A 20 year history – Impumelelo: Top Empowerment celebrating transformation in South Africa

The transformation and empowerment agenda has evolved tremendously since 1994. In line with that evolution has been the growth (and pivot to digital first) of Top Empowerment, the annual publication founded by Richard Fletcher on the basis of a challenge after our first democratic elections from then-MP and now President, Cyril Rampahosa. South Africa needed to transform and the challenge was – could Topco Media be the flag bearer? The subsequent publication was founded on the basis of championing B-BBEEE and the black- owned and run companies that were excelling at implementing inclusion and diversity. What began as a challenge grew to an entire ecosystem which facilitates growth and opportunities for companies that are now amongst the top in the nation.

However, as Ralf Fletcher, CEO of Topco Media explains, “When we started it was a completely different landscape and we were in the nascent stages of actioning transformation. Now we are at a point where we can draw from our 20 years of insights to meaningfully lead the conversation on the efficacy of transformation in the South African context.”

From the depth of our insights we have already collected, here are three highlights that explain how transformation can positively impact your business:

  1. Holistic transformation development and implementation for accelerated growth

Transformation has expanded beyond the technical definitions of the requirements you need to meet. It extends to creating an integrated culture which means looking at creating equitability across all policies including gender and disability. Addressing it holistically creates internal alignment which in turn boosts productivity and fosters an environment of growth. The data shows that up to 45% greater market share can be captured with increased representation for women at an executive level.

  1. Treat B-BBEE scorecard as a tool rather than a mere checkbox

The reality is that many companies still approach B-BBEE as a penalisation rather than a powerful tool that can add to the bottom line for a company. The codes outlined provide structure – however, if you approach them as guidelines on how to enrich the composition of your business and draw from a greater cross-section of experiences and backgrounds, you will find they can provide you with a competitive edge. Beyond compliance and being a signaller to clients and suppliers alike, a focus on exceeding the expectations in this respect leads to better business practices which are particularly pertinent in the current climate of South Africa.

  1. Economic upside to actively pursuing transformation

A pervasive perception around empowerment and transformation is that it will hinder economic growth rather than bolster it. Fundamentally, successful implementation of transformation policies work to create employment, boost profit margins and ultimately create more favourable economic conditions. To navigate the next few years which will be underpinned by the effects of the Coronavirus, transformation will have to remain at the forefront of the agenda.

Ultimately empowerment and transformation have shown themselves to be key to unlocking South Africa’s economic potential. For more insights and in-depth discussions sign up to get early access to this year’s publication here

About Topco Media

 As South Africa’s leader in business research, recognition and networking, Topco Media has helped over 2,500 organisations during its 26 years – including multinationals like Microsoft, McDonalds, Mercedes-Benz and Coca Cola. We have worked with government departments including the GCIS, DTI, Dirco and DEA; with agencies such as Brand SA, BBC and BUSA and with all of the major public entities including, in recent times, the Richards Bay and Coega IDZs. Among the many JSE-listed companies with ties to Topco are Standard Bank, PPC and Anglo American. The 10,000 organisations we research each year trust us to use quantitative and qualitative data to objectively grant external accreditation to the best-managed and best-performing companies in South Africa; to its BEE and gender parity leaders; to implementers of national development and to HR/tech innovators.