500 NEWS

In a disruptive era, we often only focus on game-changing technologies, but the ripple effect of those disruptive technologies has started to blur the lines of how we live, work and play. Direct from the Lifestyle pages of our upcoming tenth-anniversary collector’s edition, here’s Dion Chang on five mega-trends that will change the way you live (and think) in the next five years.

1.Digital Mobility

The concept of “transient ownership” – the fact that you don’t need to own something in order to use it – is permeating into an older generation’s mindset, but it is already firmly entrenched with millennials as well as Gen Z’s. Ride sharing services like Uber, have already convinced some people to ditch car ownership completely, or persuaded couples to only invest in one car. The domino effect of the sharing economy, on related industries like insurance, car rental and parking is already raising alarms, but it is also creating new, on-demand delivery services and logistics opportunities, specifically in food retail.

2.The #FreeFrom Movement

We’re increasingly ordering-in our food (cooked or uncooked), but what we’re eating is changing. Fast. The #FreeFrom movement – ie; free from gluten, free from lactose, etc – has spawned a global shift towards plant-based diets. It is a dual cause driven by allergies, as well as sustainability issues, and the vanguard of the movement is a younger generation. Gen Z in particular.

3.Gen Z (people born between the mid-1990s and early 2000s)

If you thought millennials were difficult – as customers, as well as a workforce – then brace yourselves. The first generation of digital natives are coming of age. They are a post-9/11 and a post-Great Recession generation who have been handed a broken system: environmentally, economically and politically. As such, they are guided by a strong sense of social justice and this impacts on their brand loyalty, as well as who they want to work for (if indeed they take on traditional careers – see trend 5).

4.Value Based Business

A global survey by Havas Worldwide found that 68% of respondents believe that corporate business now bears equal responsibility, with governments, to drive positive social change. Political strategist Doug Hattaway elaborates: “More and more businesses are being forced to become value driven, rather than sales driven.” It’s no longer just about selling a product, it’s about what that company stands for. For businesses previously fixated on the bottom line and keeping shareholders happy, this is a deeply uncomfortable shift, but a crucial one they are being forced to make.”

5.The GIG economy

The GIG economy, spawned in conjunction with the sharing economy, is a foreign concept for baby boomers, but a logical alternative when you consider the trajectory of the future of work and new business models. Technology has made the concept of 9-to-5, 40-hour work week a quaint relic of the 20th century. Digital nomads (aka remote workers) are now being referred to as “the new elite”. They are “wealthy” in terms of time and place (work anywhere, anytime), but not material goods. They don’t need them. The sharing economy has that box ticked.

Dion Chang is the founder of Flux Trends. For more information on trends as business strategy,
visit www.fluxtrends.com.

2018 Has proved a big year for Old Mutual’s Wealth and Investment cluster. In this exclusive interview we take a look back – and a look ahead – with Managing Director David Macready.

In May, Old Mutual Investment Group was named not just South Africa’s Best Managed Company in Financial Services but the country’s Best Managed Company of the Year,
at the Top 500 Awards. How did you feel accepting the trophy?

I was enormously proud when accepting this trophy, because I saw it as validation of the quality we have built and the talent and intellectual property that contribute to it being such a great business to be part of. It is this talent that has enabled us to build a world-class investment company that sustainably delivers investment performance to our clients.

The award confirmed the success of our multi-boutique asset manager structure, which gives our investment professionals the independence to invest with focus and conviction. Our structure ultimately ensures that their interests are aligned with those of our clients given that they have ownership stakes in their boutiques and that they are invested alongside their clients  in the funds that they manage. Together, these various elements have positioned Old Mutual Investment Group as the leading asset manager in South Africa it is today, as recognised by the two awards we received from Top 500.

Then, in June, Old Mutual Limited (the holding company of Old Mutual Investment Group), historically relisted on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. How did this ‘African homecoming’
feel for you, personally?

 It’s been a hugely momentous time for us and another reason to feel proud. The JSE listing of Old Mutual Limited represented the culmination of a lot of hard work and dedication to the end goal of bringing Old Mutual, a South African household name, back home. The listing also firmly supports one of Old Mutual Investment Group’s missions: to invest sustainably for a future that matters across Africa. We already do this by investing substantially in infrastructure, housing, schools, education and agriculture in South Africa and across the African continent but, with the Group’s primary focus now firmly on Africa, we will be able to put even more energy and passion behind this.

Would you concur that the listing indicated top-level confidence at Old Mutual, in both South African and southern African economic prospects?

