Challenges include generic or mediocre AI-generated content, which can be addressed through editing and enhancement for better rankings. It is crucial to address ethical considerations, specifically with regard to user data privacy; ensure AI tools comply with data protection regulations and use data responsibly and transparently. Though AI adoption has a learning curve, user-friendly tools and resources are available to assist businesses on their AI journey and are becoming integral to SEO. Embracing Generative AI will position businesses ahead in the exciting f rontier of AI-enhanced SEO. n
AI AND GENDER INCLUSION
AI AND GENDER INCLUSION
BY ARCHANA ARAKKAL MACHINE LEARNING ENGINEER AT SYNTHESIS TECHNOLOGIES
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 83
hile many South African women find it challenging to access positions in the ICT sector in general, the recent interest in artificial intelligence (AI) provides them with a perfect platform to acquire new skills to access more specialist jobs. AI brings with it the opportunity for women to reinvent themselves and reskill for a more digitally-driven environment. Women can embrace the new wave of technology to align their skill sets to better reflect the agile needs of modern organisations.
Of course, AI opens the doors for all genders to embrace the thought revolution currently underway in ICT. This starts at a young age with learners getting access to more information about STEM that appeals to their curiosity in how the Fourth Revolution is improving the world around them. Over the years, some of humanity has been lost when it comes to skills development. People have had to become more corporatefocused and, as a result, more thick-skinned to approach their jobs like machines. Emotional intelligence has fallen by the wayside in the push to become more efficient due especially in the ICT sector. However, AI brings with it the opportunity to move more mundane jobs to the machines and enable people to strengthen their softer skills to deliver strategic value. Freeing up this capacity to build more emotional intelligence can help people across genders become more fulfilled. Women and men bring with them different approaches. It is therefore not a ‘one versus the other’ scenario. Teams that benefit from these respective skill sets stand to become more dynamic, agile, and relevant to modern organisational needs. Changing perceptions One of the ways to change legacy thinking around gender roles in ICT is to move beyond
the perceptions that tech is just about coding or building hardware. The sector has become so diverse that it offers something for people with any interests. For instance, if you are a painter there are opportunities in graphic design. For analytically-minded people thereare opportunities to be project managers. The list goes on. Changing perceptions and giving people visibility into the options available to them in tech must therefore be prioritised at a grassroots level. This is where it is important for the ICT sector to provide support where needed. I have been fortunate that all the companies I have been involved in have given me this support to break through the glass ceiling. I, like many other females in tech, want to help create even more support mechanisms to make the industry more accessible to females. This also requires those in senior positions to make time for people trying to break into ICT. It is therefore essential to drive a realisation that technology caters for people across genders with all interests. Techies are not only passionate gamers, but they can be rock climbers, gardeners, motoring enthusiasts, fitness junkies, and so on. So, instead of the ICT sector focusing on what makes us different, the spotlight must be on what brings us together. And that is where the genuine interest in technology comes in. Whether you are a man or woman, people in tech love tech. They want to innovate and break boundaries. In a very direct way, this helps organisations across verticals solve the problems they face daily. By putting more effort into unifying people across genders and not the discrepancies, the ICT sector can truly drive change with AI being one of the game-changing enablers to do so. n
Our technology lets us use our 360-degree booking engine to seamlessly convert curious lookers into direct bookings by using advanced software to offer fully customisable and personalised stay offers.
84 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
KC ROTTOK CHESAINA
WHAT MAKES A CEO? MEET THE MAN FINDING THE X FACTOR BY KOKETSO MAMABOLO “Where did you start? Why do you do what you do? What is the key thing that we can learn from you?” asks KC Rottok Chesaina, explaining the approach he took when writing The CEO X Factor: Secrets for Success from South Africa’s Top Money Makers. In this Business Unusual Podcast, KC takes Ralf Fletcher through the process of asking South Af rica’s most prominent chief executive officers to share their stories for others to grow and learn from. KC was a trailblazer in the accounting world, rated among the top 35 under-35 chartered accountants in the country (2015) by Accounting SA. The Kenyan-born author has continued to excel in his primary profession while finding the time to write two books which seek to capture the essence of leadership. The details are important. KC wanted to know what makes them who they are in the hopes of synthesising those details into a guide for others who hope to be like them or want to know what makes CEOs and CFOs (in his first book) tick. Before books, KC was in magazine publishing and awards, working to profile the stories of professionals who had immigrated to South Af rica from other parts of the continent. “I think that’s when I got into the game of telling other people’s stories,” says KC. And what a story he tells in this Business Unusual Podcast! n
10 KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THIS PODCAST: 1 “You either win or you learn.” 2 The second million is easier than the first one. As are life’s hurdles.
3 “No one wants to work with someone who’s not dreaming big.” 4 You won’t make it in business if you can’t sell. 5 “It’s all about persistence. There’s no magic trick.” 6 The easy wins build confidence for something more challenging.
7 Sometimes you won’t know if it works unless you try it. 8 Stories of success can help inspire the next generation. 9 Many of the leading CEOs have accounting backgrounds. If you 10
understand the money, it’s easier to understand the business. Entrepreneurial skills are common amongst the leading CEOs.
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 85
Verify your company’s
South Africa’s largest i ndependent, nationaly-based SANAS Accredited verification agency. Your partner in providing fast, convenient and professional B-BBEE certification services across all 12 sectors, countrywide
Get a quote
www.honeycomb-bee.co.za 011 880 1630
86 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
HONEYCOMB BEE RATINGS ADVERTORIAL
THE HIGH PRICE OF MISGUIDED B-BBEE INITIATIVES BY DEIRDRE MICHELL, MANAGING DIRECTOR AT HONEYCOMB BEE RATINGS places substantial pressure on reputable agencies to maintain industry integrity and the verification process's credibility. As a result, we are often tasked with explaining that substantial expenditures on certain initiatives, while well-intentioned, do not necessarily align with the legal requirements of the BEE Act. Deirdre Mitchell Managing Director at Honeycomb BEE Ratings
have witnessed the positive impact that well-implemented Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) initiatives can have. A carefully planned strategy can lead to the growth of a skilled workforce, enhancing employability, productivity, and a company's overall competitiveness. Unfortunately, when a company's sole focus is on finding an 'easy way to score points,' it can result in severe financial consequences for both the company and the country. It is understandable that companies may seek shortcuts, as the alternative can be daunting. These days, many corporations rely on BEE consultants to efficiently and costeffectively help them achieve their desired level of B-BBEE compliance.
Act with caution
The alarming reality is that the market has become inundated with unscrupulous consultants and skills academies who target unprepared companies operating within the B-BBEE f ramework, particularly in the realm of Skills Development. Moreover, these entities lack oversight f rom a regulatory body and are not held accountable for their questionable practices. This
The cost of mismanagement
Skills development necessitates a 6% allocation of a company's annual salaries and wages to training. While this may appear substantial, when managed effectively, 3.5% of the expenditure can be recovered through the relevant Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) via Skills Development Levies (SDL) and certain tax incentives. In these instances, the actual expense to the company is almost non-existent. However, in reality, companies often rush to spend substantial sums on colleges and skills development academies without authentic alignment with the mandates of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) Act. Some of the most common mistakes we are seeing in this regard are companies investing in generic training programmes, neglecting accreditation requirements and misalignment with industry needs. In one case, a company spent over R13.6 million on courses that did not qualify for full points. As a result, we were compelled to restrict their claim to 15%, in accordance with the B-BBEE Codes which translated to a net loss of R11,560,000.00 for the company involved. This is just one of many examples we have encountered in recent months.
Skills development demands meticulous planning and the long-term implementation of initiatives that align with B-BBEE requirements. This approach ensures efficient resource utilisation and the realisation of potential benefits. The main emphasis should be on successfully implementing best practices, which will naturally result in achieving these points. When executed correctly, this will result in a nation of skilled labour, contributing to the growth of our economy. Instead of having incubators that merely claim to support new enterprises, we shall witness the emergence of young, thriving companies, fostering bottom-up growth in our country. n
About Honeycomb BEE Ratings: Honeycomb BEE Ratings is an independent, nationally based SANAS-accredited verification agency that conducts fast, professional, and impartial B-BBEE verifications of enterprises, across all sectors, countrywide. Get a quote, 0118801630 firstname.lastname@example.org For more information visit www.honeycomb-bee.co.za
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 87
PPC NEW BLENDING PLANT ENSURES SECURITY OF CEMENT SUPPLY
PC has officially launched its new blending plant in the Highveld region, situated in the old Highveld Steel Industrial Park in Emalahleni Local Municipality. The new facility stands as one of the cornerstones in PPC's commitment to bring
88 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
about enhanced efficiencies, improved turnaround times, outstanding customer service, and exceptional quality to all built environment stakeholders in the Highveld region.
The Highveld PPC plant is strategically positioned to serve the thriving construction and building industries in and around the Mpumalanga and Limpopo regions. Previously, serving this region required long-haul transport from Gauteng, posing inefficiencies for both PPC and its customers. "The opening of this Highveld plant allows us to optimise our logistics through localisation, which is imperative in reducing transport costs and minimising transportinduced carbon emissions," said Bheki Mthembu, Head of PPC’s Inland Business Unit. Apart f rom the logistical efficiencies, the new plant will actively contribute to PPC's broader decarbonisation goals. That’s because it achieves lower overall CO₂ emissions per tonne of cement through operational efficiencies and the optimum application of fly ash, reducing the clinker content – typically an emissions-intensive component - in its cement. The plant also stands to be a gamechanger for small contractors and entrepreneurs in the region. It will enable PPC to make smaller
delivery runs, upwards of 12 tonnes (240 bags), and facilitate so-called 'milk runs' where a single truck serves multiple customers in one trip, thus catering to microenterprises that previously could not afford large material loads. Mthembu says that PPC’s commitment to giving more South Af rican builders and their clients the benefit of access to the highest quality cement products at affordable prices was one of the key drivers behind its decision to establish the Highveld plant. “PPC has an enviable reputation for trusted, quality products that conform to all regulatory requirements in our industry,” he explains, “and we are excited by the opportunity this new plant affords us to make this quality readily available to industries and people in the Highveld region.” The establishment and operation of the new PPC Highveld Plant also has positive implications for local communities. The construction and development process delivered 31% direct and an estimated 69% indirect temporary employment opportunities. Also, while a blending
plant is a highly automated operation, it requires little manual intervention. The plant operations will also have a positive knock-on effect for local businesses that form part of its supply chain or deliver various services such as transport and maintenance. Despite only officially opening on 1 August this year, the PPC Highveld plant is already operating at around 68% of its full capacity, with outputs projected to increase monthly as awareness of the operation spreads and demand for PPC’s top quality, locally blended products continues to grow. “PPC has long been a trusted name in the cement industry, offering our range of world-class products across a wide geographical footprint. We are excited about the opportunity this new Highveld plant affords us to extend this strategic commitment and expand not only the reach of our products, but also the positive role PPC plays in underpinning South Africa’s vital construction sector as well as the country’s economic growth.” n
PPC CEMENT SA (PTY) LTD First Floor, 5 Parks Boulevard Oxford Parks Dunkeld Johannesburg PO Box 787416 Randburg 2146 South Africa +27 11 386 9000 +27 11 386 9001 www.ppc.africa
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 89
Build with proven quality Scan for more product info
For 131 years we’ve cemented our legacy as a reliable and supportive Pan-African industry partner, with a range of hard working, 100% LOCAL, 100% PREMIUM QUALITY PRODUCTS. Today, our products remain as proudly South African and unshakeable, as the people who invest in them. Provider of Premium Quality Building Materials.
236 368EDITION | www.ppc.africa 90 | 0800 TOP500 | 13TH
OUR SERVICES Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Services Environmental Legal Compliance Environmental Monitoring Financial Provisioning and Closure Planning Research, Development and Remediation Environmental Licensing Environmental Technical Advisory HSE Management System Auditing, Development and Implementation
CONTACT US https://omisolutions.co.za/
OMI Solutions was founded by Robyn Sally Mellett in 2018 and is currently managed by a strong, diverse management team with Reneé Kruger, Chantal Uys and Nosipho Sithole leading at the forefront. OMI is an environmental consultancy whose team has already worked in over 25 countries worldwide. OMI provides expert environmental and agricultural engineering services, predominantly in the mining sector. OMI established its first office in 2018, its research facility in 2019 and its apiary farm/wings sanctuary in 2020 in Pretoria, South Africa. OMI now establishes apiary farms across South Africa and implements its research solutions across Africa. By the end of 2023, OMI is targeting to open its US division, its first step towards having multi-jurisdictional coverage for its clients.
OMI follows the ideology of insects with its focus on “Fit for Purpose and Powerful Solutions”. Its Vision is to add value to its clients through innovative implementation that improves sustainability, reduces environmental liabilities and minimises risk. OMI is constantly trying to find creative and effective solutions for the rehabilitation of impacted areas. OMI leads by example by promoting Powerful Solutions with Gentle Delivery.
OMI’s Mission is to mentor and empower its employees, promoting transformation, inclusivity and diversity. “God gave us wings and it’s our turn to give our employees wings.” This commitment is demonstrated through its support for various charities, NGOs/NPOs, and its unique Transformation Plan that led to employees attending schools, training centres, team building institutes, universities, conferences and obtaining driving licenses, various certificates, diplomas and degrees. OMI’s establishment of apiary sites and wing sanctuaries also aims to offer opportunities for the disabled, empowering them with a purpose.
