Top business leaders

Captains of industry honoured

Pravin Gordhan with Stephen Saad
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On 15 November 2012, Capitec Bank Holdings scooped the coveted title as South Africa’s top company at the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies Awards banquet held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. Capitec won in 2010 and was ranked second in 2011.

Among the prestigious awards, two of the country’s top businessmen were honoured: The Business Leader of the Year was awarded to Stephen Saad, Group CEO of Aspen Pharmacare; The Lifetime Achiever Award went to Bobby Godsell, Chair of Business Leadership South Africa and former CEO of AngloGold Ashanti.

The Sunday Times Corporate Social Investment Leadership Award went to Sappi. Top business leaders and government officials, including guest speaker Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, were present at the event to celebrate the success of the top business leaders and top business performers of 2012.

Ray Hartley, editor of the Sunday Times, said: “Unlike many other corporate rankings, the Sunday Times and Business Times Top 100 Companies rates companies by the extent to which they have increased the wealth of their shareholders. This year that honour goes to Capitec Bank Holdings.”

Riaan Stassen, CEO of Capitec Bank Holdings, commented: “The consistent Capitec Bank growth, on which this award is based, is a direct reflection of the client demand for our unique simplified bank offer.”

Business Leader of the Year is regarded by recipients as the ultimate accolade because nominees are chosen by their peers. This year’s winner, Stephen Saad, Group CEO of Aspen Pharmacare, was voted by the chief executives of the Top 100 Companies of 2011. He joins the ranks of previous winners Phuthuma Nhleko, Johann Rupert, Brian Joffe, Graham Mackay, Maria Ramos, Adrian Gore and Whitey Basson.

Saad said: “We had a vision and we have pursued it with both perseverance and passion. I hope that our story inspires future generations of entrepreneurs because there is a wealth of opportunities to be harnessed both in and outside South Africa.”

Godsell’s Lifetime Achievement Award recognised his significant contribution to the South African economy. In 2011, Brian Joffe received the honour, while previous winners include Nelson Mandela, Allan Gray, Stephen Koseff, Richard Maponya, Bill Venter, Nthato Motlana, Donald Gordon, Sam Motsuenyane, Koos Bekker, Raymond Ackerman and Anton Rupert.

Commenting on Sappi’s CSI award, Marcia Klein, editor of Business Times said: “It is the first time we are awarding the Sunday Times Top 100 Corporate Social Investment Award based on unique research done by Who Owns Whom.”

Klein explained further: “Research was taken from the BEE scorecards of nearly 1 000 companies, which were evaluated based on economic and socio-economic development scores.”

Sappi won this award for Project Grow, an initiative that created and sustained 9 700 subsistence tree farmers, as well as for its KwaDukuza education initiative, which annually assists more than 600 matric learners.

This year, the Royal Companies, i.e. companies that have remained in the Top 20 for three consecutive years, include: Assore, Capitec Bank, Clicks Group, Coronation Fund Managers, Famous Brands, Howden Africa, Kumba Iron Ore, Mr Price Group, Pinnacle Technology, Shoprite Holdings and Truworths International.

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