 Most definitely. The timing of the listing couldn’t have been better given the recent boost in confidence from SA’s new leadership and a refocus on Investment growth within the economy. However, while the renewed confidence has given the economy a reprieve, albeit short-lived, substantial structural reform is still needed if we are to materially improve our economic prospects. Within this context Old Mutual and Old Mutual Investment Group are committed to partnering with Government and other stakeholders in investing towards the greater good of South Africa and Africa more broadly.

Going back to the Group’s Top 500 Awards accolades, how important is it to recognise and promote ethical and astute management, specifically in the South African context?

The role that asset managers play in South Africa’s economic future should be reflected in the way in which they put the investment capital of their clients to work. Responsible investment is a crucial priority for the country, particularly against the backdrop of our current economic environment and the ethical challenges it has faced over the last decade. As asset managers we invest for the long-term and constantly seek sustainable investment opportunities that take Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations into account.

When it comes to investment in SA companies, corporate governance is key. We believe it is important to understand the ethos of what really drives a company, how employees are rewarded and how they are measured. The cases we’ve seen in the market of late have been stark reminders of the need to apply not only an investment lens when considering investment opportunities, but also the principles of responsible investing.

While delivering market-beating returns for its clients, how does Old Mutual Investment Group benefit the communities in which it invests?

We pride ourselves in being leaders in responsible investment, with the aim of generating sustainable market-beating returns for our clients over the long term. Old Mutual Investment Group has invested over R20 billion to address gaps in social infrastructure through affordable housing and quality education. We believe in the need to invest with the aim of making a significant impact for the broader national community and we have seen some powerful success stories in this regard.

Our private equity involvement in toll roads, has created close to 1 000 jobs, for example, and we are exceptionally proud of initiatives such as the Early Childhood Development Programme, driven by Cookhouse, an investment in the Old Mutual IDEAS Fund, which aims to provide quality child care and access to education for children between the ages of 0 and 6 years among Eastern Cape communities.

Looking ahead now, give us a glimpse into the vision for the next five-ten years, at Old Mutual Investment Group?We see enormous growth potential ahead for this business, particularly given our investment performance momentum, client-friendly investment platforms and full range of listed and unlisted investment solutions. Our growth and market share gains are particularly evident in the retail space, as well as the unlisted alternative investments, multi-asset and fixed income arenas.

Ultimately, we are backed by a trusted brand, a significant balance sheet and key distribution strength, which are all key attributes for being successful. Our business is well positioned as a growth lever for the newly listed Old Mutual Limited as we continue to gain market share in pivotal market areas and we look forward to seeing where the future takes us.

Let’s end off with your personal management philosophy.

In my experience, there are three critical components that underpin successful leadership or management: vision, belief and passion. These have been the common characteristics of history’s greatest leaders and are relevant to today’s leadership from government, to labour, to business.

Truly remarkable leadership should demonstrate the ability to see the bigger picture, the resolute belief in your capacity to steer the ship and, ultimately, the passion that creates a sense that you are part of something bigger than yourself.

Effective leadership also means connecting and identifying with those that you lead and this should be built on reciprocal trust. Every leader should earn the conviction of those they lead that they have the team’s best interests at heart and that they genuinely believe in your ability to deliver excellence.

All boats rise with a tide; leadership is only really challenged when the tide goes out. Leadership takes courage, the courage to move forward and make the hard, but necessary decisions. Leaders should constantly change the game and to do this they have to learn, unlearn and relearn.

True leaders should therefore have a strong awareness of self and others in order to make impactful decisions.

Visit Old Mutual Investment Group.

How does South Africa research and rank its vaunted Top 500 best-managed companies every year?

This year, the top 5 South African companies across 100 sectors, from Coal to Business Colleges, will once again be listed 

in the index of our eagerly-anticipated tenth anniversary collector’s edition (a brief overview here), set to be read and referenced by 10 000+ key decision makers in business and government, throughout the 2019  financial year.

What leads to a company being placed first in its sector?


The qualification is strictly research-based, using objective criteria designed in conjunction with UCT’s Development Policy Research Unit (DPRU), against which roughly 2 000 prominent companies are measured every year. Morne Oosthuizen, DPRU Deputy Director, explains that in order to place top of their sector, companies must excel in three key spheres, namely financial performance, empowerment, and policy and accreditation.


Financial performance speaks to the nature of top companies being large, growing and productive institutions; leaders by virtue of their size and dynamism. It is also measured by four indicators: turnover, rate of turnover growth, rand turnover growth and turnover per employee.

Size is both an indicator and an outcome of whether or not a company is a top company.