OMI Solutions 13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 91
Lombardy Corporate Park, Office B, Block B, Ground Floor, Cnr Graham and 1 Cole Road, Shere, Pretoria, 0084
MEET JESSICA SPIRA: VIRGIN ACTIVE SOUTH AFRICA’S MD LEADING WITH KNOWLEDGE AND INSIGHT
BY KOKETSO MAMABOLO After 21 years in various roles at Rand Merchant Bank, Jessica Spira joined Virgin Active South Af rica as the new Managing Director in 2022. Having been involved in huge transactions, such as the reverse listing of Mediclinic, Jessica Spira knows all about building trust and strengthening relationships. In the latest Business Unusual Podcast, Jessica is in conversation with Topco Media’s CEO, Ralf Fletcher. Listen as she takes him through her journey, the insights she’s picked up along the way, and how Virgin Active South Af rica is thinking about their product offering. n
10 KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THIS PODCAST: 1 C-suite executives are people too 2 You prove yourself by leading with knowledge and insight 3 Building relationships is how your business grows 4 “You have to see the value, you have to share the value” 5 You can’t always be selling the same product, you need to always be thinking about what the right solution is
6 People want communities and you should think about how your business can build one
7 Ask yourself what you’re offering outside of your products and services
8 Look after your people, and then look after your customers 9 Consumers are looking for personalised journeys 10 Even brick and mortar businesses can go digital
92 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
WHAT YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT GETTING IT DONE LEADERSHIP SECRETS FROM NASHUA CEO, BARRY VENTER
BY KOKETSO MAMABOLO When you’re leading an organisation which has been operating for half a century, change is inevitably going to have to be at the top of your mind. Barry Venter, the CEO of ICT giant Nashua, understands this very well, having began his career when the ICT was much different to what it is today. This changing landscape has led to Nashua constantly adapting to the times, to great effect. In this Business Unusual podcast, Barry shares with Ralf Fletcher some of the approaches and lessons he has learnt which have made this transformation process such a success. The wide-ranging conversation touches on the behind the scenes thinking which has allowed Nashua to continue to be one of the country’s most recognised companies, with a footprint that spreads f rom offices to communities and homes. “We’ve been great at implementation and we might not be the world’s best strategist, but we’re good at getting things done, and getting stuck in,” says Barry. Find out how to get things done in this Business Unusual Podcast. n
10 KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THIS PODCAST: 1 The sales teams cannot sell without the product or service - start with building confidence in what you offer
2 Leadership is as much about getting things done as it is about having strategies in place 3 In order to transform your business, you need to understand your strengths first, and then get people onboard
4 A loyal customer base makes the transformation process smoother 5 Strategies are important, but the step-by-step details are even more important 6 With good project management, you can achieve anything 7 You can’t have a couple people who do everything - developing skills across your 8
organisation is more sustainable than relying on a few individuals Bringing change to a well established brand requires connecting with communities to show your capabilities
9 When your organisation has many different elements to it, the strength of your platforms and your partnerships are fundamental
10 People are looking for authentic leaders - what they see is what they must get Listen here
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 93
94 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 95
The EmpowHER Development Series is aimed at building communities and creating access to networks for entrepreneurs. Travelling across provinces, 10 preselected entrepreneurs pitch their promising business models to a well rounded panel of high level thought leaders and business experts in the form of a 3-minute elevator pitch
96 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
followed by an interactive 5-minute Q&A where participants receive feedback on how to successfully grow their businesses into market leaders. The winners from all the regions are then entered into the annual Standard Bank Top Women Awards and 1 Winner walks home with the trophy and a R50 000 cash prize. n
CEO of ProTalent EmpowHER Speaker
“It has been an incredibly good event. It is very professional. Each speaker has added so much value. What I love the most is it has been a really relaxed environment, beautiful decor, gorgeous entertainment and food but most importantly it is the vibe with the women, you can sense the joy and excitement in the room.”
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 97
ADVERTORIAL | QUANTUM FOODS
Growing in Feeds, Poultry and Eggs
uantum Foods provides quality animal feeds, poultry and eggs to consumers in South Africa and selected other African markets.
Quantum foods provides high volumes
Other key matters include the risk of
high grain prices increased the cost of
of quality products that provide
animal disease, particularly evident with
sales significantly, and the substantial
cost-effective solutions to important
the recent outbreak of avian influenza in
increase in load shedding hours led to
nutritional requirements for both
South Africa, leading to large numbers
extra costs and disruption of planned
livestock and human consumers.
of birds being destroyed. Performance
production. Further challenges included
is also subject to the direct correlation
the outbreak of avian influenza in South
Poultry are one of the most efficient
between GDP growth per capita and
Africa and the inability to recover these
converters of grain to protein in an
protein consumption. At the same
increased costs in a strained low-growth
economic context where food demand
time, disruptions in electricity supply
consumer environment. These factors
is increasing due to population growth
affect efficiency as many of the Group’s
contributed to a significant decline in
while available arable land is shrinking,
operations run continuously.
earnings in the 2022 financial year.
thus challenging future food security. Quantum Foods focuses on four
The Group completed a second
World grain prices significantly impact
strategic pillars: growing earnings
independent environmental, social
Quantum Foods’ profitability. As grain is
through industry cycles; having a
and governance audit of operations
the Group’s main input cost, Quantum
product and customer focus; achieving
in 2022 and performed exceptionally
Foods is, therefore, materially exposed
operational excellence; and enhancing
well, scoring over 90%. Other highlights
to the impact of climate variability
a performance culture to ensure
included being awarded the best
on planting conditions in key grain-
sustainability and value creation for
egg brand in South Africa for the 9th
producing countries. The value of the
consecutive year and receiving the
Rand is a further key factor, as the prices
award for transformation at the 116th
of these commodities are determined
2022 was an exceptionally difficult
South African Poultry Association
year for the poultry industry. Record
298 | TOP500 | TOP500| 12TH | 13THEDITION EDITION
QUANTUM FOODS | ADVERTORIAL
“INVESTING IN OUR AGRIBUSINESS AND OUR PEOPLE, SUSTAINABLY”
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Email: email@example.com Website: www.quantumfoods.co.za
3 | TOP500 EDITION 13TH EDITION| |12TH TOP500 | 99
Thoko Tshabalala-Shandu Managing Director of VEA Road Maintenance and Civils
VEA ROAD MAINTENANCE AND CIVILS VEA
BUILDING A POSITIVE AND LONG-LASTING LEGACY
100 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
t VEA, our central objective revolves around addressing the common challenges and inconveniences associated with road maintenance and civil works. Our dedicated team consistently prioritises the delivery of exceptional service, surpassing competitors, and exceeding the expectations of our esteemed clients and the broader community we serve.
Our commitment to inclusivity is unwavering. Through active participation in B-BBEE initiatives, our focus remains on uplifting and empowering communities, paving the way for a more promising future. As a testament to our dedication, we proudly hold the distinction of being a Level 1 B-BBEE participant, with a 51% Black Ownership stake. We remain steadfast in our commitment to furthering employment equality objectives, fostering an environment that nurtures and advances equal opportunities. We derive immense satisfaction from providing superior rehabilitation and routine maintenance services, marked by our successful partnerships with esteemed industry leaders such as the South African National Roads Agency and the Gauteng Department of Road and Transport. Our emphasis lies in cultivating robust connections with each client, guaranteeing consistently smooth and hassle-free service delivery on every occasion. In its inception, VEA Roads catered to a select group of clients; however, our unwavering dedication and exceptional performance quickly captured the attention of a broader clientele. Today, our team has experienced exponential growth and has successfully executed road maintenance contracts exceeding a value of R4-billion. This substantial progress not only attests to our achievements but also underscores our team’s ability to generate meaningful opportunities for a wider spectrum. Our direct employment of more than 353 individuals and empowerment of over 600 SMMEs and EMEs stand as a testament to our commitment to fostering growth within communities. Our sense of accomplishment is derived not solely from our business success, but from our profound dedication to our people and the areas we serve. n
Plot 107, 3 Erasmus Road. Mnandi Agricultural Holdings, Centurion, 0149 P.O. Box 54909, Wierdapark, 0149 0871600318 firstname.lastname@example.org www.vearoad.co.za
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 101
Protect The West Coast: Safeguarding communities and natural spaces The Cape West Coast needs help. Renowned for its natural beauty, biodiversity and endangered fauna and flora, unregulated diamond and other heavy mineral mining imperil this untouched wilderness, and the communities who live there.
An avalanche of mining activity and applications to mine threaten to engulf this fragile environment. Destructive, single-use mining endangers a sustainable economic future.
A Chronicle of Commitment
Protect The West Coast (PTWC) was formed in 2020 to urgently counter unchecked mining on this coast. Many permits to prospect or mine did not adequately consider the impacts, nor did they correctly adhere to environmental regulations. Founded on pillars of transparency, activism and legal action – and committed to protect the coast and the rights of communities – PTWC was formed by an alliance of outdoor athletes, academics, journalists, activists and concerned citizens. PTWC is not ‘anti-mining’. We recognise the important economic role that responsible mining has. However, it cannot come at the expense of communities and the land that provides their livelihood. We envision a future without desolate mine dumps but alternative industries working in unison with nature and her people.
A Pledge to the West Coast
PTWC’s objectives are: • To serve as a watchdog against unlawful mining and to ensure compliance with legal, social and environmental standards. • To hold mining companies and government accountable through legal measures that enforce responsible mining (ensuring lawful oversight and public participation), and to foster transparent environmental assessments. • To highlight and expose illegal and poorly regulated mining through media awareness.
102 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
To foster dialogue with stakeholders on the West Coast, including First Nations peoples and artisanal fishers marginalised by unscrupulous mining companies. To collaborate with strategic partners, NGOs, educational and research institutions, government and corporates to explore eco-friendly economic alternatives.
PTWC has achieved significant milestones: • Organised successful peaceful protests, including a demonstration at Tormin Mine on the West Coast and awareness activations on Cape Town beaches. • Put a harsh local and global media spotlight on mining, including coverage by The Daily Maverick, eNCA, Patagonia, Cape Talk, Agence France-Presse, and many others. • Built a large, passionate community of ‘Protectors’, with 11,800 Instagram followers and 1,200 email subscribers. • Partnered with 1% for the Planet, which is used by thousands of businesses and environmental partners. • Produced an award-winning documentary Ours, Not Mine and took it on tour around Cape Town and up the West Coast, achieving 15,000 Youtube views. • Secured a crucial out-of-court victory for the sensitive Olifants River Estuary and communities by preventing Trans Hex from mining there, after interdict proceedings initiated by PTWC. • Played a key role in a massive increase in public participation against mining and prospecting applications, including 750 objections against Bongani Minerals' recent application to mine Tungsten near Piketberg. • PTWC will launch an user-friendly digital platform to revolutionise the public registration process for objections to mining. This is a great marketing opportunity. Please contact us.
Join the Cause
Despite some success, PTWC is far from the funding required in our 20232025 Strategic Plan. We need R3 million (about US$160,000) annually for the next two years to have meaningful impact. We invite the Top 500 Companies in South Africa to join us. Your support safeguards the West Coast. It ensures a brighter economic future. PTWC is a registered Non-Profit Company (NPC) and Public Benefit Organisation (PBO).
For further information, visit www.protectthewestcoast.org or contact Miles Masterson - Communications and Fundraising Manager on email@example.com or 079 966 2548
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 103
TIPS & ADVICE
KEY TO BUSINESS SUCCESS
BRAND COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES
BY SINAZO MKOKO
104 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
TIPS & ADVICE
“Excellent communication doesn’t just happen naturally. It is a product of process, skill, climate, relationship and hard work. Pat McMillan, Founder and CEO of Triaxia Partners
or a business to be competitive and successful, it needs effective brand communication strategies. Magdaleen Scott, a seasoned communications specialist, says building a successful brand requires a strong focus on communication. “Communication on its own is indeed a form of art in today’s world, especially with consumers being served specific content on various platforms. Ten or so years ago, there were a handful of media outlets supplying you with content, specifically content that you engaged with or sought out. Now content is served to you by a bot that spent real time understanding your psychology, meaning that what was sent to you was exceptionally well planned and executed. So how do you start?” She shares the following tips that she’s used to build a strong and credible brand for her business and her clients: Get back to the basics by defining your brand’s corporate identity. Start by clearly defining your brand’s purpose, values, personality, and mission. Understand your target audience and how you can uniquely serve them. Always follow data insights on your unique values and purposes; the data tells the story. In the story, always craft a compelling brand message. Develop a concise and compelling message that communicates the essence of your brand. It should be memorable, authentic, and resonate with your target audience. Humans are wired to connect with stories. Use storytelling techniques to communicate your brand’s values, successes, and customer experiences. Create narratives that evoke emotions and resonate with your audience. All your non-verbal cues are equally important in the marketing sphere; it’s not just what you say that gets you into the relationship but also
chemistry. Visual elements like design, colour palette, typography, and imagery are all part of telling the story of attraction. Consistency not only seals the deal but also consistency across channels. Ensure consistent branding across all communication channels, including your website, social media profiles, emails, and offline materials. Use consistent visual elements, tone of voice, and messaging to create a cohesive brand experience. A relationship can only exist if you get engagement. Actively engage and communicate with your audience through social media, blog posts, newsletters, and events. Encourage two-way communication, respond to comments and inquiries promptly, and listen to customer feedback. Receiving communication back is like seeing your child smile for the first time; it’s mesmerising because your relationship is validated. If you don’t receive communication back, are you really in a relationship? Understand that stakeholder relations are the ‘new kid on the block’. Collaborate with businesses and industry influencers. Identify stakeholders, influencers, or thought leaders in your industry who align with your brand values. Collaborate with them to create content or develop partnerships, as their endorsement can enhance your brand’s reach and credibility. Monitor, agility (adjust) and provide excellent services. Continuously monitor the effectiveness of your communication strategies. Use data and analytics, as well as customer feedback, to understand what works and what needs improvement. Be open to agility in your approach when necessary. Communication must extend to exceptional customer service. Ensure that each interaction with your customers is positive, personalised, and addressed promptly. Remember, building a successful brand takes time and consistent effort. Stay authentic, focused, adaptable, and resilient as you communicate your brand’s message to your target audience.
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 105
TIPS & ADVICE
Here are three examples of iconic brand communication in South Africa:
Nando’s South Africa For years, we’ve watched the Nando’s brand produce quality brand communication through advertisements. Whatever crisis or issue the country is facing, the Nando’s brand ensures that they find the good side in it—humour—and they capitalise on that. They have been consistent in delivering the kind of brand communication that only Nando’s can on relevant topics in the country, from current affairs and politics to sports and trending issues on social media. The Nando’s brand has managed to build a unique branding and community strategy that their customers and South Af ricans have grown accustomed to and enjoy.
Lux The Lux brand has always celebrated beauty “as a source of strength.” It was no surprise that they chose former Miss South Africa and Miss Universe, Zozibini Tunzi, as the face of their brand. Zozi (as she’s fondly known as) has always emphasised that young women must see their faces reflected in hers, and perhaps this is aligned with Lux’s values. This collaboration has benefited both partners, with Zozi remaining relevant following her reign and the Lux brand enhancing its reach. The brand stated: “She is without a doubt unapologetically feminine, making her the perfect partner to help LUX inspire South African women to see their beauty as a strength and express their femininity unapologetically.”
Coca-Cola A good branding and communications strategy involves being relatable to your target audience. The Coca-Cola brand has done this through its slogans over the years. One of the greatest campaigns they ran was the “names-on-bottles” campaign. Customers would see their names on Coke bottles and believe that it spoke to them directly. The campaign helped increase the company’s market share. Dale Carnegie once said, “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language,” - Coca-Cola capitalised on this and voilà, it worked! n
106 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
PRODUCTIVITY PIT STOP ADVERTORIAL
PRODUCTIVITY PIT STOP
UNLOCKING OPTIMAL PRODUCTIVITY TRUSTED BY SEVENTY-ONE OF SOUTH AFRICA’S TOP 500 BEST MANAGED COMPANIES
LEVERAGE YOUR EXISTING INVESTMENT FOR PEAK PRODUCTIVITY Your top-performing teams face typical productivity challenges such as inefficient work practices, communication barriers, underutilising technology, and gaps in training and development. The contemporary workplace thrives on three foundational pillars: technology, processes, and people. In a world where hybrid models are redefining work: • Technology ensures robust connectivity. • Processes establish consistent standards. • People catalyse adaptability and innovation. The potential of Microsoft 365’s productivity suite is vast, and you’ve already made the investment. Our expertise lies in tapping into its full power, ensuring optimal personal and team productivity across your organisation. But what about the next step in tech evolution? AI IS HERE AND READY The AI Genie is out, and it's not just a buzzword. While generative AI is new to all, we have kept our finger on the AI pulse and helping our clients to embrace and use the power of AI as productivity tool. Gerrit Cloete: Productivity Innovator Through his innovative methods, individuals and teams are achieving optimal productivity with minimal effort.
