Women proved their commitment to uplifting communities when they won the bulk of awards at a glittering ceremony in Durban on Friday night.
They dominated the list of nominees for the Amaqhawe oKhozi awards, which honour individuals or groups that develop and uplift others and expect nothing in return.
Siziwe Thusi, who owns Zamimpilo Arts and Craft with 149 other women, won the Women in Business award. She said winning the award was a big surprise.
"We are humbled. We did not expect to win and to be treated like queens," said Thusi.
"We met to uplift our community and generate some income for our families. Most of us survived by selling items on the street before we formed the co-operative."
They make beadwork, weave mats, plant vegetables, sew traditional attire and make wooden trays.
Other winners were:
l Zamumnotho Disabled Women's Club, for developing communities. They do beadwork, sew uniforms and also teach sewing and design.
Qal'ekhaya, a co-operative, won for manufacturing school desks and furniture. They also donate school uniforms and stationery to poor people.
Florence Mhlongo, owner of Florence Mhlongo Farm, won the agricultural business award. Her poultry farm, vegetable gardens and sugar cane plantations have created jobs for many.
Omakhelwane co-operative, which owns a poultry farm, crop farm and vegetable gardens, won for rural business.