Turnover is used to proxy company size and this indicator has large weight within the measure. The dynamism of top companies is reflected in their ability to expand and grow, and so two indicators are included – one relative, one absolute – of growth in the score sheet. The former is the rate of turnover growth over the year – since top companies are faster growing – while the latter is the rand value of that turnover growth. Absolute turnover growth is included to account for the fact that top companies’ growth should make a large contribution to increased total output. These two indicators have a medium weight within the scoring system. Top companies are more productive than other companies and the final performance indicator, turnover per employee, which has a medium weight, speaks to this characteristic.

Delving deeper, our researchers assess how companies promote equity and social transformation. Top companies are committed to fulfilling this role, and this commitment is measured using six criteria. Two focus on companies’ commitment to the goal of transformation as demonstrated in their employment profiles, namely the shares of employment accounted for by female employees and by black employees respectively.

Top companies, however, go further than just employment and are demonstrably committed to greater diversity at the level of management and control. The proportions of black and female executive and non-executive directors are evaluated to complete scoring for this sphere.

Wider afield, top companies are involved within communities and are committed to improving the universal quality of life for the society they operate in. This sphere of policy and accreditation accounts for the remainder of the total score. In gauging companies’ engagement and involvement in communities, their total spend on corporate social investment activities relative to net profit is measured. Companies are also judged on the existence of written policies regarding employment equity, skills development, health and safety, HIV/Aids, and the environment. The final criterion within this sphere, commitment to quality, is proxied by the number of SABS-approved accreditations held by companies.

For more details on our research, e-mail Head of Research Sandra.Bock@Topco.co.za.

Showcase your company in our milestone tenth edition.

Here’s what to look forward to in the landmark publication that will holistically articulate the destiny of South Africa, post-Zuma:

  • • Presidential Investment Envoy and former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel in an in-depth,
    game-changing interview on South Africa’s past, present and future.
  • • Expert opinion pieces on the country’s prospects from economy thought leaders including
    Dawie Roodt, Colin Coleman, Chantell Illbury, Loane Sharp, Brian Kantor and Anish Shivdasani.
  • • Interviews with the leaders of S.A.’s Top 500 Award Companies including David Macready,
    MD: Old Mutual Wealth and Investment cluster; Michael Mark, CEO: Truworths International and Julie-May Ellingson,
    CEO: Cape Town International Convention Centre.
  • • Top 500 Awards (May 2018) retrospective feature.
  • • Fascinating overviews of South Africa’s most crucial economic sectors.
  • • The top five companies in 100 sectors, researched and ranked, in our highly anticipated index.
  • • Trends expert Dion Chang, luxury hotels, high-tech travel gear and (very) fast cars in our Lifestyle section.

The Publication’s market reach:

Feature your company’s CEO in the publication thousands of decision-makers in local & international business,
trade and investment will read and reference. We recommend a two-three page CEO interview complemented
by a one-page brand advertisement.

Reserve your participation today: Marketing@Top500.co.za. We’ll call you back.


1 Review your ransomware response plan
Organisations need to have a ransomware response plan in place. This plan tells everyone in the organisation what they need to do if there is a ransomware attack.

2 Check your power supply
Availability is one of the three pillars of cybersecurity, along with integrity and confidentiality. If your systems don’t have power they are not going to provide availability.

3 Map data for better security and compliance
Organisations’ data uses should be documented so that it can be protected, and compliance data privacy requirements met.

4 Update server protection
It’s imperative for businesses to make sure that their servers are protected against outsider attacks.

5 Push IT security training wider and deeper
Organisations need training that is tailored to the specific needs and policies of their company,
as well as specific roles within the company

Experian Global Fraud Report 2018

Buzzword: a word or phrase, often an item of jargon, that is fashionable at a particular time or in a particular context that sticks. 

In 2013, Thulile Nxumalo compiled a list of then-hot buzzwords for our 5th edition. Five years on – apart from “cloud computing” (although these days we just talk about the cloud) – how many of the below terms do you still toss around on a regular basis?

CPC – Cost Per Click: A website that uses CPCs would bill by the number of times a visitor clicks on a banner instead of by the number of impressions. Cost per click is often used when advertisers have a set daily budget. When the advertiser’s budget is hit, the ad is removed from the rotation for the remainder of the period.

Leapfrog: Is fast becoming an African specialty, as countries make extraordinary advances in their development, often bypassing entire generations of development and making great strides in playing catch-up with their global counterparts.

Back Of The Napkin Business Model: A slang term that refers to the representation of the basic components of a business model excluding any fine details. It incorporates only the core ideas and success factors of the business. The name comes from the notion that a quick outline of a business can be easily sketched on the back of a napkin to sufficiently demonstrate its fundamental concepts. This type of business model should probably only be used as part of the initial stages of planning. A final business model should be drafted for clarity and color, including complete details on all operations as well as the short-term and long-term visions of the business.

Twinternship: Is a slang term used to describe an internship that encompasses the use of social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, to drive attention to the internship-offering company and its products. Twinternships have gained popularity as a cheap and relatively easy way to communicate a company’s brand with younger, tech-savvy consumers, while portraying the business as “hip.”

Hit the Slide: To quit in a spectacular fashion. On bad days, Chuck would steal coffee creamer from the office kitchenette and fantasize about hitting the slide. On really bad days, the plan involved burning fish and cauliflower in the microwave, pulling the fire alarm and streaking out past the vice president’s office. Ganjapreneur: Someone who smells opportunity in the medical marijuana industry. About 25,000 ganjapreneurs and their customers attended the inaugural THC Expo in downtown Los Angeles last summer.

Digital Nomads: The ever-expanding group of workers using wireless technology to eliminate the need for an office.

MASHUP: A mashup is a Web page or application that uses and combines data, presentation or functionality from two or more sources to create new services. The term implies easy, fast integration, frequently using open APIs and data sources to produce enriched results that were not necessarily the original reason for producing the raw source data. The main characteristics of the mashup are a combination, visualization, and aggregation. It is important to make existing data more useful, moreover for personal and professional use.

B2C: Business to consumer

Bizmeth: Shortening of “business method”.

Drinking the Kool-Aid: Is a metaphor commonly used in the United States and Canada that refers to a person or group’s unquestioning belief in an ideology, argument, or philosophy without critical examination. The phrase typically carries a negative connotation when applied to an individual or group. The basis of the term is a reference to the November 1978 Jonestown Massacre,[1][2] where members of the Peoples Temple were said to have committed suicide by drinking a “Kool-Aid“-like drink laced with cyanide.

SAAS: Software as a service Is a software delivery model in which software and its associated data are hosted centrally typically in the Internet, cloud and are typically accessed by users using a thin client, normally using a web browser over the Internet. SaaS has become a common delivery model for most business applications, including accounting, collaboration, customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), personal resource planning (PRP), invoicing, human resource management (HRM), content management (CM) and service desk management.

Glocalization: A combination of the words “globalization” and “localization” used to describe a product or service that is developed and distributed globally, but is also fashioned to accommodate the user or consumer in a local market. This means that the product or service may be tailored to conform with local laws, customs or consumer preferences. Products or services that are effectively “glocalized” are, by definition, going to be of much greater interest to the end user. Yahoo! is an example of a company that practices glocalization.

Cloud computing: Is the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as a metered service over a network (typically the Internet). Computing clouds provide computation, software, data access, and storage resources without requiring cloud users to know the location and other details of the computing infrastructure. This type of data centreenvironment allows enterprises to get their applications up and running faster, with easier manageability and less maintenance, and enables IT to more rapidly adjust IT resources (such as servers, storage, and networking) to meet fluctuating and unpredictable business demand.

So that was a trip back in time. For buzzwords, five years is a long time. Now, don’t get too attached to them, but here are the latest ‘hot’ buzzwords for 2018. Come back and check on their pulse in 2023…

Content originally sourced from Investopedia and Wikipedia.

Business South Africa comes together to say South Africa means business.


On Thursday 10 May, the Best Managed Companies in a host of sectors were announced at the 2nd annual Top 500 Awards, hosted at Inanda Club’s Polo Room in the heart of Sandton.

The road to these awards is a challenging one. Over the course of the last year, thousands of companies were critically researched by Topco Media’s Senior Researcher Sandra Bock, and measured against 100 data points originally developed in partnership with UCT’s Development Policy Research Unit. About 20% qualified to list in the 9th annual Top 500 publication (published in January). Out of those, less than 60 made the awards’ shortlist and, finally, 12 were lauded as the country’s reigning Best Managed Companies in their sectors. A 13th trophy, sponsored by Bestmed Medical Scheme, went to Nestle South Africa – adjudicated winner of the new Workplace Wellness Award (the only Top 500 Award won through entry & motivation, rather than qualification).

Among the qualification-based winners were Truworths (Retail – CEO of 30 years, Michael Mark, was there to accept the award); Mercedes-Benz South Africa (Pty) Ltd (Consumer Goods); Naspers Limited (Media), and – taking the trophy both in Financial Services (sponsored by Tagit Solutions) and the “King Trophy” for Best Managed Company of the Year – Old Mutual Investment Group.

Commenting on the triumph, Dave Macready, Managing Director of the Old Mutual Wealth and Investment Cluster, said that the timing of the award could not have been better given that Old Mutual Limited, the holding company of Old Mutual Investment Group, is listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange on 26 June 2018.

Dr. Jabu Mabuza

Dr. Jabu Mabuza, Keynote Speech

“Winning these awards is testament to the fact that not only is Old Mutual Investment Group a great place to work, but it is a home for world-class talent and intellectual property,” said Macready. “We are also a leader when it comes to Responsible Investing in South Africa. Our business is an active steward of capital through the driving of low-carbon, resource-efficient and financially inclusive outcomes and ensures that good governance is an absolute necessity for long-term performance. Ultimately our people make this happen, and it is our talent, performance and passion for client investment outcomes that are key factors in ensuring Old Mutual Investment Group is a leading investment manager in South Africa.”

The Speakers at this year’s awards drew national attention because their addresses resonated so closely with the zeitgeist of South Africa’s new momentum under President Cyril Ramaphosa’s leadership (whose senior economic advisor, Trudi Makhaya, attended the awards as a VIP). VIP Speaker was Goldman Sachs MD & Partner Colin Coleman and the Keynote Speaker was Dr. Jabu Mabuza – Chairman of Eskom and Telkom, and President of Business Unity SA. While Coleman reconfirmed his firm’s widely-noted assertion that 2018 could herald a golden era for the local economy – based on strong local and international data, rather than conjecture –  Dr. Mabuza balanced his own optimism and enthusiasm with a clear message to business South Africa, that the road to prosperity would be a long one and that, before business South Africa can expect to attract the targeted $100bn in foreign investment, it should itself be confidently investing into the local economy. With its imminent listing Old Mutual, for one, is already answering that call and making a bold statement of intent that has been enthusiastically noted by the international community. Many other finalists and winners at the awards have also been stepping up, like Netcare and Sasol – participants in the new Youth Employment Service (YES) initiative – and Anglo American South Africa, which has invested millions into education. In his address, Dr. Mabuza also touched on the weight that ethical, upstanding corporate management carries at a time when the fallout from several corruption scandals still jars. View Dr. Mabuza’s speech here and Mr. Coleman’s speech here.

Fittingly for an evening of reignited optimism – and, yes, patriotism – the awards began with all attendees standing for the national anthem, Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika.

This year marks a decade since the awards’ ancillary publication first began researching and ranking the famous “Top 500” companies. The next edition, out at the end of the year, will feature a comprehensive awards retrospective and quiz some of the economy’s biggest icons on the past, the present – and the promise of the future.

Topco Media congratulates all Finalists and Winners and would like to sincerely thank Top500 Awards Sponsors Bestmed, Public Sector Manager magazine & Tagit Solutions.

Visit 2018 Winners to see the full list of winners and view multimedia highlights.

For any enquiries email Marketing@Top500.co.za or call 086 000 9590.

Top500 Awards Trophy

Prestigious Top500 Awards Trophy

R15 billion: the annual cost to our national economy from absenteeism.

Every day, 15% of our workforce takes sick leave –  more than 6 million people. Even though our beautiful country offers a healthy climate, access to nutritious food and an environment designed for the active lifestyle, empty workstations continue to plague top companies .

Well, not all of them. The seven companies just confirmed as Finalists for the inaugural Top 500 Bestmed Workplace Wellness Award have in place holistic employee wellness initiatives that have seen a drop in absenteeism together with increased productivity, staff retention and even frequency of promotions. These companies choose diverse ways to encourage a healthier, happier workforce including mobile clinics, on-site gyms, pause areas, healthy catering, wellness lectures and sports days, flexitime/remote-work options, and more – and the positive impact hasn’t just been internal – these companies have positioned themselves as employers of choice which top candidates actively seek out. So, who’s in line to win the trophy, when the Top 500 Awards happen on Thursday evening? The finalists are:


  • • Vital Health Foods
  • • Nestle South Africa (Pty) Ltd
  • • GetSmarter
  • • Life Healthcare
  • • W-Tech Manufacturing )Pty) Ltd
  • • E-Waste Africa
  • • Aegis South Africa


According to some of the Judging panel’s assessments, Vital Health Foods demonstrated a “good programme extending to the family” and a commendable “holistic approach”. Nestle South Africa put forward a “broad spectrum of wellness activities, focused for a company of (its) size” and helping to “target day-to-day problems that most people struggle with as a result of their work environment.” GetSmarter drew praise for its multi-faceted approach to wellness, the evident enthusiasm behind that approach, and its state-of-the-art cafeteria. LIFE Healthcare, SA’s 2nd-largest private hospital operator, demonstrated “very good programmes, incorporating a focused EAP (Employee Assistance Plan)”. The judges noted W-Tech’s involvement of the community in their efforts, and e-Waste Africa’s eco-friendly, caring and safety-driven approach. Rounding out the Finalists, Aegis South Africa was commended for its long-term commitment to enhancing workplace wellness for its employees – the company has an on-site medical facility for use by employees free of charge and also offers an EAP.