OUR IMPACT? TANGIBLE AND TRANSFORMATIVE We’ve not only theorised but executed. Our portfolio boasts collaborations with 71 of the Top500 best-managed companies, and the numbers speak for themselves: • Over 15 000 professionals empowered across 320 companies in 12 countries. • Clients reclaiming productive time, equivalent to a month’s payroll of participating employees. • Dramatic meeting reductions - like one client who slashed their meetings by a third. • Happier, focused employees achieving more, faster. THE POWER OF COLLABORATION L&D executives remain pivotal in today’s work environment. By partnering with L&D teams, we pinpoint productivity bottlenecks, embrace a co-creative approach, and tailor solutions for the unique challenges you face. It’s not just a method - it’s a movement, and it works. VOICES OF SUCCESS Seelan Naidoo: General Manager, SA Sugar Association “After working with Productivity Pit Stop there was a significant improvement in planning and Duncan Hattingh: Tech Integration Specialist Duncan’s expertise in Outlook ensures communication is not just efficient, but strategically aligned with business objectives.
prioritising. The simplicity of tools and tips makes for effortless adoption.”
Ms. Kgadi Senyatsi: Head: Business Development, SAPPO “The team is very excited and appreciative of the skills acquired. They enjoy the self study supported by online group conversations.” Heinrich Mettler: Municipal Manager of Saldanha bay Municipality “I now have time for my family and still deal with all the important aspects of my work and responsibilities. My Executive Management Team is beginning to experience the difference in my productivity, as I am not micromanaging them anymore, but delegate more executive responsibilities to them.” n READY FOR TRANSFORMATION? If you’re ready for a transformative productivity shift, let’s begin this journey. Connect for a 17-minute conversation that could redefine your organisation’s future. Call: +27 82 737 3676 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Scan the QR code to email us instantly.
Richard de Villiers: Solution Strategist Richard designs strategies where teams not only connect and communicate better, but their collaboration becomes a driving force for success.
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 107
TIPS & ADVICE
MANAGING GEN Z IN THE WORKPLACE 15 STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS BY RAINE ST.CLAIRE
108 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
TIPS & ADVICE
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 109
TIPS & ADVICE
eneration Z is projected to make up 27% of the workforce by 2025.
This generation is characterised by its remarkable diversity and has not only been shaped by these factors but has also actively participated in significant social movements and structural issues. To meet the expectations of Gen Z, companies must adapt. For companies aiming to attract, retain, and engage young employees, bridging generational gaps becomes essential to prioritise human connections and align with Gen Z’s preferences. Engaging the Gen Z workforce In their commitment to social change, Gen Z has taken on essential roles in various movements, fighting against racism, discrimination, sexual harassment, gun violence, and the escalating climate crisis. The widening income gap has also cast a shadow over upward social mobility, making it increasingly elusive. The influence of Gen Z is shaping societal norms, impacting workplaces, and even affecting election outcomes. Within their professional roles, Gen Z employees bring their unique values and priorities, particularly their desire for transparent recognition and incentives. Their efforts are making a profound impact. Understanding the new generation the power of purpose A corporation’s purpose, its raison d’être, emerges as the most potent tool for meeting the intrinsic needs of this new generation. Purpose guides decision-making, nurtures shared values, and facilitates individual mastery. Adapting the employee experience through the lens of purpose is essential. To effectively engage and motivate Gen Z workers, corporations need to understand their unique needs through a human-centric approach. The universal psychological needs of autonomy, belonging, and mastery have distinctive implications for these generations in the workplace. Autonomy Gen Z, raised with limitless access to information, seeks autonomy in decision-making. Encourage their motivation by adapting management styles, allowing room for exploration and process improvement. Leveraging their strengths,
110 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
such as tech-savviness and social connectivity, aligns them with organisational vision and boosts engagement. Belonging A deeper sense of connection is crucial for Gen Z. Studies show they view work as an extension of their identity and prefer organisations that share their values. Purpose acts as a rallying cry, fostering emotional connections among employees and with the company. Mastery Employability takes precedence over long-term employment for Gen Z. Offering continuous skill development and meaningful growth opportunities is highly desired. To prepare for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, corporations must personalise learning journeys aligned with individual purpose. Leadership strategies for managing Gen Z employees
Encourage innovation and work-life balance • Gen Z employees value innovation and work-life balance, reflecting their entrepreneurial and diverse nature. • Prioritising mental health sets them apart f rom previous generations.
Lead by example • Leading through vision and feedback supersedes traditional top-down approaches. • Hiring employees aligned with your vision and empowering them leads to impactful outcomes.
Understand their needs • Engage in open dialogues, seek feedback, and address needs like mental health, flexibility, and worklife balance to prevent high turnover rates.
Provide growth opportunities • Recognise their hunger for continuous growth. • Offer learning experiences and embrace their f resh perspectives through reverse mentoring.
TIPS & ADVICE
Leverage their desire for change • Harness Gen Z’s propensity to challenge norms and drive change. • Utilise their voices and ideas for strategic and cultural transformations.
Setting clear expectations • Guide Gen Z through results with explicit goals and regular check-ins. • This approach heightens accountability and performance.
Focus on the individual • Avoid stereotypes by understanding and motivating each individual. • Connect their efforts to impact, reinforcing their value and aiding development.
Adapting management flexibility • Tailor management approaches to Gen Z’s values. work for Gen Z. • Focus on meaningful contributions, ownership, and a sense of belonging to attract and retain their talent.
Learning from them • Leveraging Gen Z’s technological affinity fosters mutual learning. • Curiosity and openness pave the way for shared growth.
Encouraging open communication • Gen Z seeks purpose and alignment, underscoring the importance of transparent communication. • Harness their candidness to foster an open workplace culture.
Cultivating a healthy culture • Forge an inclusive, safe culture that aligns words with actions. • Gen Z values transparency and authenticity.
Leading with empathy • Future leaders must embody empathy, innovation, and purposedriven leadership. • Prioritise social connections and balance to resonate with Gen Z.
Early investment • Empower Gen Z with skills for success in a hybrid work environment. • Prepare to lead and be led by this adaptable generation.
Nurturing supportive environments • Understanding and addressing Gen Z’s needs cultivate trust and productivity. • Drive their growth and overall success.
Embracing evolving work values • Acknowledge the shifting value of work for Gen Z. • Adjust policies and benefits to mirror this transformation.
Understanding and accommodating Gen Z employees is crucial for the future of corporations. Aligning leadership strategies with their values and needs is the key to fostering a successful and innovative workforce. Prioritising purpose, effective communication, and growth not only ensures seamless integration of Gen Z into the evolving corporate landscape but also contributes to their success. Employers need to embrace Gen Z into their workforce and develop initiatives that uphold the future of work. Incorporating neurodiversity as a fourth pillar in your DEI initiatives, alongside gender, racial, and sexual preference, sends a powerful message of empathy and dedication to the Gen Z workforce within your organisation. n
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 111
TIPS & ADVICE
MANAGING A HYBRID WORK ENVIRONMENT
10 STRATEGIES FOR PRODUCTIVITY IN AN EVER-EVOLVING LANDSCAPE BY RAINE ST.CLAIRE
112 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
TIPS & ADVICE
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 113
TIPS & ADVICE
he dynamics of the office have undergone a significant transformation. Flexibility in the form of hybrid work arrangements has become the norm for many employees and managers. Enhancing productivity among hybrid employees demands a strategic approach and policy adaptation to align with the changing work environment. The challenges of managing a team have always been present, but the introduction of hybrid work environments adds unique complexities. When employees spend only part of their time in the office, establishing a strong sense of connection and fostering a cohesive culture becomes even more crucial. Additionally, leaders must find ways to gauge and sustain productivity across varying schedules, all without the reliance on face-to-face interactions. Creating a sense of structure can help prevent misunderstandings and grievances.
Clearly stipulating that employees are expected to be physically present at the office at least twice a week can quell accusations of favouritism. Such guidelines can also aid in coordinating tasks among managers and teams. For instance, scheduling brainstorming sessions or important meetings when the entire team is on-site can enhance collaboration. Simultaneously, establishing clear expectations provides employees the autonomy to accomplish individual tasks without disruptions. Efficiently managing hybrid employees for enhanced productivity necessitates a thoughtful approach that adapts policies to suit the evolving work landscape. As the prevalence of hybrid work models continues to rise, it becomes imperative to guide employees through this new paradigm while preserving their engagement and productivity.
Here are 10 strategies to achieve these goals:
1. COMPREHEND EMPLOYEES’ WORK VALUES Recognise that employees seek personalised work experiences tailored to their distinct needs. Managers, as the primary point of interaction, play a pivotal role in shaping these experiences. Empower managers with the tools and resources needed to engage in effective conversations with employees, understanding their work values, and crafting tailored experiences that foster engagement and productivity.
2. EMBRACE FLEXIBILITY In the current hybrid work scenario, where employees often juggle professional and personal commitments from home, flexibility takes centre stage. Transitioning f rom a standardised in-office work model to a structured hybrid approach that empowers employees to customise their schedules poses logistical challenges. Nonetheless, organisations that adopt radical flexibility observe heightened performance levels among their workforce.
3. CULTIVATE CONNECTIONS Safeguarding a robust organisational culture in hybrid work settings remains a prominent concern for CEOs. Facilitate deliberate instances of connection, such as periodic in-person meetings and on-site collaboration with managers. This approach sustains the company’s culture and performance while preserving theadvantages of flexibility.
114 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
TIPS & ADVICE
4. REINFORCE ORGANISATIONAL OFFERINGS As employees reassess their priorities, it is pivotal to demonstrate the organisation’s enduring commitment to their well-being. Spotlight existing values and initiatives that prioritise employees’ growth, skill development, and employability. Simultaneously, invest in new avenues to support their personal and professional aspirations.
5. ESTABLISH TRUST Fostering trust holds paramount importance in a hybrid work environment. Managers should exhibit confidence in their employees’ decision-making capabilities, providing them with a supportive structure and well-defined expectations. Excessive micromanagement can lead to disengagement and burnout, particularly when employees are already navigating elevated stress levels.
6. ENHANCE TRANSPARENCY AND VISIBILITY Transparency and unambiguous expectancies are indispensable practices within any organisation, and their significance magnifies in a hybrid model where colleagues possess limited insight into one another’s work routines. Empowering employees to dedicate more time to actual work rather than deciphering the process promotes enhanced performance and engagement.
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 115
TIPS & ADVICE
7. EMBRACE DIVERSE WORK MODES FOR INNOVATION To foster innovation, organisations must acknowledge that asynchronous collaboration can yield results comparable to synchronous work. Recognising employees’ work patterns enables companies to strike a balance between various collaboration modes, accommodating diverse preferences and requirements.
8. AMPLIFY RECOGNITION Effective recognition serves as a potent motivator and a blueprint for desired behaviours. Public acknowledgments, tokens of appreciation, developmental opportunities, and modest incentives can effectively recognise employees’ contributions. Given reduced visibility in a hybrid work environment, simple pulse surveys and personalised interactions can facilitate identification and reward of commendable achievements.
9. PROVIDE ADEQUATE TECHNOLOGY AND TOOLS Equipping employees with essential technology and collaboration tools is indispensable for seamless remote and on-site functioning. It is crucial to remember that not all individuals may be comfortable with virtual communication. Therefore, establishing norms and offering support for virtual interactions can prove advantageous.
10. STRATEGICALLY UTILISE MEETINGS A potential pitfall with hybrid teams is an excessive reliance on meetings for constant check-ins. While handling status updates and progress discussions via meetings might be efficient for team leaders, such gatherings can be unproductive and feel like micromanagement for employees. Evaluating the necessity and efficacy of group meetings in terms of progress and actionable outcomes is essential.
Embrace change: Foster inclusivity by shedding old management methods Despite the growing prevalence of hybrid and remote work, managerial attitudes toward it often remain unfavourable. A recent survey on Human Resource Management revealed that supervisors sometimes overlook remote employees when assigning tasks. Additionally, a substantial percentage of managers perceive remote workers as expendable. This outdated “out of sight, out of mind” approach needs to be addressed.
miss out on critical discussions and assignments. It’s crucial to distribute work equitably based on skills and involve all key contributors in project deliberations, irrespective of physical presence.
Shifting to hybrid work environments requires managers to relinquish conventional management methods. Balancing flexibility and autonomy with well-defined guidelines and equitable support forms a strong foundation. By implementing these strategies, organisations can adeptly manage hybrid employees and cultivate a productive and engaged workforce Hybrid employees, although not completely remote, might have dissimilar in-person schedules within the evolving work landscape. n compared to their peers and supervisors. Consequently, certain team members might
116 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
TIPS & ADVICE
BURNOUT IS ON THE RISE
HOW TO RECOGNISE THE SIGNS AND RECOVER
BY KOKETSO MAMABOLO
ne of the key findings from the State of Workplace Burnout Report 2022 is an alarming one: Burnout is increasing, while wellbeing is declining. How does one recognise the signs of burnout? And how can you deal with it?
latest Work Trend Index Annual Report reinforces this point, noting that 43% of employees will consider switching jobs this year, with a greater emphasis on organisational support, meaningful work which is in line with personal values and flexible working arrangements.
What is burnout? In the World Health Organisation’s 2019 International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), burnout was defined as, “a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”
The report boldly states that, “Preventing burnout will be the most significant factor that determines if an organisation survives or thrives in the coming decade.”
They identify three dimensions:
Exhaustion or lack of energy
Feeling mentally disconnected from your role
A decrease in efficiency / productivity
People who feel less productive when burnout
Experiencing all three dimensions of burnout
Feel more engaged when not burnout
The State of Workplace Burnout Report found that the only age group which saw a decrease in burnout was the 45 - 54 age group. Interestingly, people with entry-level experience and those at the executive / senior management level both saw an increase in burnout. The report highlights how there has been a drop in organisation support from 2021 to 2022.
What causes burnout? The State of Burnout Report mentions five indicators: An overwhelming workload, little to no organisational support, values not aligning, being treated unfairly and ‘toxic’ behaviour f rom leaders.
There seems to be a strong correlation between burnout and a lack of support from the organisation one finds themselves in. It further highlights that organisations with people-first policies have an edge in the jobs market. The
The first, an unmanageable workload, is perhaps the aspect people think of most. This can happen for many reasons including understaffing, inconsiderate leaders and deadline pressure.
