Cape Town, 21 July 2022. Topco Media hosted the Top Empowerment Conference, which took place virtually from 20-21 July 2022. The conference aims to find solutions that will reshape the socio-economic status quo through actionable ways to empower South Africa’s workforce and, in so doing, improve the economy. 

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

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

Catch up with this year’s Top Empowerment Awards

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

 The 2022 Top Empowerment winners are: 

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


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



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

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

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

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

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

Watch the full awards ceremony here: View highlights from day 1 and 2 of the 2022 Top Empowerment Conference & Awards on 



Partners of the 2022 Top Empowerment Conference & Awards include: Nedbank, Hollard, Merchants, AVBOB, University of the Free State, Nemesis Accounting and the Industrial Development Corporation. 

For more about the 2022 Top Empowerment Conference & Awards, go to: