Top Empowered Companies aims to identify South Africa’s top empowered companies through thorough evaluation of their empowerment credentials, financial performance and the triple bottom line. It has developed these research criteria with the University of Cape Town, and Topco Media’s research team use it diligently to conduct extensive research.

Research criteria

Companies are assessed on the seven pillars of empowerment as set out by the dti, namely:

  • ownership/directorship
  • management
  • employment equity
  • skills development
  • preferential procurement
  • social investment

Given our focus on empowerment, only companies with both black ownership and directorship, irrespective of the level, qualify for consideration. Furthermore, eligibility is determined by compliance with the minimum turnover requirements.

Only companies with a turnover in excess of R10-million per annum, or those with a turnover of between R8-million and R10-million that have exhibited growth of 15% or more in a year, are eligible for consideration. However, in order to be considered as one of South Africa’s top empowered companies, a minimum number of points need to be accumulated by companies across seven qualification criteria. These are:

  • Black ownership as a share of total ownership
  • Black senior managers as a share of total senior management
  • Black employees as a share of total employment
  • Corporate social investment spend (in both absolute and relative terms)
  • Expenditure on skills development focused on empowering historically disadvantaged individuals
  • Procurement practices

Companies complying with the ownership and directorship requirements, and exceeding the minimum turnover requirements are evaluated according to these criteria and points are allocated relative to their performance.

Depending on their specific performances, companies are allocated high, medium or low points for each criterion. Those companies that meet the minimum point requirement qualify for entry into the publication and are then also eligible for the various Oliver Empowerment Awards, each of which has further minimum requirements.

We aim to highlight all companies that perform above a certain level.