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 117
TIPS & ADVICE
“When work feels burdensome and endless, even high-performing people can shift from engaged to hopeless,” reads the report. “This can happen imperceptibly over a period of time or all of a sudden.” Signs that you’re doing too much While burnout has both a physical and mental impact (which are intertwined in many ways), there are a few obvious signs that you’re working too hard and not resting enough. The physical signs include:
endless cycle of deadlines with too much energy spent on the urgent and unimportant tasks. If you’re a leader in your organisation, consider delegating some tasks (keeping in mind the workload others may have). If you’re a member of a team, check to see if any of your teammates can help you complete the tasks that are taking the most out of you. Finding a work-life balance is also key. Working overtime, taking work home with you and working on the weekend doesn’t give you time to detach and focus on your own personal life. You need to ‘protect your peace’ by setting boundaries. ‘Me time’ has never been more important. n
The mental and behavioural signs can be less obvious with those around you, such as colleagues and family. These can take different forms, including a pessimistic and cynical outlook, feelings of isolation, self-doubt, a lack of motivation and satisfaction, poor performance, procrastination, emotional outbursts, irritability and using coping mechanisms such as food, drugs and alcohol. How to recover from burnout Recovering from burnout can take anywhere from weeks to years, depending on the severity, but recognising that you have it is an important first step. Seeing a therapist can help with mental and behavioural problems. A therapist can point you towards healthy coping mechanisms and afford you the opportunity to clear your mind and identify underlying issues that may be contributing to feelings of isolation, self-doubt etc. It’s also important to sit and gauge your priorities, seeing what you can add or subtract from your daily routine to allow you more breathing room. It’s easy to get trapped in an Sources: WHO | Microsoft | Infinite Potential | Everyday Health | Cleveland Clinic | Healthline | Oprah Daily
118 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 119
TIPS & ADVICE
WORK-LIFE INTEGRATION IS THE NEW WORK-LIFE BALANCE STRATEGIES FOR EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES
BY RAINE ST.CLAIRE
avigating the perpetual struggle of balancing work and personal commitments, the pursuit of seamlessly integrating professional and personal realms - referred to as work-life integration - carries significant implications. This concept not only affects individual well-being but also influences career growth, impacting both employees and employers alike. Strategies for balancing work and personal life A noticeable trend has emerged among employees, prompting them to reconsider the boundaries that demarcate their work and personal lives. Instead of merely pursuing the conventional concept of work-life balance, individuals are now placing a stronger emphasis on achieving a more blended approach - one that harmonises their work responsibilities with personal commitments and passions. This paradigm shift is underpinned by an awareness of life’s precarious nature, driving the aspiration to maximise both professional and personal pursuits. This evolving perspective is also echoed by employers who have recognised the paramount importance of providing work-life integration as a means to attract and retain a competitive, skilled workforce. As the lines between work and personal life blur, the quest for seamless integration between these realms grows increasingly vital in the modern professional environment.
120 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
Balancing priorities In today’s interconnected world, work often overshadows other aspects of life, leading to the neglect of personal well-being. Striking a balance between work and personal life, or blending them, is vital not just for health but also for career growth. This balance is unique to each person and is shaped by diverse life commitments. Individuals who effectively achieve this equilibrium often credit the flexibility their work schedules provide. Recent research shows that many employers have embraced greater flexibility in scheduling and work arrangements over the past seven years. Addressing workplace stress and understanding the core issue Stress takes a toll on employees, companies, and the economy. Even before the pandemic, workplace stress was estimated to cost the U.S. economy over $500-billion annually, resulting in numerous lost workdays due to burnout. The pandemic worsened this situation, highlighting the need for proactive measures. Attaining work-life balance does not solely mean working fewer hours. The root cause of burnout lies in how work is experienced. A supportive work environment, where individuals feel motivated and valued, leads to less stressful conditions.
TIPS & ADVICE
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 121
TIPS & ADVICE
The power of no This tiny yet powerful word in the English language holds the key to personal and professional growth. Saying no is essential for personal and professional growth. It reshapes cognitive patterns, enhances decision-making, and establishes boundaries, contributing to mental well-being. This assertiveness empowers boundary setting and opens doors to new opportunities. Embrace imperfection The term work-life balance, conjures up visions of an exceptionally productive workday
followed by an equal amount spent enjoying personal interests. However, instead of rigidly pursuing an elusive perfect life, the focus should be on crafting a realistic approach. Achieving balance is a gradual process developed over time, not confined to a single day. Upholding a dynamic approach and consistently evaluating one’s progress vis-à-vis goals and priorities is essential. Being open to redirection and reevaluation on any given day is pivotal in the pursuit of equilibrium.
Ten steps for achieving harmony between work and life:
Acknowledge the holistic benefits of finding balance.
Learn to say no to prevent burnout.
Set clear boundaries and communicate them.
Prioritise tasks using time management techniques.
Delegate tasks to encourage collaboration.
Plan and organise schedules, including time to relax.
Unplug regularly for mental rejuvenation.
Practice self-care through physical activity, nutrition, and sleep.
Foster open communication with employers.
Reflect and adjust balance as circumstances evolve.
The hybrid working world: A recipe for happy employees An increasing number of employees are showing reluctance to revert to traditional norms, and insightful employers are embracing this shift. The focus is not solely on the location of work but rather on its execution. To accommodate this fusion, employers must assess employee performance based on output and adherence
122 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
to set deadlines, rather than fixating on the number of hours spent working. For many, work holds deeper significance beyond a mere job and paycheck. It intertwines with their identity and mirrors their individuality. It shapes interactions and influences the impact they have on others, thereby affecting their own existence.
TIPS & ADVICE
Navigating the pursuit of employee happines At first glance, achieving work-life balance might seem synonymous with simply reducing work hours. However, insights from the analytics consultancy leader Gallup reveal that the issue is not solely about excessive work. Burnout originates from how individuals perceive their workload. “When people feel motivated, inspired, and supported in their work, they become more productive, and this work places significantly less stress on their overall health and well-being.” Another study highlights that employees anticipate employers to provide enhanced
support, fostering a sense of belonging, connection, well-being, and flexibility at work. Diverse strategies can fulfil this expectation, yet it is essential to observe the shifting work landscape of the past year. The global pandemic and the consequent surge in remote work have further blurred the distinctions between work and personal life. Personal challenges that employees may face have become a collective effort with management to brainstorm the necessity and feasibility of offering employee support with every day struggles such as therapy, healthcare, and family care/daycare.
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 123
TIPS & ADVICE
Skills to hone leadership fitness:
Acknowledge the new workplace norm Eliminating commutes allows work to intertwine with personal pursuits. Evaluate performances based on output, not hours worked. Work’s Significance and Integration
Work is intertwined with identity and influences interactions. Distinguishing work from personal life is time-consuming. Aim for cohesive integration based on individual circumstances. Adopt the shifting work landscape
Understand that work-life balance is about workload perception. Motivated, supported employees are more productive and less stressed. Offer enhanced support, fostering well-being and flexibility. Solicit Employee Input Consult employees for effective policy implementation. Regular reviews sustain work-life equilibrium and a robust work environment. Draft flexible work schedules
Start with achievable changes like flexible schedules. Empower employees with control over their time, improving harmony between personal and professional life. Prioritise output over hours worked. Embrace remote work Acknowledge the viability of remote work. Design policies that accommodate individual needs and preferences. Offer solution based perks
Prioritise benefits that enhance lives and job satisfaction. Consider private health insurance contributions, on-site daycare, extended parental leave, home office allowances, employee assistance programs, fitness sessions, and more. Lead by example
A supportive work environment translates to collective team well-being. Demonstrating conduct aligned with this principle sets a precedent for employees to adopt similar practices
Conclusion Striking work-life integration requires understanding, effort, and adaptability. A harmonious blend of personal and professional realms enhances well-being, relationships, and overall fulfilment. It is a journey worth taking for everyone’s benefit. n
124 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
Brainfood for business. Take a journey away from short termism and start looking at a better future. Meet the interesting people changing Africa – and the way we work, think and live.
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 125
TIPS & ADVICE
5 WAYS TO IMPROVE EMPLOYEE MENTAL HEALTH BY KELLY FISHER
126 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
TIPS & ADVICE
o say that it’s been a mentally and emotionally draining time would be an understatement. From the stress that a pandemic brought, to the worry around job security, to the pressures of working from home and being hands-on parents, mental health is deteriorating. And while some companies may feel that it’s not up to them to take care of their employees’ mental well-being, many good bosses know that a happy employee is a productive one. Here are five ways a company can improve employee mental health. Give teams a break This is the most obvious one of all. People need a break. Research has shown that people who work from home are spending more time at their desks than ever before. Employees are working harder than ever and they are putting in more hours. This is caused by a number of factors that we don’t need to get into here. Just know that your employees need a break. Reward them with some time off that doesn’t come from their leave allocation. Irvine Partners, a full-service public relations and integrated marketing agency, recently gave its entire staff complement a Friday off to relax and rest. “Our team is one of the hardest working in the business and they have been giving it their all over the last few months,” says Hayley van der Woude, MD of the company. “We are aware, however, that they are not superhuman and it’s only natural that they’d be taking straing. So, we decided to close the company for a day and give everyone a mental health day that doesn’t come off their leave allocation. Sure, people could take time off at any time, but when you are given a licence to stop and recharge, it makes all the difference.. What was heartening is how incredibly supportive and understanding our clients were about it. It goes to show that everyone is going through this”. Host a wellness day Company wellness days used to focus almost entirely on physical health. There would be stations for cholesterol checks, stations for advice on food to eat, and stations for fitness checks, for example. But, with mental health taking a knock, it’s a good time for companies to look at adding more mental health checks on these days.
A focus like this could mean including free assessments or sessions with therapists on the day, a fun activity that boosts moods and morale, or resources to help employees take better care of their wellbeing. Do fun team-building We understand that not everyone is keen on team-building. In fact, you can probably hear people audibly groan when you suggest this. But, more often than not, team-building sessions do wonders for morale and overall mental wellbeing. When these sessions are fun and held on company time instead of after hours, employees are more likely to get involved and be excited about them. If it needs to be virtual to remain safe, you could try a group Airbnb Online Experience. You could opt to do a live virtual safari together, a group mediation session with a monk or even a funny historial “true vs false” game. There are many experiences to choose f rom and all allow guests to step away f rom work for a bit and just relax and have some fun. Subsidise therapy sessions where possible We understand that this is not something that all companies can offer. But if you can offer one or two sessions per employee every now and then, it would go a long way towards showing how much you value your team. These sessions don’t even have to be in-person. They could be through services such as Better Help that allow for virtual consultations via video call, email or even text. Lead from the front Employees take their cue from managers. If they see you working until late into the night and starting early in the morning, they will believe that this is expected of them too. They won’t switch off if you don’t. If you show that you have tools to spend time with your family or to do something that brings you joy, they will do the same. If you message your team at all hours of the day and night, they will feel inclined to do the same. Don’t put this pressure on them. Set a good example and take better care of your mental health in order for them to do the same. n
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 127
ONEPLAN GROUP HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN An affordable employee benefit that allows you to attract and retain TM
talent, boost productivity, and improve corporate wellness efforts!
ONEPLAN GROUP HEALTH INSURANCE
Why Oneplan is the health cover solution for your employees:
Anaccess affordable that allows to attract Always on to employee their healthbenefit insurance policy,you benefits andand retain talent, boost productivity, and improve corporate wellness efforts! claims with the Oneplan App and Onecard claims card. Pre-loaded Day-to-Day Benefits, meaning your employees Oneplan thefunds health cover have access toWhy medical day toisday when they need it, helping solution for your employees: them get better quickly. No Doctor Networks, no need tohealth worry about policy, finding a doctor Always on access to their insurance benefits and on a network that is available or being limited to online consults. claims with the Oneplan App and Onecard claims card. Pre-loaded Benefits, meaning your employees Access to all Major Day-to-Day Private Hospitals. Oneplan covers have access to medical day to day funds when they need it, helping Casualty, Illness, Accidents, Dread Disease, Birth and Neo Natal them get better quickly. with no co-payments or Networks, sub limits. no Your is available No Doctor needbenefit to worryamount about finding a doctor on ato. network that is available or being limited to online consults. use as you need Access to allwith Major Hospitals. Oneplan add covers No Excess on Claims the Private Oneplan excess buster on Casualty, Illness, Accidents, Dread Disease, Birth and Neo Natal from as little aswith R15. no co-payments or sub limits. Your benefit amount is available use as you need to. Additional BONUS Benefits which are included in each plan No Excess on Claims with Oneplan excess for busterFamilies, add on for Accident Disability, Accidental the Death Cover from as little as R15. Trauma, Assault, and Accidental Additional BONUS HIV Benefits which are included in each plan Easy Onboarding and Management of employee health for Accident Disability, Accidental Death Cover for Families, and Accidental HIV Group Scheme portal. policy profilesTrauma, madeAssault, easy with Oneplan's Easy Onboarding and Management of employee health policy profiles made easy with Oneplan's Group Scheme portal.
Companies with 50 employees or more get an EXCLUSIVE Companies with 50 employees or more get an EXCLUSIVE discount on Oneplan Health Schemes! discount on OneplanGroup Group Health Schemes!
PARTNER WITH ONEPLAN ONEPLAN TODAY PARTNER WITH TODAY www.oneplan.co.za
T&Cs apply. Auth FSP & Ins (17703). Oneplan is a Short Term Ins Prod, not a medical aid. Oneplan products underwritten by Bryte Insurance Company South Africa Ltd
128 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
T&Cs apply. Auth FSP & Ins (17703). Oneplan is a Short Term Ins Prod, not a medical aid.
ONEPLAN INSURANCE ADVERTORIAL
PROVIDING YOU WITH HEALTH COVER WHEN YOU NEED IT THE MOST
ecause our philosophy is that everybody should be able to have access to quality benefits they can use when they need to, Oneplan's mission is to make today better for South Africans by providing affordable insurance products to our clients. We are the leaders in the South African insurance market with our unique claiming process that allows clients to preload day-to-day health care funds directly onto a OneCard via the OnePlan App in one minute. The OneCard enables clients to afford medical treatment when they need it, and rather than paying out-of-pocket and waiting for reimbursement, we upf ront
the funds for them to swipe and use at their medical practitioner. We believe this has contributed to our success, as we have simplified the claiming process for our clients and made their healthcare benefits instantly accessible. Another unique aspect of our health insurance offering is that we do not work with specified provider networks, so our clients can visit any doctor of their choice and have access to private hospitals like Life, Netcare, Mediclinic, and other hospital networks. Our plans are comprehensive at every premium, so clients have both day-to-day and in-hospital coverage.
This is our way of ensuring that even those with limited budgets are able to get quality health care when they need it most and do not have to waste leave or sick days waiting in clinic queues or for payday to come around in order to afford visiting the doctor or accessing medicine. Oneplan Insurance offers group health insurance to companies looking to provide affordable healthcare benefits for their staff. Our plans are unique in that they include additional benefits like family death cover and dread disease at no additional cost, meaning there's no need to source these benefits f rom other third parties for your employees.
Here are just a few more of the reasons why Oneplan Group Health Insurance is a valuable addition to your employee benefit suite: • • • • • • • •
Employees can preload funds for day-to-day benefits before visiting the doctor. Employees can easily manage their policy and claim through the OnePlan App and are all issued OneCard claims card. Employees can keep their current doctor or visit any doctor of their choice, with no networks on our policies. A range of four plan options to suit various healthcare needs and budgets. Extensive in-hospital coverage with casualty, illnesses and accident benefits. Maternity pre-birth, birth and neonatal benefits. Day-to-day benefits include dental coverage, optometry coverage, script and over-the-counter medication, x-rays and more. Discounts and tailored rates for groups or companies of more than 50 people. n
Learn more about how we're making today better for many South Africans at www.oneplan.co.za or if you're interested in group health insurance, you can reach out to us at email@example.com
Oneplan products are underwritten by Bryte Insurance Company South Africa Ltd.
