Look Into The Future
Top500 is growing by leaps and bounds. The eighth edition has 25% more content and five times the number of clients than its predecessor. This is a fine reflection of the robust nature of the best-managed companies in South Africa, many of whom have shown remarkable resilience, and indeed growth, under difficult global, regional and national economic circumstances. With the flux in the economic landscape in 2016 came opportunities for shifts in the rankings amongst the sectors and we noted with interest that there was a 17% change in the number one position for the period under review.
Top500 celebrates icons in the South African economic landscape – the logical conclusion of this is the interview with our Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan: Rand Strengthener on page 72, which provides first-hand insights into the economy, what Brexit means for South Africa and the fiercely-debated wealth tax.
The golden thread that runs through this edition is one of looking to the future through the lens of technology and how technological advancements are changing the face of the world as we know it. We are therefore delighted to have on our front cover Asher Bohbot, CEO of JSE-listed IT services group EOH, awarded Business of the Year accolade at last year’s National Business Awards.
The Internet has become so intertwined with our private and professional arenas that it seems hard to imagine life without it – but in reality it was as recently as 1988 that Rhodes University established the first email address in the country – and the article found on page 126 traces what is, in fact, the very recent history of the ‘Net.
We take a look at how technology is changing the face of e-commerce on page 102, and the interview with biomedical engineer and digital entrepreneur, Murray Legg gives us insight into African unicorns and polymer heart valves capable of being replicated using 3-D printers.
By 2025 approximately 75% of the world’s population will be urbanised – this is in less than 10 years’ time – so what does that mean for planning, development and the infrastructure of our urban spaces? Cities for a Smarter World, page 94, reviews the development of smart cities around the globe with a focus on Modderfontein Zendai, Africa’s first smart city.
The core of the publication remains the invaluable business intelligence in the form of the listing of the top 500 best-managed companies in the country as determined by our research department using the methodology developed in conjunction with the Development Policy Research Unit at the University of Cape Town.
It has been a pleasure compiling the content of this important annual B2B publication – and my heartfelt thanks goes to the team who worked tirelessly ensuring cover-to-cover quality.