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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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Country's best empowered business people get recognised

By unknown | Nov 10, 2006 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Karin Johansson

Karin Johansson

MTN's Phuthuma Nhleko and Mvelaphanda's Yolanda Cuba were named the top empowered business people of the year at the Fidentia Top Empowerment Awards ceremony in Johannesburg last night.

The event was attended by 900 high profile businessmen and women, including chief executives, directors, government ministers and dignitaries, business owners and entrepreneurs.

As chief executive of MTN, Nhleko presides over the largest black-owned firm on the JSE and South Africa's most profitable cellphone operator. When he joined the company in 2002 he was quick to make his mark and played a main role in the management buy-in of MTN in December 2002, one of the country's largest black economic empowerment acquisitions at R4,3billion.

MTN was also named the overall top empowered company for this year. In the past year, MTN has made a number of successful acquisitions in Africa and the Middle East, the largest of which was its $5,5billion takeover of Dubai-based wireless operator Investcom Holdings, fixing its reputation as leader in these regions.

Cuba is deputy chief executive of Mvelaphanda Group, South Africa's largest black-owned diversified industrial company. And, at 29, she is one of the youngest women in the country to hold such a high-powered position.

The awards for top government personality (female and male) saw both Public Service and Administration Minister Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi and Finance Minister Trevor Manuel walking away with top honours for the second year in a row.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu was awarded the honorary laureate, which pays tribute to an individual in honour of his or her undisputed contribution to the betterment of life, not only for marginalised groups in South Africa, but for everyone. Tutu was named by unanimous vote.

Other winners included First Rand Foundation as top corporate social investment company, Matlejone Staffing Services as top gender-empowered company, SRS Aviation as top emerging gender- empowered company and iBurst as top emerging empowered company.


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