The gleaming winner’s trophy will be waiting on-stage at the Top 500 Awards on 10 May, to be handed over by Award Sponsor BestMed Medical Scheme – itself a passionate driver of national workplace wellness. To attend the Awards, book one of the last few seats: e-mail Marketing@Top500.co.za (and if you happen to be reading this in bed, during a sick day off from work, why not bring several copies of your CV with you and seek out a healthy career change).

Top Media & Communications (pty) Ltd is proud to be hosting the 2nd annual Top 500 Awards on 10 May 2018 at Inanda Club, Johannesburg. The awards will bring together illustrious finalists in competition for 14 trophies designating South Africa’s Best-Managed Companies; they include Sun International, Anglo American, Discovery Health, Old Mutual Wealth and Naspers.

Two intertwined factors make this year’s ceremony different from the norm: zeitgeist and economics:

 – With Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa as President of South Africa and leader of the new Cabinet, there is arguably a renewed sense of hope and optimism in the air, after a prolonged period of listlessness. 

– Business-wise, you’ll be familiar with Goldman Sachs’ pronouncement on South Africa as the big emerging market of 2018 – that firm is not alone in this view and there is generally improved – if cautious (hello, Moody’s & Fitch) – confidence in South Africa’s prospects. This against the context of a global upswing – “a decade after the world descended into a devastating economic crisis, a key marker of revival has finally been achieved. Every major economy on earth is expanding at once” – New York Times.

The awards will bring together three luminaries at the forefront of Government’s drive for business confidence, foreign investment and youth employment: Keynote Speaker Dr Jabu  Mabuza, Chairman of Eskom/Telkom & BUSA President; VIP Speaker Colin Coleman, MD of Goldman Sachs SA, who will outline prospects for the South African economy, and VIP guest Dr. Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO of YES (Youth Employment Service), which was launched by the President in March.  

Other VIPs rounding out the collective include:

  •  – Discovery Health CEO – Jonathan Broomberg
  •  – Thuli Madonsela Foundation Board Member – Wantu Madonsela
  •  – Pam Golding CEO – Andrew Golding
  •  – Redefine CEO – Andrew Konig
  •  – OUTA CEO – Wayne Duvenage
  •  – Stadium Management CEO – Jacques Grobbelaar
  •  – Quest Staffing Solutions CEO – Kay Vittee  
  •  – South32 VP Corporate Affairs: Africa – Dr. Patience Mpofu


Companies represented at the awards will include: Old Mutual Wealth | Anglo American | Aspen Pharmacare | Bidvest Panalpina Logistics | Fidelity | BestMed | Sun International | GCIS –  Public Sector Manager | Johannesburg Water | Aecom | Bidvest Steiner and others.

In this era of information hyper-overload, leaders in business and government rely more than ever on reputable sources to identify proven high-performance companies to partner with.

The number of websites on the Internet recently hit 1 billion. Members of business social network LinkedIn now number almost 500 million. Here in South Africa, the Advertising Standards Authority — the guardian of authentic marketing — is under business review. In this frothing soup of companies freely promoting their products and services, how do you know which ones to invest your trust in — let alone your venture capital?

“Before they’ll even look at another company, today’s business decision-makers require a solid reputation with a proven ability to deliver.”

So says Lance Fanaroff. Joint CEO and co-founder of Integr8, the largest privately-owned ICT management company in Africa. Fanaroff knows all about awards; he holds several himself, while Integr8 has won the Innovation through Technology Award at the National Business Awards as well as being a Technology Top 100 Companies winner, Cisco Service Delivery Partner of the Year winner and ranking as a top 50 Managed Service Providers, globally, in the MSP rankings.

In an information-saturated marketplace, where shrewdly-engineered Facebook and Google ads jostle for position on every street corner of the Internet, businesses like Integr8 have realised the strategic advantage of selectively harnessing the credibility of reputable business awards – because growing business these days hinges on credibility, authenticity and proven ability.

