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.
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
The Sophia Town-themed 16th Oliver Top Empowerment Awards came alive in the Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre in Johannesburg on 30 March 2017. With vibrant and authentic decor, along with top-class entertainment, delegates’ senses were tantalised in this...read more
With renowned anti-Apartheid activist, lawyer and former ANC treasurer-general Dr Mathews Phosa gracing our 2017 cover, there was a significant level of anticipation leading up to the launch of the 17th edition of the Impumelelo Top Empowerment Companies publication...read more
Transformation in the professions in South Africa remains a challenge. Looking at key professions, a picture emerges of notable progress in the last decade or so, but also of much work still to be done. When she ended her term as South Africa’s Public Protector in...read more
On 27 September 2007, Nelson Mandela officially opened one of the biggest shopping centres in South Africa, Maponya Mall, in Soweto. The R650-million centre – which houses more than 200 stores and boasts a cinema complex – was the realisation of a lifelong dream. This...read more
In the 1980s, popular culture reflected that decade’s sheen of avarice – from movies like “Wall Street” to songs like “Everybody wants to rule the world”. Thirty years on, ours is arguably a more hopeful world. On the one side, you still have the poor – 1.3 billion...read more
On 23 May 2017, Minister of South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Dr Rob Davies and his Deputy Minister, Bulelani Magwanishe gave members of media an update on the department's Black Industrialist Programme. The Minister also announced a new...read more
Nedbank According to Nedbank’s head of communications Esme Arendse, there is still a lot of work to be done with regard to transformation in the sector. She states that management control and employment remain a challenge – especially in relation to the representation...read more
South Africa’s financial services industry manages an estimated R1.23-trillion of the country’s wealth. According to Mail & Guardian the pace of change in the financial services sector has come into sharper focus as it continues to contribute significantly to the...read more