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 129
CONNECTING THE COUNTRY
RISING INVESTMENT IN TELECOMMUNICATIONS
BY KOKETSO MAMABOLO
nnovation and developments in the tech industry can have far reaching impacts on all other industries. The products and services which emanate from the sector have the power to change how businesses operate and how consumers live their lives. We all use technology, whether directly or indirectly, and in the last decade the pace of change has created a host of opportunities for investors to get involved and for businesses to take their operations to the next level.
130 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
The Digital Landscape With much of the focus in the last year being on the incredible developments in artificial intelligence, the progress in other sub-sectors has gone under the radar. The world is changing before our eyes. E-commerce has come to the fore; digital payments are democratising access to financial services and over 70% of South Africans were using the internet in some form at the beginning of 2023.
Percentage of SA population using the internet
Percentage of SA population using social media
Percentage of SA population not using the internet
(Sources: Data Portal Digital Report 2023)
Telecommunications The International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) spectrum auction, which was concluded in March last year, raised almost R15-billion and will decrease communication costs, enhance competition in the telecommunications sector and ultimately open the opportunities for greater connectivity. The telecommunications industry is a perfect example of the growth the technology sector is experiencing and it could be argued that connectivity underpins much of the economic activity in, similar to primary sectors such as mining. Telecommunications revenue & Investment R200.2-billion - Total Revenue in 2021 R208.1-billion - Total Revenue in 2022 R14.4-billion - Amount raised in IMT Spectrum Auction in 2022
In 2022, the telecommunications industry saw its total revenue rise by 3.94% f rom the previous year. Despite a decline in 2021 the last five years has seen consistent growth in the sub-sector, exceeding the R200-billion mark in three of the last five years. Mobile services contributed more than 50% of the revenue in 2022. Fixed Internet and Data Revenue 2018 - 2022 Total Fixed Internet and Data Revenue 2018: R19 078 304 740 2019: R26 790 096 707 2020: R25 335 440 726
According to Deloitte’s global 2023 Telecom Industry Outlook: “With high demand, strong competition, and the need to optimise costs and risk, more CSPs [communications service providers] are partnering with private investors to accelerate deployment of fibre networks. These partnerships can be mutually beneficial – and reinforced with government funding that can further incentivise build-out.” The report also highlights that CSPs are looking to lower energy costs, increase the use of clean energy and avoid the reputational damage that could come with not reaching netzero targets or decreasing emissions. n
2021: R23 493 901 812
Revenue From Fixed Broadband Services
2022: R20 915 629 887
2018: R11 003 085 498
Investment in the sub-sector 17.6% saw a significant increase from 2021 to 2022, sitting at R39.7billion in the latter, albeit in the (Sources: ICASA’s State of the ICT Sector in context of a 4.03% decrease over SA report - March 2023) the same five-year period which has seen revenue rise. Mobile In 2022, the telecommunications communication services is where industry saw its total revenue rise the majority of investment has by 3.94% from the previous year. been (over R15-billion last year) Despite a decline in 2021 the last with inf rastructure investment five years has seen consistent coming in at just under growth in the sub-sector, exceeding R7-billion, increasing 4.27% the R200-billion mark in three of over the last five years. the last five years. Mobile services contributed more than 50% of the revenue in 2022. Increase in investment in 2022
2019: R13 918 376 242 2020: R13 540 003 128 2021: R13 262 951 804 2022: R12 782 037 634 (Sources: ICASA’s State of the ICT Sector in SA report - March 2023)
Sources: Data Reportal | Offer Zen | My Broadband | Deloitte 13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 131
THE STATE OF SOUTH AFRICAN ENERGY ENERGY
BY RAINE ST.CLAIRE
substantial energy crisis has tightened its grip on the country. Government’s foremost priority is the restoration of energy security. In July of last year, President Ramaphosa presented a clear action plan designed to
132 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
confront the energy crisis head-on, with the objective of closing the 4 000 to 6 000 megawatt electricity gap. The successful execution of this plan necessitates robust central coordination and swift government intervention.
THE PLAN OUTLINES FIVE CRITICAL MEASURES TO ADDRESS THE SITUATION: the operational efficiency of Eskom’s coal-fired power stations and 1 Enhancing augmenting the current supply capacity.
2 Streamlining and expediting private investments in electricity generation capacity. the procurement process for new capacity derived from renewable sources, 3 Accelerating gas, and battery storage.
4 Encouraging both businesses and residences to invest in rooftop solar solutions. 5 enduring energy security.
Instigating a fundamental transformation within the electricity sector to establish
ENHANCING ESKOM’S PERFORMANCE • Ensuring power station reliability. • Under the leadership of the new board, Eskom will prioritise the reliability of key power stations. • Resources will be strategically deployed to address contributors to load-shedding. Addressing Kusile power station issues • •
Urgent construction efforts will be directed towards an interim solution Immediate repairs to the collapsed chimney stack will be undertaken, with a focus on restoring the functionality of three units Rebuilding skills
Recruitment initiatives will target skilled personnel to bolster the performance of underperforming stations Collaboration with the Engineering Council will facilitate the assistance of engineers in station management Resolving debt burden
The National Treasury will work towards resolving the R400 billion debt issue, ensuring funds are allocated for maintenance and transmission
Stabilising diesel funding and excess power purchase • Government backing will secure the necessary diesel resources, leading to reduced instances of load-shedding • Eskom’s purchase of power from private generators has already secured 300 MW.
Combating corruption and theft: •
Dedicated task force within the South African Police will be formed to combat corruption and theft Restructuring Eskom:
• • •
Ongoing restructuring efforts for Eskom are in progress The emergence of a National Transmission Company with an independent board is underway The Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill aims to establish a competitive market
HARNESSING SOLAR POWER • The rollout of rooftop solar panels is proceeding as planned. • Tax incentives have been introduced to encourage solar panel adoption among households and businesses. • Adjustments have been made to the Bounce-back Loan Scheme to accommodate small business solar investments. EXPANDING NEW ELECTRICITY CAPACITY • Private developers are now authorised to engage in electricity generation projects. • Over 100 projects with a projected capacity exceeding 9,000 MW are in the pipeline. • The delivery of 2,800 MW through renewable energy projects is imminent. • Eskom will secure emergency power procurement to bridge the immediate capacity gap.
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 133
INVESTMENT IN TRANSMISSION AND SUBSTATIONS • The establishment of new transmission lines and substations is in progress across Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, and Western Cape. • This initiative will lead to a substantial power increase within the grid within the next 12-18 months. • The resulting energy mix will encompass coal, solar, wind, gas, nuclear, hydro, and battery storage. THE JUST ENERGY TRANSITION INVESTMENT PLAN (JET IP): Through the JET-IP, an investment of R1.5 trillion is earmarked for the economy over the next five years, specifically targeting new frontiers such as renewable energy, green hydrogen, and electric vehicles. Emerging sectors, including major green hydrogen, electric vehicles, and fuel cells, are poised to reshape the economy. The JET IP funding requirements per sector, 2023 - 2027 Funding requirements 2023-2027
ZAR billion (US $ billion)
New Energy Vehicle (NEV) Sector
Green Hydrogen (GH2) Sector
1 480 (98.7)
IPG funding to South Africa JET IP and allocation across sectors Majority funding in concessional loans and inf rastructure construction taking the lion’s share of the funding. n International Partners Group (IPG) members and their contribution to South Africa JET IP Billion USD Grants
European Investment Bank
0.00 Climate Investment Funds (CIF)
134 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
Per capita electricity generation by source, 2022 Coal
16,602 kWh 16,274 kWh
12,702 kWh 9,614 kWh
4,543 kWh 2,568 kWh
Sweden United States
United Kingdom 1,889 kWh
3,566 kWh 3,162 kWh
Source: Ember's Yearly Electricity Data; Ember's European Electricity Review; Energy Institute Statistical Review of World Energy OurWorldInData.org/electricity-mix • CC BY
Per capita electricity from fossil fuels, nuclear and renewables, 2022 Fossil fuels
31% 9.1% 18%
Source: Ember's Yearly Electricity Data; Ember's European Electricity Review; Energy Institute Statistical Review of World Energy OurWorldInData.org/electricity-mix • CC BY
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 135
TRANSPORT AND LOGISTICS
GROWTH-ENHANCING REFORMS ARE KEY TO IMPROVING THE SECTOR
BY SINAZO MKOKO
elivering his budget speech in February this year, Finance Minister, Enoch Godongwana, said the government is implementing growth-enhancing reforms in key sectors, including the transport sector, to boost growth and improve the efficiency of South Africa’s Transport and logistics infrastructure. Hon. Godongwana said the public sector is projected to spend R903-billion on infrastructure, and the largest portion of this amount, around R448-billion, would be spent by state-owned companies, public entities, and public-private partnerships. The spending plans are mostly for strategic projects in different sectors, and transport and logistics would spend an estimated R351.1-billion, including for SANRAL to improve the road infrastructure network.
Addressing Transport and Logistics constraints The National Treasury stated that constraints in logistics have negatively affected economic growth and employment. “More than a quarter of long-distance f reight traffic has shifted to roads in the past five years as a result of severe deterioration in the freight rail network. This is due in large part to historical underinvestment in the network.” The National Treasury said several reforms are underway to support recovery in the transport sector, and the Economic Regulation of Transport Bill, which will establish the transport regulator, has been tabled in Parliament.
In addition, several other reforms are in place to support recovery in the transport sector, which were also pointed out in the budget speech, including: • Transnet is taking steps to improve operations in key corridors, for example, through software upgrades that will increase efficiency through better signalling. • Additional intervention in the form of steps to prevent theft and vandalism and resolving legal challenges in relation to locomotive procurement. • The operations and infrastructure management functions of Transnet Freight Rail are due to be separated by October 2023, a step intended to facilitate competition and improve pricing.
This was welcomed by the relevant stakeholders within the sector, with the CEO of Ctrack Africa, Hein Jordt, stating that they are holding thumbs that the proposed reforms are put in place efficiently and effectively as they are “most certainly required for the ongoing survival of many of the sectors of the transport industry.”
136 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
“The South Af rican economy is in dire need of a functioning logistics network and all stakeholders should unite to address the obstacles in the industry. From this point of view, recent developments to address the sector’s challenges, as mentioned in the 2023 National Budget, is indeed a step forward and welcomed,” he said.
Freight logistics reforms: Ports and rail A decline in exports has been recorded due to the poor performance of South Africa’s f reight logistics system. The Treasury said implementing these economic reforms was crucial to reversing the current trend in performance.
“Achieving a turnaround in the ports and rail network will have a positive impact on output, exports and ultimately economic growth. Interventions to improve operational performance, encourage private sector participation and enable increased competition and investment are required to arrest the sector’s decline.” - National Treasury.
The National Treasury shared the progress made to address challenges in the f reight logistics system: • Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) has completed the accounting separation of their operations and rail infrastructure units. This is a crucial step towards functional separation and the establishment of an independent Inf rastructure Manager, which will enable transparent and accurate pricing of slots on the f reight rail network and create a level playing field between public and private rail operators. • Partnerships with private terminal operators at the Durban Pier 2 Container Terminal and Ngqura Container Terminal are expected to be in place by June 2023, following a process initiated by Transnet in August 2022. • Transnet has established a multi-stakeholder Task Team to address congestion at the Durban Port, which saw the procurement of new equipment and refurbishment of current equipment and the introduction of a truck booking system. Transnet National Ports Authority(TNPA) has also finalised construction of the Bayhead Bypass Road, which will further ease congestion at the port.
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 137
Ctrack, a leading South African company in the fleet tracking industry, which provides insights on the transportation and freight sector, stated: “The Ctrack Transport and Freight Index increased by 1.5% in January following a monthly decline of 3.4% in December (and declines in the preceding
three months). On an annual basis, the Ctrack Transport and Freight Index ended 2.1% higher than a year earlier, a far cry f rom the annual growth rate of 13.7% recorded in August 2022. The sector has faced many headwinds during 2022.”
Table 1: Ctrack Transport and Freight Index changes. Jan 2023 Tables Rail
Storage & Handling
Ctrack Transport and Freight Index
Percentage change between
January 2023 vs January 2022 (y/y) January 2023 vs December 2022 (m/m)
Quarter to Jan 2022 vs Quarter to Oct 2022 (q/q)
Note: the row highlighted in blue is the main Ctrack Transport and Freight Index values used. Source: Ctrack and TNPA, StatsSA, SARS, N3 and N4 toll concessions, ACSA, ACOC, IATA.
According to Ctrack Africa, the performance of four sub-sectors, including Rail Freight, Storage and Warehousing, Sea Freight and Pipeline Transport, remain below levels from a year ago. This, they said, strongly indicates that the sectors have still not fully recovered from the impact of the KZN flooding in April 2022 and the Transnet strike in October 2022.
Ctrack noted that Road Freight remains the most resilient of all sub-sectors, recording growth of 15.9% year on year at the end of March 2023. Air Freight has remained stagnant compared to a year earlier. n
Ctrack Transport and Freight Index Quarter growth rates in sub-components -15
Sources: PwC | SONA | Operation Vulindlela | The Treasury | Ctrack Transport And Freight Index | Stats SA | Ctrack
138 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
ADVANCED CYBER SECURITY FOR YOUR BUSINESS For more than 30 years, ESET® has been developing industry-leading IT security software and services. Over 400,000 businesses and 110m users worldwide rely on us to deliver reliable, comprehensive protection.
SECURE YOUR BUSINESS DATA, WITH ESET
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 139
INTERESTING SHIFTS ARE SHAPING THE SECTOR
FAST-MOVING CONSUMER GOODS (FMCG)
BY SINAZO MKOKO
espite inflation and tough economic times that South Africans are facing, the FastMoving Consumer Goods (FMCG) retail sector has 13.4% growth, largely driven by higher prices versus consumption growth, according to NielsenIQ State of the Retail Nation analysis.
NielsenIQ (NIQ), one of the country’s market research company stated that interesting shifts are shaping the South Af rican FMCG sector (including liquor and tobacco) that is “nowworth R593-billion in annual sales (at the end of March 2023)—a 13.4% increase f rom the previous 12 months.”
