21 years ago, in as new democracy, we launched Topco with the aim of giving the best South African companies the market exposure they deserved. Everywhere we looked, we saw organisations, and their leaders, rallying to the needs of empowerment, skills development, job creation and sustainability, while also raising the benchmark in terms of performance.
A message from the founder and former CEO
Profiling a country in Transformation
By contrast,I saw nothing but incredible opportunities – a repressive establishment was falling and a lot of international businesses and governments were now willing to show support for a new democratic South African government under President Nelson Mandela.
It was my belief, were I also to throw my lot and that of my family into this new South Africa, in the form of a new publishing company – Topco – that it could, and would succeed. And that proved to be the case.
We had a frank and memorable conversation in which he asked, would I publish a directory of the top black companies?
I did some research, as I wanted a name that would reflect both Africa and the African firms that had made major advancements in business, and came up with the name Impumelelo, which is the Xhosa and Zulu name for success.
President Nelson Mandela gave us a wonderful letter of support and, from that base, we began to publish an annual publication that has since highlighted black businesses and business leaders for 20 years,
We were the first organisation to hold a BEE summit, which to this day holds the record for the largest number of attendees. We went on to create the Oliver national business empowerment awards, today the Top Empowerment Awards.
Looking back from 2017, I’m proud of the showcase we’ve given empowerment, from print to stage and conference.
I’m also proud of the decision my family took, back in the 1990s, to follow our instincts and our faith in the future of South Africa.”
TopCo founder and former CEO Richard Fletcher – on the rise of a remarkable empowerment platform.
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TOP EMPOWERMENT NEWS
Empowering each other with Top Information.
Move over Elon Musk and Mark Shuttleworth, South Africa’s exclusive circle of science and technology innovators just got bigger. Rocket scientist rockstar and Harvard graduate Siyabulela Xuza (29) boasts a remarkable list of achievements and even has a planet named...read more
Q&A WITH FORMER NEDBANK GROUP EXECUTIVE: THULANI SIBEKO Those who attended the Impumelelo Top Empowerment Summit in 2016 will remember a very interesting presentation on business transformation by Nedbank’s former Group Executive of Marketing, Communications and...read more
WE PUT THE REVISED B-BBEE CODES OF GOOD PRACTICE UNDER THE MICROSCOPE American author Andrew Smith once wrote, “People fear what they don’t understand and hate what they can’t conquer.” It can be overwhelming for local companies to try and process, understand and...read more
I knew upon concluding my research on Walter Leonhardt, Financial Director of Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA), that this interview would add significant value to this publication. It’s not only his financial acumen as award-winning CFO and his work in...read more
In an article published in the Daily Dispatch on 16 May 2016, it emerged that less than a quarter of all Chartered Accountants (CAs) in South Africa were black. However, on the plus side there has been a substantial increase since 2002. There are now around 9 764...read more
There is a significant shortage of doctors in South Africa. The country currently has a total of six doctors per 10 000 people, versus the global average of 15. However, about half the doctors registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) are...read more
It’s still a struggle to do business as a black person with both the private sector and the government, says Ntokozo Ntuli. She isn’t alone, says black business groups. Ntuli, who runs Durban-based interior design business N2 Design Box, says she often has to battle...read more
According to figures obtained from the National Society of Black Engineers in 2013, black engineers comprise only 14% of South Africa’s professional engineers, while women comprise only 3% of the country’s professional engineers. Among the number of candidates for...read more
We chat to our winners and sponsors at the 2017 Oliver Top Empowerment Awards at Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre in Boksburg, Johannesburg. Click the video below to watch.read more
Phethiwe Matutu grew up in a small village called Mqanduli in the former Transkei and is one of nine children of trader parents. Today she is one of the country’s pioneering scientists, with a Doctorate in Mathematics among her qualifications. She attributes much of...read more