“Big business wants to work with industry leaders and to differentiate themselves as leaders in their respective fields. Reputation and credibility is essential for the success of any business, big or small,” Fanaroff says.

Awards should be seen and not hoarded

Winning an award is one thing, Fanaroff says. The trick is to leverage it. Statistics back this up. An international academic study has shown that three years after receiving an award, 120 award winning companies outperformed comparison companies by an average of 17% for sales and 36% for share value.

“It’s more about what companies do with their award, and the mileage and marketing they can leverage from winning, or being a finalist, than the actual award,” he says.

“At Integr8 we ensure that our clients, potential clients, suppliers, business partners and everyone we work with know about the awards and accolades bestowed upon us. This gives them a sense of comfort that they are working with the industry leaders, who have a proven ability to deliver.”

When it comes to business awards, many companies seemed almost bashful about promoting their accolades. Now more are realising the value of marketing their hard-earned success via social media platforms and in their marketing mix, by using the digital certificates and accreditation badges rushed to finalists, and later winners, upon verification.

Such awards also serve a higher function, says Fanaroff. By contributing to the winners’ and finalists’ growth and success they help towards job creation, skills development, growing the economy and setting a benchmark towards which other companies, entrepreneurs and business leaders can continuously strive to better themselves.

Meanwhile, at Topco Media (the organisation behind 10 May’s Top 500 Awards, CEO Ralf Fletcher underscores the power of external accreditation over ”marketing speak” (which is often met by sceptical eye in the marketplace):

“In the current tight economic climate, acknowledgement by an outside organisation that your business has thrived against fierce competition by other successful businesses, can go a long way towards boosting credibility externally, as well as confidence and staff morale internally.”

“A business award prominently displayed on your company website, or up on the wall in reception, can be a very powerful publicity tool with evergreen impact. Its perceived value extends long beyond the night of the awards, or the year in which it was bestowed. Many of our past finalists and winners have fed back to say they’re still experiencing a positive impact from their award 3,4 or 5 years into the future.”

The Top 500 publication started researching and ranking South African companies in 2009, before the second age of digital disruption; a time when companies still flowed much of their marketing spend into traditional channels like print and radio, with unknowable outcomes. “Now”, says Fletcher, “the companies we speak with want to engage their target market through more focused platforms while wielding genuine marketing gold — credibility — to open the conversation.”

Some of the organisations who have invested their confidence in the vision of this year’s Top 500 Awards awards include sponsors Bestmed, TAGit I.T. Solutions and Public Sector Manager.

Lance Fanaroff was a Judge at our sister awards, the National Business Awards, in November 2017.


The winners of the Top 500 Awards will be announced on 10 May 2018 at Inanda Club.

In 2016 alone, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) processed payments to the value of R140-trillion – 30 times the gross domestic product (GDP) of South Africa. Significant change has occurred in the financial services space recently, attracting much interest in these innovations. The Deputy Governor of the SARB responsible for financial stability shares his views

The exterior of the South African Reserve Bank in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, March 23, 2005. Photographer: Naashon Zalk/Bloomberg News


The SARB is responsible for establishing, conducting, monitoring, regulating, and supervising all the payment, clearing, and settlement systems in South Africa. It executes this mandate through its National Payment System Department (NPSD). NPSD is the owner and operator of South Africa’s real-time gross settlement system, better known as the South African Multiple Option Settlement (SAMOS) system. SAMOS allows all interbank transactions to be settled in central-bank money and ensures that all interbank payments become final and irrevocable; it concludes economic transactions between parties, thus ensuring that legal certainty is achieved.

South Africa’s national payment system is made up of various payment streams within the large-value payment systems and the more familiar retail payment systems. These payment streams include cheques, cards, and electronic fund transfers such as Internet payments and debit orders.

The SARB plays an important role in ensuring that the payments financial market infrastructure remains efficient and safe, thus supporting the SARB’s role in maintaining financial stability and ensuring the public’s confidence in the financial system.


The SARB addresses cybersecurity through the microprudential supervision of banks, the macroprudential regulation of the financial system, and oversight of the financial market infrastructure.

The SARB is responsible for the regulation and supervision of banks in South Africa. One of its functions is promoting the soundness of the banking system and contributing to financial stability.

An Information Technology (IT) Risk Division was established in 2012 with the primary responsibility of looking at IT risks for the banking industry. While conducting on-site visits to banks, this division has addressed various IT governance topics, including information security and cybersecurity.