Cost of foods prioritised & bought first in an average Household Food Basket: year-on-year according to PMBEJD: Products that have become more expensive over the last year Percentage change in price indices, June 2023 compared with June 2022
The largest price changes between May and June Percentage change in price indices, June 2023 compared with May 2023
Passenger transport by air
Frozen fish fingers
Source: Consumer Price Index (CPI), June 2023
140 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
Consumer price increases in June 2023
A thorough analysis of the inflation pressure areas within FMCG during the last 12 months was conducted by NIQ, and it was revealed that cooking oil experienced the highest annual inflation rate (into Q1 2023), having experienced a 40% increase. “It remains the biggest contributor towards overall net FMCG inflation, contributing a 7.2% share of inflation even though it accounts for less than 2% of total sales. “Interestingly, the full effect of these massive cooking oil price increases has created a change in consumer consumption patterns around this product. In response to the price increases, volumes purchased have dropped steadily over the last 3 quarters, indicating that consumers are curtailing their usage of this product despite its essential nature.” “Consumers may look towards alternatives like pork, which is now comparably priced to frozen chicken, or tinned protein, which offers a longer, more cost-effective shelf life versus frozen protein. In addition, rice might also be considered a better alternative to maize meal, which has experienced a 17.6% annual increase versus the inflation for rice, which is at 1%,” NIQ revealed. No more treats? According to the analysis, the snacking super group faces pressure in certain categories,
with volumes purchased contracting due to price increases. Extruded snacks have experienced 14.9% annual inflation. This, they said, is exacerbated because this category is characterised mostly by impulse spending on perceived treats that are not deemed necessary, especially in a tight shopping basket. “Where consumers used to be able to buy chips, chocolates, and biscuits, they’re now having tospend more on a loaf of bread and other food items and are therefore cutting back on treats. When deciding between a pack of biscuits costing R25, a slab of chocolate at R21, chips at R20, and a 6-pack of yoghurt at R18, they may well opt for the yoghurt, which represents six snacking occasions, or chips that look larger and are therefore seen as offering more value for money.” Touching on beverages, the analysis shows that soft drinks are seeing some of the lowest annual inflation at 5.7%, far lower than the average of 10.7% for the other Top 40 products. “Whereas soft drinks should be driving 11% of overall inflation, they’re only driving 4.4%. Manufacturers of these products are somehow managing to keep a lid on input costs and absorbing them in the value chain.” n
Sources: NIQ | Stats SA | Cost of foods prioritised & bought first in Household Food Basket: year-on-year 13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 141
SA SEES A RISE IN CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY
ENGINEERING AND INFRASTRUCTURE
BY SINAZO MKOKO
n his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in February this year, His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa said one of the greatest obstacles to infrastructure investment was the lack of technical skills and project management capacity. To fix this, he shared that Infrastructure South Africa has been allocated R600-million for project preparation, specifically in rural and underresourced areas. His Excellency President Ramaphosa said that the support and planning mechanisms that the government had put in place over several years were now starting to bear fruit in increased public investment in infrastructure. “By January this year, projects worth R232billion were under construction, and projects worth nearly R4-billion had been completed. The completed projects include new human settlements in Gauteng, road upgrades, and the development of small harbours,” said President Cyril Ramaphosa. In road development, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) has awarded road construction contracts worth R18-billion between November 2022 and January 2023. “The construction of the Msikaba Bridge and Mtentu Bridge will be finished and make travel in the Eastern Cape much better.” He added that 24 bridges in KwaZulu-Natal were currently under construction, and site
142 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
preparations were being made for a further 24 bridges. The Minister of Public Works and Inf rastructure, Sihle Zikalala, said South Af rica has a strong core network of national economic inf rastructure, yet investment in infrastructure has lagged over the past ten years. In addition to reviving the construction sector, a significant inf rastructure push will support local manufacturing and other related sectors across the value chain. “As the Department, we welcome the postCOVID-19 improvement in property investment in the country, which has improved f rom almost R2.8-trillion post-COVID-19 for the residential industry to R6.7-trillion.” Hon. Zikalala. Implementation of strategic infrastructure projects in the country The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure confirmed that since the announcement of the infrastructure projects in 2020, some great strides can be reported, with a number of projects completed to the value of approximately R4.63-billion. “Projects completed were mostly covered within the Transport (including the Small Harbours in the Western Cape) and Social Housing Programmes.” Five out of twelve SANRAL gazetted projects and four social housing projects were completed,” the department said.
A further four projects are expected to be completed within this financial year: • Hull Street Social Housing Project Phase 1: Social Housing Project in the Northern Cape (Under SIP 24: Human Settlements) • Newcastle Hospital Street Social Housing Project (500 units out of 1056 completed) Social Housing Project in KZN (under SIP 24: Human Settlements) • Scatec Kenhardt 1,2,3 -Renewable energy project in Northern Cape (Under SIP 20a RMIPPP) • Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University Student Accommodation in Gauteng (Under SIP 34: Student Accommodation) The department said the total investment value of the above-mentioned projects to be completed is estimated to be around R17.5-billion. To unblock and address the challenges of stalled projects, the following measures are in place: • All delayed projects and their challenges have been identified, and intervention measures with clear action plans with start and finish dates have been put in place, followed by strong monitoring mechanisms for implementation targeting various role players up to management level. • A turnkey implementation methodology has been adopted to implement projects and will save longer duration periods associated with planning, design, and procurement. • The close monitoring of projects will be enhanced by the establishment of the outsourced programme management units that we are in the process of establishing. The FNB/BER Civil Confidence Index has revealed that civil construction work increased significantly in the second quarter of 2023, building on the improvement registered since mid-2022. A Senior Economist at FNB, Siphamandla Mkhwanazi, said the index measuring activity growth was at its highest since 2007.
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 143
“We’ve been cautiously optimistic about the rise in construction activity over the past few quarters. The latest results provide an even stronger signal that civil contractors are noticeably busier than they have been in a while. Part of this is
due to increased public sector projects related to road and water inf rastructure. Crucially, the development of alternative energy inf rastructure by the private sector seems to be providing the bulk of the boost,” he said. n
South Africa’s GDP from construction 120000
95000 Jul 2020
Comparison of GDP from construction over the years
TRADINGECONOMICS.COM | STATISTICS SOUTH AFRICA
Sources: SA Gov | PublicWorks | The FNB/BER Civil Confidence Index | Stats SA | Trading Economics
144 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
THE FUTURE OF THE SECTOR IS ROOTED IN TECH
ACCOUNTING AND CONSULTING
BY SINAZO MKOKO
tools is expected to influence the nature of demand and expectations for what an accountant is and does.
Digital CFO, a South African accounting firm, says the arrival of new technology
“Business owners are taking control of their accounting with proactive alerts. After the emergence of accounting technologies, we are now at a stage where we no longer
ost-COVID-19 pandemic, a shift in the accounting profession has been observed, with the accountant turning into a financial manager, according to Digital CFO.
do strenuous manual data processing,” they said. The South Af rican Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA), a professional accounting organisation with a mission to serve and protect the public interest, says accountants should embrace technology for all its benefits.
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 145
“Using it as a tool to move away from data capturing and the stereotypical notions of ‘number crunching’ typically associated with the profession and into the analysis of data in ways that only human professional accountants are capable of,” they said. “Looking at AI from a more positive perspective in this way reveals a number of advantages for the accountancy professional with a future-focused mindset— that is, one who hopes to remain relevant by keeping their
skills, experience, and services in adherence to the everchanging demands of modern businesses,” they said.
The report showed that when it comes to technology, accounting firms believe that they are moving with the times.
Increase in technology adoption The State of Accounting Firms Trends Report 2023 by Caseware shows that technology tools such as data analytics, business intelligence and cloud computing are transforming how accountants communicate and collaborate with clients and corporate leaders.
“The future of accounting will be firmly rooted in technology, and it’s not just the makers of such products that are saying so. As evidenced in our survey results, firms themselves are committed to progress through software and other solutions,” the report stated.
Expected rate of change in terms of tech adoption over the next two years.
It will decrease significantly.
It will decrease slightly.
It will increase slightly.
It will increase significantly.
It will stay the same.
When it comes to new technology adoption, how would you describe your firm? 3.45%
Average Early adopters
146 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
New opportunities and growth in South Africa A new tech-focused accounting firm has been established in South Africa. This comes after RSM International, a leading provider of assurance, tax, and consulting services to middle-market businesses, announced a merger between RSM South Africa and renowned South African professional services firm Ngubane Johannesburg. The newly merged firm is expected to have approximately 400 staff and a turnover in excess of R300-million, and it’s now called RSM South Africa. The firm said in a statement that the deal would accelerate RSM South Africa’s transformation with a focus on tech-enabled client solutions and deep sector specialisations. They said Ngubane Johannesburg will, as part of the RSM network, be able to expand its accounting services to clients either already trading internationally or those keen to do so. “The merger will also provide access to RSM’s wide range of services, including risk advisory, legal, cyber security, business transformation, and corporate services,” they said.
RSM International CEO Jean Stephens said the firm has experienced strong growth across Africa over the last two years, and this merger will see two successful businesses with shared ambitions combine, offering scale, innovation, and best-inclass talent development. “Our ambitious 2030 Global Strategy outlines a major multi-year growth and transformation programme. The merger between RSM South Africa and Ngubane Johannesburg demonstrates RSM’s long-term commitment to delivering The Power of Being Understood to its clients, people, and communities.” Sharing his sentiments, the new CEO of RSM South Af rica, Noma Ashom, said the merger creates a genuine point of difference in the South African marketplace. “It brings together our deep understanding of the South Af rican trading environment with access to international markets and a range of specialist services that RSM is so well known for. It will act as a catalyst for us to move at pace and scale, bringing technology, data, and analytics to our clients in new ways,” he said. n
Sources: SAICA | SAIPA | RSM | IRBA | State of Accounting Firms Trends Report 2023 | Digital FCO | Bizcom
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 147
BUILDING THE COUNTRY FROM THE GROUND UP CEMENT
BY SINAZO MKOKO
ccording to the International Market Analysis Research and Consulting Group (IMARC) South Africa’s white cement market size is expected to reach 28,995.6 tonnes by 2028.
by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and is now conf ronted by construction mafias that have sprung up across the country, which has a direct impact on the cement and concrete sectors.” - CCSA.
Infrastructure projects such as highways, bridges, stadiums, and residential and commercial complexes all contribute to the growth of the cement sector.
The industry and climate change CCSA said the climate change challenge to the industry’s sustainability lies in the “fact that cement manufacturing emits significant quantities of greenhouse gases, which impact South Af rica’s decarbonisation commitments as it moves towards Net Zero within the f ramework of the Just Energy Transition (JET IP).
Cement & Concrete South Af rica (CCSA), a consolidated body taking the lead on all matters relating to cement and concrete in the country, stated that the cement industry has been under huge pressure due to different factors. “In addition to the general economic downturn the sector was hit hard
148 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
“As responsible stakeholders committed to playing our part in South Africa achieving its Nationally Determined Commitments (NDCs) in terms of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the local cement sector has committed itself to ‘Vision: Net Zero Carbon’ by 2050,” -Bryan Perrie, CEO of CCSA. “This includes an undertaking to decarbonise in accordance with the 1,5 ̊C global temperature increase pathway in the Paris Agreement and reinforced at COP26 held in Glasgow last year. The local cement and concrete sector has set key milestones for 2030 in accordance with South Africa’s Technical Reporting Guidelines and in line with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reporting framework.” Construction and Infrastructure development Construction and infrastructure development in South Africa sit on the shoulders of the cement industry, with the government being a key player in the construction sector, accounting for about 40% of the country’s total infrastructure budget. A minimum of 3% of the country’s GDP comes from the construction sector, and it is through this sector that the government is able to fulfil its mandate to enhance social needs, including sanitation, transportation, health, and education. The Department of Public Works and Inf rastructure states that at least R117.5-billion in budget was allocated to inf rastructure in the 2022/23 financial year, and it is estimated that government expenditure will total R903-billion over the next three years. Speaking on the implementation of infrastructure investment projects, the department stated: “The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI), through its entity, the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), Sources: IMARC Group | PPC | Statista | EMR | Moneyweb | PPC | SA Gov
has prioritised capacitation of the public sector to deliver inf rastructure better and with greater urgency and efficiency. The government spent 70.6% of the total allocated inf rastructure budget in 2019/20, and by 2020/21, this figure had improved mildly to 73%”. “The government recognises the importance of construction as an ideal catalyst for economic growth and social development and a key creator of work opportunities, particularly for the emerging sector, which is one of the main generators of employment in the country. Every cent that goes back to the national coffers in unspent infrastructure budgets is an opportunity lost to the emerging sector and a threat to their survival and sustainability.” Last year, the government promised to increase the construction of rural bridges as part of the Welisizwe programme to enable residents to safely reach schools, workplaces, and amenities. His Excellency, President Cyril Ramaphosa, confirmed during the 2023 State of the Nation Address (SONA) that 24 bridges in KwaZulu-Natal were currently under construction and that site preparations were being made for a further 24 bridges. In its integrated annual report, leading cement producer PPC, stated that recovery of cement demand in South Africa remains dependent on the implementation of the much-awaited and needed infrastructure programmes as well as an improved macro environment. Chairman of the PPC Board, Jabu Moleketi, said: “While the past year presented challenges throughout our regions, we remain resilient. We see many opportunities for our business and believe that our trajectory remains strong with a multiskilled and passionate workforce.” n
Value added to gross domestic product (GDP) by the contruction industry in South Af rica from 2016 to 2022 (in million South African rand)
Value added to GDP in million South African rand
Source Statistics South Africa Statista 2023
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 149
H OW WE R A N K
South Africa’s Best Managed Companies
150 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
RANKING | TOP500 12TH EDITION RANKING
THE TOP 500 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY WAS DESIGNED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN’S DEVELOPMENT POLICY RESEARCH UNIT.
he Top 500 aims to identify
within the measure. The dynamism
at the level of management and
the top f ive companies in
of top companies is reflected in their
control. The proportion of black and
each of 100 business sectors
ability to expand and grow, and so we
female executive and non-executive
monitored by the Topco Research
include two medium-weight indicators
directors is evaluated to complete the
Department. In order to do so, some
– one relative, one absolute – of growth
scoring for this sphere. Top companies
measure of the qualities that we
in the scoresheet. The former indicator
are involved within communities and
consider to be characteristic of top
is the rate of turnover growth over the
are committed to quality. This sphere
companies must be designed in
year – since top companies are faster-
of policy and accreditation accounts
order to rank companies.
growing – while the latter is the Rand
for the remainder of the total score. In
value of the turnover growth.
gauging companies’ engagement and
To be classed as one of South
involvement within communities, we
Af rica’s best companies, we
Absolute turnover growth is
measure their total spend on corporate
expect companies to excel in three
included to account for the fact
social investment activities relative to
key spheres, namely f inancial
that top companies’ growth should
performance, empowerment, and
make a large contribution to increased
policy and accreditation. The criteria
total output. These two indicators
Companies are also judged on the
within f inancial performance speak
have a medium weight within the
existence of written policies regarding
to the ideas of top companies being
scoring system. Top companies are
employment equity, skills development,
large, growing and productive
more productive than other companies
health and safety, HIV/Aids, and the
institutions that are leaders by virtue
and the final performance indicator,
environment. The final criterion within
of their size and dynamism. Financial
turnover per employee, which
this sphere, commitment to quality,
performance is measured by four
has a medium weight, speaks
is proxied by the number of SABS-
indicators: turnover, rate of turnover
to this characteristic.
approved accreditations held by
growth, Rand turnover growth and turnover per employee.
“TOP COMPANIES GO FURTHER THAN JUST EMPLOYMENT, AND ARE COMMITTED TO ENSURING GREATER DIVERSITY”
companies. The business sector has an important role to play in promoting equity and
social transformation. Top companies
are committed to fulfilling this role,
Development Policy Research Unit,
and this commitment is measured
University of Cape Town
using six criteria. Two of these criteria focus on companies’ commitment to the goal of transformation as demonstrated in their employment profiles, namely the shares of employment accounted for by
Size is both an indicator and an
female employees and by black
outcome of whether or not a
company is a top company. From the perspective of financial performance,
Top companies, however, go further
turnover is used to proxy company size
than just employment, and are
and this indicator has large weight
committed to ensuring greater diversity
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 151 3 | TOP500 | 12TH EDITION
Primary Resources Coal Thungela Resources Limited Exxaro Resources Limited MC Mining Limited Sasol Mining (Pty) Ltd Salungano Group Limited
South Africa’s best managed companies
TOP 500 13TH EDITION OFFICIAL
Gold Gold Fields Limited AngloGold Ashanti Limited Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited DRD Gold Limited Sibanye Stillwater Limited Platinum
South Africa’s best Anglo American Platinum Limited managedNortham companies Platinum Holdings Limited Impala Platinum Holdings Limited Royal Bafokeng Platinum Limited Metals and Minerals Kumba Iron Ore Limited
This is to certify that
Foskor Limited Merafe Resources Limited Bauba Resources Limited Insimbi Industrial Holdings Limited
Oceana Group Limited
FROM AEROSPACE TO GAMING Diversified Mining & LEISURE, WE TAKE A LOOK AT Anglo has been ranked No.1American in the South Africa Limited THE TOP RANKING SECTORS OF Exxaro Resources Limited THE YEAR 2023. South32 Limited BHP Group Limited African Rainbow Minerals Limited
Gas Petroleum, Oil and Gas Corporation of South Africa (PetroSA) Sasol Limited (Gas division) African Oxygen Limited Air Liquide (Pty) Ltd Air Products South Africa (Pty) Ltd Topco Media Research Foundation
Ralf Fletcher CEO
Diamond Mining De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd.
Petra Diamonds Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd Trans Hex Group Limited
152 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
Secondary Basic Industries Speciality Chemicals Sasol LImited AECI Limited African Oxygen Limited Spanjaard Limited Omnia Holdings Limited Retail & Commercial Fuels Engen Petroleum Limited Total South Africa (Pty) Ltd BP Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd Shell Downstream South Arica (Pty) Ltd Builders Merchants Cashbuild Limited Italtile Limited Builders: Warehouse, Express, Trade Depot, Superstore Brikor Limited Building & Construction Materials Cashbuild Limited PG Bison (Pty) Ltd Afrimat Limited Brikor Limited Trellidor Holdings Limited. Cement PPC Limited Afrimat Limited AfriSam (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd Sephaku Holdings Limited Construction Groups Murray & Roberts Holdings Limited Aveng Africa Limited VEA Road Maintenance and Civils (Pty) Ltd Calgro M3 Holdings Limited Wilson Bayly Holmes-Ovcon Limited
Forestry Sappi Southern Africa Limited Hans Merensky Holdings (Pty) Ltd South African Forestry Company Limited York Timber Holdings Limited Mondi Limited Steel ArcelorMittal South Africa Limited Hulamin Limited Aveng Limited BSi Steel (Pty) Ltd General Industries
Heavy Machinery Bell Equipment Limited
Aerospace and Defence Armaments Corporation of South Africa SOC Ltd (ARMSCOR) Reutech Radar Systems a division of Reutech Limited Thales South Africa Systems (Pty) Ltd Paramount Advanced Technologies (Pty) Ltd
Raubex Group Limited ELB Equipment Holdings (Pty) Ltd High Power Equipment Africa (Pty) LtD
Diversified Industrials The Bidvest Group Limited Barloworld Limited Imperial Logistics Limited KAP Limited Argent Industrial Limited Electrical Equipment Voltex (Pty)Ltd ACTOM (Pty) Ltd South Ocean Holdings Limited Circuit Breaker Industries t/a CBI- electric:Low Voltage
Consulting Engineering Mining & Infrastructure Zutari (Pty) Ltd SRK Consulting (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd SMEC South Africa (Pty) Ltd Bigen Africa Services (Pty) Ltd Lesedi Nuclear Services (Pty) Ltd Mining Services AECI Mining Murray & Roberts Cementation (Pty) Ltd Tharisa Minerals (Pty) Ltd. Strata Mining Services (Pty) Ltd Trollope Mining Services 2000 (Pty) Ltd
Electronic Products Reunert Limited Altron Limited Ellies Holdings Limited Siemens (Pty) Ltd Industrial Products & Equipment Barloworld Limited enX Group Limited KAP Limited Hudaco Industries Limited Invicta Holdings Limited
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 153
Cyclical Consumer Goods
Farming RCL Foods Limited
Automobiles Toyota South Africa Motors (Pty) Ltd Volkswagen of South Africa Ltd. Mahindra & Mahindra South Africa (Pty.) Ltd Nissan South Africa (Pty) Ltd KIA Motors South Africa (Pty) Ltd
Astral Foods Limited Oceana Group Limited Quantum Foods Holdings Limited Crookes Brothers Limited
Commercial Vehicles Iveco South Africa (Pty) Ltd Volvo Group Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd TATA Automobile Corporation South Africa (Pty) Ltd Hino Trucks FAW Vehicle Manufacturers South Africa (Pty) Ltd
Sea Harvest Group Limited Premier Fishing and Brands Limited
Automotive Components Metair Investments Limited Feltex Automotive a Division of KAP Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd Faurecia Emissions Control Technologies (Pty) Ltd MAHLE Behr South Africa (Pty) Ltd. Household Appliances Hisense S.A. (Pty) Ltd Defy Appliances (Pty) Ltd Whirlpool South Africa (Pty.) Ltd Nu-World Holdings Limited Ellies Holdings Limited
Fishing Oceana Group Limited
Dairy Products Clover SA (Pty) Ltd Lactalis South Africa (Pty) Ltd Faircape Dairies (Pty) Ltd Food Processors Tiger Brands Limited Libstar Holdings Limited AVI Limited RFG Holdings Limited Crookes Brothers Limited Packaging Nampak Limited Mpact Limited Bowler Metcalf Limited Transpaco Limited Berry Astrapak Pak 2000 (A division of Astrapak Manufacturing Holdings (Pty) Ltd.)
Non-Cyclical Consumer Goods
Consumer Electronics Mustek Limited.
Beverages & Brewers Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa Distell Limited The South African Breweries (Pty) Ltd Quality Beverages 2000 (Pty) Ltd Darling Brew
Hisense S.A. (Pty) Ltd Samsung Electronics South Africa (Pty) Ltd Ellies Holdings Limited LG Electronics SA (Pty) Ltd
Distillers & Vintners Distell Limited
Amka Products (Pty) Ltd Johnson & Johnson (Pty) Ltd Kimberley-Clark South Africa (Pty) Ltd HPCB a division of Tiger Brands Limited
Stellenbosch Vineyard (Pty) Ltd DGB (Pty) Ltd Orange River Wine Cellar Co-Op Limited Agriculture Kaap Agri Bedryf Beperk Omnia Holdings Limited Senwes Limited VKB Landbou (Pty) Ltd TWK Agri (Pty) Ltd
154 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
Personal Products Unilever South Africa (Pty) Ltd
Pharmaceuticals Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited Adcock Ingram Holdings Limited AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd Cipla Medpro South Africa (Pty) Ltd Ascendis Health Limited
Tertiary Cyclical Services Direct Response Marketing Homechoice Holdings Limited Verimark (Pty) Ltd Homemark (Pty) Ltd BEE Verification Agencies Empowerlogic (Pty) Ltd Empowerdex (Pty) Ltd Honeycomb BEE Ratings (Pty) Ltd MSCT BEE Services (Pty) Ltd AAA BEE Verification Agency CC Diversified Retailers Shoprite Holdings Limited Woolworths Holdings Limited Pick n Pay Stores Limited Clicks Group Limited Pepkor Holdings Limited Retail - Soft Goods Woolworths South Africa (comprising Fashion, Beauty and Home) The Foschini Group Limited Mr Price Group Limited Truworths International Limited Gaming & Leisure Sun International Limited Tsogo Sun Limited Gold Circle (Pty) Ltd Hotels Tsogo Sun Hotels Limited Sun International Limited Southern Sun Limited City Lodge Hotels Limited
Travel & Tourism Flight Centre Travel Group (Pty) Ltd Travel with Flair (Pty) Ltd Rennies Travel (Pty) Ltd t/a Rennies BCD Travel Club Travel SA (Pty) Ltd
Legal Services Bowmans Webber Wentzel Spoor & Fisher Fasken Adams & Adams
Restaurant & Pubs Holdings Companies Famous Brands Limited Spur Corporation Limited Wembley Group of Companies
Exhibition & Conference Facilities CSIR International Convention Centre: CSIR ICC
Broadcasting Contractors MultiChoice Group Limited eMedia Holdings Limited African Media Entertainment Limited South African Broadcasting Corporation Limited (SABC) Sentech SOC Limited
Johannesburg Expo Centre (JEC) DURBAN ICC Cape Town International Convention Centre Company SOC Ltd Reed Exhibitions (Pty) Ltd
Fleet Management & Vehicle Tracking Zeda Limited Fleet Africa (Pty) Ltd MiX Telematics Ltd Altech Netstar (Pty) Ltd Freight Forwarding Kuehne-Nagel (Pty) Ltd Hellmann Worldwide Logistics (Pty) Ltd Santova Limited Kintetsu Worldwide Express South Africa (Pty) Ltd Courier Services Aramex South Africa (Pty) Ltd
Syntell (Pty) Ltd CallForce Direct (Pty) Ltd Quantanite (SA branch)
SkyNet Worldwide Express FedEx Express South Africa (Pty) Ltd. Ram Transport South Africa (Pty) Ltd t/a Ram Hand-to-hand Couriers DHL International (Pty) Ltd t/a DHL Express
Recruitment Workforce Holdings Limited
Road Freight Super Group Limited
ADvTECH Limited Adcorp Holdings Limited Primeserv Group Limited CSG Holdings Limited
Trencor Limited Value Logistics Limited Onelogix (Pty) Ltd Santova Limited
Outdoor Media JCDecaux South Africa (Pty) Ltd Primedia Outdoor a division of Primedia Outdoor Network Limited
Waste Management Interwaste Holdings Limited
Shipping Grindrod Limited
Enviroserv Waste management Limited The Waste Group (Pty) Ltd
Advertising Joe Public United King James Cape Town Pty Ltd M & C Saatchi Abel (Pty) Ltd
Corporate Security Services Fidelity ADT (Pty) Ltd
Mediterranean Shipping Company (Pty) Ltd Maersk (Pty) Ltd Berry & Donaldson (Pty) Ltd Ocean Network Express (ONE)
Media Companies Naspers Limited Novus Holdings Limited Caxton and CTP Publishers and Printers Limited Media24 (Pty) Ltd
Food Services Nestlé South Africa (Pty) ltd Feedem Group (Pty) Ltd Empact Group (Pty) Ltd Bidfood (Pty) Ltd
Business Process Outsourcing Merchants SA (Pty) Ltd
Mustek Security Technologies Bidvest Protea Coin (Pty) Ltd. Hygiene Bidvest Steiner (Pty) Ltd Sanitech: a division of Waco Africa (Pty) Ltd Rentokil Initial (Pty) Ltd Car Hire Europcar, a Division of Motus Holdings Limited CMH Car Hire (Pty) Ltd t/a First Car Rental & CMH Fleet Solutions Zenith Car Rental (Pty) Ltd t/a Avis Rent A Car Thrifty Car Rental South Africa Hertz Rent A Car South Africa 13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 155
Non-Cyclical Consumer Services
Asset Management Ninety One Limited Sygnia Limited Old Mutual Limited PBT Group Limited Coronation Fund Managers Limited
Medical aid schemes Bonitas Medical Fund Discovery Health Medical Scheme (BHMS) Bestmed Medical Scheme Medshield Medical Aid Fedhealth Medical Scheme
Accounting & Consulting Pricewaterhousecoopers Services South Africa (Pty) Ltd
Hospital Management Life Healthcare Group Holdings Limited
Deloitte South Africa KPMG South Africa (Pty) Ltd Mazars (Pty) Ltd Ernst & Young t/a EY South Africa
Mediclinic International Limited Netcare Limited AfroCentric Investment Corporation Limited Advanced Health Limited Food Retail Shoprite Holdings Limited Spar Group Limited Pick n Pay Stores Limited Woolworths Holdings Limited Telecommunications (Wireless) MTN Limited Vodacom Limited Cell C Limited Telkom SA SOC Limited Utilities Water Rand Water Johannesburg Water SOC Ltd Umgeni-Water Mhlathuze Water Bloem-Water Financial
Speciality Finance PSG Konsult Limited Life Insurance Liberty Group Limited Sanlam Limited Momentum Metropolitan Holdings Limited Discovery Limited OUTsurance Holdings Limited Investment Holding Companies Remgro Limited Hosken Consolidated Investments Limited ARB Holdings Limited African Equity Empowerment Investments Limited Accelerate Property Fund Limited Investment Services JSE Limited PSG Konsult Limited Vunani Limited Purple Group Limited Sasfin Holdings Limited
Banks Standard Bank Limited Absa Group Limited Capitec Bank Limited FirstRand Limited Nedbank Group Limited.