In 2013, the SARB assessed mobile-devices and Internet-banking fraud in the South African banking industry. No significant findings were made, other than the need for a more collaborative approach between the banks and other industry players, including critical infrastructure providers. Also in 2013, a short IT survey was issued to the industry, touching on some aspects of information security. In 2015, a more substantive survey was issued, covering both information security and enterprise architecture management. Neither survey highlighted any material weaknesses, although the need to be constantly aware of new modi operandi in the cybersecurity space was emphasised. Cybersecurity was subsequently added as a topic for discussion with banks’ boards of directors.

From a regulatory perspective, the SARB applies international principles, such as those in the Basel frameworks, to the South African context. In 2016, the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures as well as the International Organization of Securities Commissions, issued cyber-resilience guidance for financial market infrastructures. The SARB issued these guidelines as a guidance note to the banking industry.

Maintaining payment security is required of all entities that store, process, or transmit cardholder data. In terms of retail payment systems, the SARB, through the Payments Association of South Africa, requires all banks, system operators, and certain merchants who store, process or transmit card information to adhere to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. Cross-functional working groups within the SARB are currently considering how to make the financial system more cyber-secure. This includes looking at regulation, incident reporting, and responding to incidents. The SARB also collaborates with role players such as the South African Banking Risk Information Centre on their cybersecurity initiatives, and engages with financial industry computer security incident response teams.

As part of its responsibility to protect and enhance financial stability, the SARB also manages cyber-risk through the Financial Sector Contingency Forum (FSCF), which has become a statutory body in terms of the newly enacted Financial Sector Regulation (FSR). The FSCF comprises key financial sector decision-makers, including the SARB, National Treasury, other financial-sector regulators, financial market infrastructures, and financial industry associations.

The FSCF was established to help coordinate the process of financial sector contingency planning and crisis management. In terms of the FSR Act, the forum’s objectives include the identification of potential threats to the stability of the South African financial system as well as the development and coordination of appropriate plans, mechanisms, and structures to mitigate these threats.

Excerpt from an article published in the 9the dition of Top 500: South Africa’s Best Managed Companies.
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After a period of prolonged volatility, the world economy appears to be entering a more stable phase – that’s if the opinion of 1 300 CEOs surveyed by PwC is anything to go by.

As reported by Fortune, PwC’s Davos-released survey results showed that 57% of CEOs predicted improved growth for the global economy this year; nearly double the percentage from the same time
last year (https://tinyurl.com/y9n3vcbe). Even more intriguing is a recent report by the New York Times stating that “a decade after the world descended into a devastating economic crisis, a key marker of revival has finally been achieved. Every major economy on earth is expanding at once, a synchronous wave of growth that is creating jobs, lifting fortunes and tempering fears of popular discontent” (https://tinyurl.com/y89dub6a).

So what does this mean for the South African outlook? In the wake of SONA 2018, which finally took place on 16 February, and Cyril Ramaphosa’s taking up the reigns of the Presidency, ratings agencies like Moody’s and Fitch are cautiously upbeat; the South African currency is trading skittish jabs at the US dollar (advance, retreat, repeat) and both business and consumer confidence are up. The Goldman Sachs pronouncement on South Africa being the next boom economy has probably sent out the biggest ripples of all. Here’s Goldman Sachs MD (sub-Saharan Africa) and Top 500 Awards VIP Speaker Colin Coleman, on the “new dawn”: https://tinyurl.com/y7x7tqvj.

Analysts are interested in the parallels between South Africa and other nations predicted to surge in the next five years. Among these are Ethiopia; Uzbekistan; Nepal; India; Laos; Cambodia and the Philippines (World Bank: Global Economic Prospects). Like South Africa, they are all emerging economies with little to stunt their growth bar high levels of public debt.

Last year’s big success story was, of course, Brazil – with whom South Africa has a host of similarities. Both countries have colonial and post-colonial trajectories, multi-ethnic demographic patterns, advanced constitutions and a plethora of natural resources. Crucially, both are also transitioning from a time of constant allegations of corruption in government, into an era of renewed hope and optimism on the back of a new, cleaner slate.

Politics left to the politicians (with our fervent hopes that they’ll Do The Right Thing), Top 500 Companies & its media partners will be sure to grill the leaders of South Africa’s top 10 companies on their own personal opinions, when the Top 500 Awards takes to the stage on 10 May and the ‘Best Managed’ organisations are named in a host of industry sectors – retail, finance, basic industries and more. Collectively, their outlook and their investment decisions will be powerful factors for the year ahead.

In Chinese astrology, 2018 is the Year of the Dog. Let’s just hope it’s a greyhound rather than a dachshund. Gareth Pike


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