Real Estate Investment Trusts Growthpoint Properties Limited
Short-term Insurance Santam Limited
Real Estate Investment and Services Balwin Properties Limited
Old Mutual Insure Limited Hollard Life Assurance Company Limited OUTsurance Holdings Limited AIG South Africa Limited
Putprop Limited Collins Property Group Limited Visual International Holdings Limited Acsion Limited
156 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
Fortress Real Estate Investments Limited Redefine Properties Limited Attacq Limited Putprop Limited
Conduit Capital Limited Alexander Forbes Group Holdings Limited Deneb Investments Corporation Limited Grand Parade Investments Limited Financial services Rand Merchant Investment Holdings African Dawn Capital Limited Transaction Capital Limited African Rainbow Capital Investments Limited Finbond Group Limited
I n f o r m a t i o n Te c h n o l o g y
Computer Hardware Alviva Holdings Limited Mustek limited Hewlett Packard South Africa (Pty) Ltd Acer Africa (Pty) Ltd IBM South Africa (Pty) Ltd
Business Software Solutions Microsoft SA Nutun Transact (Pty) Ltd Sage South Africa (Pty) Ltd SilverBridge Holdings Limited SAS Institute (Pty) Ltd
IT component distributors Rectron (Pty) Ltd
Industrial Support Services Invicta Holdings Limited
Pinnacle Micro (Pty) Ltd Tarsus Distribution (Pty) Ltd Axiz (Pty) Ltd
Adcorp Holdings Limited Novus Holdings Limited Primeserv Group Limited Metrofile Holdings Limited
Total Office Providers Xerox - Bytes Document Solutions Kyocera Document Solutions South Africa (Pty) Ltd Ricoh South Africa (Pty) Ltd Itec Group (Pty) Ltd Information Technlogy Groups Datatec Limited Alviva Holdings Limited Business Connexion (Pty) Ltd Adapt-It Limited EOH Holdings Limited Telecommunications Solutions Jasco Electronic Holdings Limited Link Africa (Pty) Ltd Boniswa Corporate Solutions (Pty) Ltd TeleMasters Holdings Limited Cognition Holdings Limited
Universities University of South Africa North West University University of Stellenbosch University of KwaZulu-Natal University of Witwatersrand
SOC Services Transnet SOC Limited Airports Company of South Africa Limited Air Traffic and Navigation Services Company Limited Telkom SA SOC Limited Sentech SOC Limited Government Administration South African Reserve Bank (SARB) Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (MISA) South African Local Government Association (SALGA) National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA)
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 157
AZ A-Z LISTING
SOUTH AFRICA’S TOP 500 BEST MANAGED COMPANIES
A AAA BEE Verification Agency CC Absa Group Limited Accelerate Property Fund Limited Acer Africa (Pty) Ltd Acsion Limited ACTOM (Pty) Ltd Adams & Adams Adapt-It Limited Adcock Ingram Holdings Limited Adcorp Holdings Limited Advanced Health Limited ADvTECH Limited AECI Limited AECI Mining African Bank Holdings Limited African Dawn Capital Limited African Equity Empowerment Investments Limited African Media Entertainment Limited African Oxygen Limited African Rainbow Capital Investments Limited African Rainbow Minerals Limited Afrimat Limited AfriSam (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd AfroCentric Investment Corporation Limited AIG South Africa Limited Air Liquide (Pty) Ltd Air Products South Africa (Pty) Ltd Air Traffic and Navigation Services Company Limited Airports Company of South Africa Limited Alexander Forbes Group Holdings Limited Altech Netstar (Pty) Ltd Anglo American Platinum Limited Anglo American South Africa Limited
158 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
AngloGold Ashanti Limited Appletiser SA (Pty) Ltd Aramex South Africa (Pty) Ltd ARB Holdings Limited ArcelorMittal South Africa Limited Argent Industrial Limited Armaments Corporation of South Africa SOC Ltd (ARMSCOR) Ascendis Health Limited Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited Astral Foods Limited AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd Attacq Limited Audi SA Aveng Africa Limited AVI Limited Axiz (Pty) Ltd
B Balwin Properties Limited Barloworld Limited Bauba Resources Limited Bell Equipment Limited Berry & Donaldson (Pty) Ltd Berry Astrapak Pak 2000 (A division of Astrapak Manufacturing Holdings (Pty) Ltd.) Bestmed Medical Scheme BHP Group Limited Bidfood (Pty) Ltd Bidvest Protea Coin (Pty) Ltd. Bidvest Steiner (Pty) Ltd Bigen Africa Services (Pty) Ltd Bloem-Water Boniswa Corporate Solutions (Pty) Ltd Bonitas Medical Fund
Bowler Metcalf Limited Bowmans BP Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd Brikor Limited BSi Steel (Pty) Ltd Builders: Warehouse, Express, Trade Depot, Superstore Business Connexion (Pty) Ltd
C Cadiz Holdings Limited Calgro M3 Holdings Limited CallForce Direct (Pty) Ltd Cape Town International Convention Centre Company SOC Ltd Capitec Bank Limited Cashbuild Limited Caxton and CTP Publishers and Printers Limited Cell C Limited Cipla Medpro South Africa (Pty) Ltd Circuit Breaker Industries t/a CBI- electric:Low Voltage City Lodge Hotels Limited Clicks Group Limited Clientele Life Assurance Company Limited Clover SA (Pty) Ltd Club Travel SA (Pty) Ltd CMH Car Hire (Pty) Ltd t/a First Car Rental & CMH Fleet Solutions Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) Cognition Holdings Limited Collins Property Group Limited Conduit Capital Limited Coronation Fund Managers Limited
Crookes Brothers Limited CSG Holdings Limited CSIR International Convention Centre: CSIR ICC
D Darling Brew Datatec Limited De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd. Defy Appliances (Pty) Ltd Deloitte South Africa Deneb Investments Corporation Limited DGB (Pty) Ltd DHL International (Pty) Ltd t/a DHL Express Discovery Health Medical Scheme (BHMS) Discovery Limited Distell Limited DRD Gold Limited DURBAN ICC
E ELB Equipment Holdings (Pty) Ltd Ellies Holdings Limited eMedia Holdings Limited Empact Group (Pty) Ltd Empowerdex (Pty) Ltd Empowerlogic (PTY) Ltd Engen Petroleum Limited Enviroserv Waste management Limited enX Group Limited EOH Holdings Limited Ernst & Young t/a EY South Africa Europcar, a Division of Motus Holdings Limited Exxaro Resources Limited
F Faircape Dairies (Pty) Ltd Famous Brands Limited Fasken Faurecia Emissions Control Technologies (Pty) Ltd FAW Vehicle Manufacturers South Africa (Pty) Ltd FedEx Express South Africa (Pty) Ltd. Fedhealth Medical Scheme
Feedem Group (Pty) Ltd Feltex Automotive a Division of KAP Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd Fidelity ADT (Pty) Ltd Finbond Group Limited FirstRand Limited Fleet Africa (Pty) Ltd Flight Centre Travel Group (Pty) Ltd Fortress Real Estate Investments Limited Foskor Limited
G Gold Circle (Pty) Ltd Gold Fields Limited Grand Parade Investments Limited Grindrod Limited Growthpoint Properties Limited GWK
H Hans Merensky Holdings (Pty) Ltd Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited Hellmann Worldwide Logistics (Pty) Ltd Hertz Rent A Car South Africa Hewlett Packard South Africa (Pty) Ltd High Power Equipment Africa (Pty) LtD Hino Trucks Hisense S.A. (Pty) Ltd Hollard Life Assurance Company Limited Homechoice Holdings Limited Homemark (Pty) Ltd Honeycomb BEE Ratings (Pty) Ltd Hosken Consolidated Investments Limited HPCB a division of Tiger Brands Limited Hudaco Industries Limited Huge Group Limited Hulamin Limited
Italtile Limited Itec Group (Pty) Ltd Iveco South Africa (Pty) Ltd
J Jaguar Land Rover South Africa (Pty) Ltd Jasco Electronic Holdings Limited JCDecaux South Africa (Pty) Ltd Joe Public United Johannesburg Expo Centre (JEC) Johannesburg Water SOC Ltd Johnson & Johnson (Pty) Ltd JSE Limited
K Kaap Agri Bedryf Beperk KAP Limited KIA Motors South Africa (Pty) Ltd Kimberley-Clark South Africa (Pty) Ltd King James Cape Town Pty Ltd Kintetsu Worldwide Express South Africa (Pty) Ltd KPMG South Africa (Pty) Ltd Kuehne-Nagel (Pty) Ltd Kumba Iron Ore Limited Kyocera Document Solutions South Africa (Pty) Ltd
L Lactalis South Africa (Pty) Ltd Lesedi Nuclear Services (Pty) Ltd LG Electronics SA (Pty) Ltd Liberty Group Limited Libstar Holdings Limited Life Healthcare Group Holdings Limited Link Africa (Pty) Ltd Luxe Holdings Limited
IBM South Africa (Pty) Ltd Impala Platinum Holdings Limited Imperial Logistics Limited Independent Development Trust (IDT) Insimbi Industrial Holdings Limited Interwaste Holdings Limited Invicta Holdings Limited Invicta Holdings Limited
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 159
M M & C Saatchi Abel (Pty) Ltd Maersk (Pty) Ltd Mahindra & Mahindra South Africa (Pty.) Ltd MAHLE Behr South Africa (Pty) Ltd. Massmart Holdings Limited Mazars (Pty) Ltd Mahindra & Mahindra South Africa (Pty.) Ltd MAHLE Behr South Africa (Pty) Ltd. Massmart Holdings Limited Mazars (Pty) Ltd MCMining Limited Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) Media24 (Pty) Ltd Mediclinic International Limited Mediterranean Shipping Company (Pty) Ltd Medshield Medical Aid Merafe Resources Limited Merchants SA (Pty) Ltd Metair Investments Limited Metrofile Holdings Limited Mhlathuze Water Microsoft SA MiX Telematics Limited Momentum Metropolitan Holdings Limited Mondi Limited Motheo Construction Group (Pty) Ltd Mpact Limited Mr Price Group Limited MSCT BEE Services (Pty) Ltd MTN Limited MultiChoice Group Limited Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (MISA) Murray & Roberts Cementation (Pty) Ltd Murray & Roberts Holdings Limited Mustek Limited. Mustek Security Technologies
160 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
N Nampak Limited Naspers Limited Nedbank Group Limited. Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Nestlé South Africa (Pty) Ltd Netcare Limited Ninety One Limited Nissan South Africa (Pty) Ltd North West University Northam Platinum Holdings Limited Novus Holdings Limited Nu-World Holdings Limited Nutun Transact (Pty) Ltd
O Ocean Network Express (ONE) Oceana Group Limited Old Mutual Insure Limited Old Mutual Limited Omnia Holdings Limited Onelogix (Pty) Ltd Orange River Wine Cellar Co-Op Limited Outdoor Network Limited OUTsurance Holdings Limited
P Paramount Advanced Technologies (Pty) Ltd PBT Group Limited Pepkor Holdings Limited Petra Diamonds Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd Petroleum, Oil and Gas Corporation of South Africa (PetroSA) PG Bison (Pty) Ltd Pick n Pay Stores Limited Pinnacle Micro (Pty) Ltd PPC Limited Premier Fishing and Brands Limited Pricewaterhousecoopers Services South Africa (Pty) Ltd Primedia Outdoor a division of Primedia Primeserv Group Limited PSG Konsult Limited Purple Group Limited Putprop Limited
Q Quality Beverages 2000 (Pty) Ltd Quantanite (SA branch) Quantum Foods Holdings Limited
R Ram Transport South Africa (Pty) Ltd t/a Ram Hand-to-hand Couriers Rand Merchant Investment Holdings Rand Water Raubex Group Limited RCL Foods Limited Rebosis Property Fund Limited Rectron (Pty) Ltd Redefine Properties Limited Reed Exhibitions (Pty) Ltd Remgro Limited Rennies Travel (Pty) Ltd t/a Rennies BCD Travel Rentokil Initial (Pty) Ltd Reunert Limited Reutech Radar Systems a division of Reutech Limited RFG Holdings Limited Ricoh South Africa (Pty) Ltd Royal Bafokeng Platinum Limited
S Sage South Africa (Pty) Ltd Salungano Group Limited Samsung Electronics South Africa (Pty) Ltd Sanitech: a division of Waco Africa (Pty) Ltd Sanlam Limited Santam Limited Santova Limited Sappi Southern Africa Limited SAS Institute (Pty) Ltd Sasfin Holdings Limited Sasol LImited Sasol Limited (Gas division) Sasol Mining (Pty) Ltd Sea Harvest Group Limited Sentech SOC Limited Senwes Limited Sephaku Holdings Limited Shell Downstream South Arica (Pty) Ltd Shoprite Holdings Limited
Sibanye Stillwater Limited Siemens (Pty) Ltd Sigma Connected South Africa (Pty) Ltd SilverBridge Holdings Limited SkyNet Worldwide Express SMEC South Africa (Pty) Ltd South African Broadcasting Corporation Limited (SABC) South African Local Government Association (SALGA) South African Reserve Bank (SARB) South Ocean Holdings Limited South32 Limited Southern Sun Limited Spanjaard Limited Spar Group Limited Spoor & Fisher Spur Corporation Limited SRK Consulting (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd Standard Bank Limited Stefanutti Stocks (Pty) Ltd Stellenbosch Vineyard (Pty) Ltd Strata Mining Services (Pty) Ltd Sun International Limited Super Group Limited Sygnia Limited Syntell (Pty) Ltd
T Tarsus Distribution (Pty) Ltd TATA Automobile Corporation South Africa (Pty) Ltd TeleMasters Holdings Limited Telkom SA SOC Limited Thales South Africa Systems (Pty) Ltd Tharisa Minerals (Pty) Ltd. The Bidvest Group Limited The Foschini Group Limited The South African Breweries (Pty) Ltd The Waste Group (Pty) Ltd Thrifty Car Rental South Africa Thungela Resources Limited Tiger Brands Limited Total South Africa (Pty) Ltd Toyota South Africa Motors (Pty) Ltd Trans Hex Group Limited Transaction Capital Limited Transnet SOC Limited Transpaco Limited Travel with Flair (Pty) Ltd Trellidor Holdings Limited Trencor Limited Trollope Mining Services 2000 (Pty) Ltd Truworths International Limited
Tsogo Sun Hotels Limited Tsogo Sun Limited TWK Agri (Pty) Ltd
U Umgeni-Water Unilever South Africa (Pty) Ltd University of KwaZulu-Natal University of Limpopo University of Pretoria University of South Africa University of the Western Cape University of Stellenbosch University of Witwatersrand
Y York Timber Holdings Limited
Z Zeda Limited Zenith Car Rental (Pty) Ltd t/a Avis Rent A Car Zutari (Pty) Ltd
V Value Logistics Limited VEA Road Maintenance and Civils (Pty) Ltd Verimark (Pty) Ltd Visual International Holdings Limited VKB Landbou (Pty) Ltd Vodacom Limited Volkswagen of South Africa Ltd. Voltex (Pty)Ltd Volvo Group Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd Vunani Limited
W Webber Wentzel Wembley Group of Companies Whirlpool South Africa (Pty.) Ltd Wideopen Platform (Pty) Ltd Wilson Bayly Holmes-Ovcon Limited Woolworths Holdings Limited Woolworths South Africa (comprising Fashion, Beauty and Home) Workforce Holdings Limited
X Xerox - Bytes Document Solutions
13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 161
WHO IS TOPCO MEDIA? Topco is a leading research and publishing company in South Africa that specialises in business-to-business content and events. With over 20 years of experience, we evaluate 10 000 of the top companies annually through eight publications and 13 major events, recognising the most successful based on criteria such as empowerment, policies, growth, turnover and CSI. Our business-to-business focus area is unmatched by any other company in terms of experience and expertise. Our unique approach ensures only qualified, eligible, and sustainable top performers are given the opportunity to participate in our publications and events. Our integrity is a fundamental part of Topco’s philosophy and is integral to our internal and external relationships and business practices. As the best in the business-to-business industry in South Africa, trust Topco for your business-to-business publishing, content creation, event production, and advertising needs. n
162 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
FIND OUT MORE 13TH EDITION | TOP500 | 163
Omnia House Building H Monte Circle Office Park 178 Montecasino Boulevard Fourways Sandton 2191 164 | TOP500 | 13TH EDITION
P.O. Box 69888 Bryanston 2021 Gauteng South Africa
+27 11 709 8888 firstname.lastname@example.org www.omnia.co.za