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The 13th annual Standard Bank Top Women Awards honoured 2016’s Lifetime Achiever Thuli Madonsela

PRESS RELEASE - 23 August 2016


The 13th annual Standard Bank Top Women Awards honoured 2016’s Lifetime Achiever Thuli Madonsela


The Standard Bank Top Women Awards, presented by Topco Media took place last week with over 800 guests celebrating South Africa’s leading women in business and government. It recognises and celebrates the outstanding contributions these individuals and organisations have made towards creating a more gender inclusive South Africa. 


Director and Chairperson of Top Women, Karla Fletcher welcomed sponsors, guests and dignitaries, “As this event marks our 13th year of celebrating gender empowerment, it got me thinking – everyone always refers to 13th as an unlucky number. But just like women, the Top Women brand loves to challenge the status quo. And I couldn’t think of this year’s anniversary as being anything other than lucky, seeing that it falls in women’s month and the 60th anniversary of the Women’s March”. Fletcher went on to mention that they have embarked on a long-term partnership with the Department of Women and urged attendees in their roles as leaders, individuals or influencers to get on board in publically pledging for gender parity by 2030.

Hannah Sadiki, co-host and Head Customer Channels Executive from Standard Bank said, “It’s been a privilege to be involved in the production and running of the Top Women Awards”. Hannah and Fletcher both challenged the audience to ask themselves what legacy they are leaving behind for the next generation.


Distinguished guests Minister of Women, Susan Shebang and Minister of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane were in attendance, and each addressed the audience as guest speakers. 


With 24 distinct categories overall, below are some of the companies and individuals that were publically recognised for their empowerment strategies and covered by local media and Awards media partners Sunday Times and Channel Africa.


Advocate Thuli Madonsela was recognised as 2016’s Lifetime Achiever, an award bestowed this year in honour of the 60th anniversary. Advocate Madonsela is no stranger to taking a courageous stand for human rights and for seven years strengthened the South Africa’s constitutional democracy, setting the bar high for her successor as her term comes to an end later this year. “When we are saying women should be placed in leadership positions we are just saying that they should now be given the authority that goes with the leadership they’ve already been exercising,” said Advocate Madonsela after accepting her award.


The Top Businesswoman of the Year Award, sponsored by Standard Bank, went to Margaret Hirsch, of Hirsch's. After having lost her job and with two children to feed, Margaret took her career into her own hands and began a microwave cooking school on the pavement outside their small shop in Durban North in 1979, with only R900. Over the last three years the company turned over an impressive R1.24-billion.


WDB Investment Holdings took home the coveted title of Top Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Standard Bank, for their 2015 R3.5-million turnover and annual growth rate (over three years) of 28%.


The Top Women in Property Award, sponsored by Joburg Property Company went to Motseng Investment Holding’s Founder and CEO, Ipeleng Mkha, who began her entrepreneurial career launching South Africa’s first black owned and managed CCTV business which paved the way for the successful company she owns today.


Anna Phosa, owner of Dreamland Piggery & Abattoir was named the Top Women in Agriculture, an award sponsored by Agricultural Research Council. Anna Phosa began her agricultural career with her small vegetable farming business in Soweto. After she was introduced to pig farming, Anna invested R1 000 into buying four pigs to start her small pig farm. Today, Anna has a R25-million contract with Pick n Pay and employs 40 people, over half of them being under 35.


To view all the winners, click here.


If you are interested in being a nominee for 2017 or to find out how you can be a part of this exciting initiative or the accompanying publication Top Women in Business & Government, or if you have any queries about the finalists, sponsors or categories, please do not hesitate to contact Angelique Edwards at or 083 410 3255


Standard Bank Top Women Awards social media

Facebook - @TopWomenAwards 

Twitter - @TopWomenAwards #SBTWA #TopWomenAwards 

LinkedIn - Top Women Conference

Instagram - #topwomenconference #TWC2016




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Gary Watkins

Gary Watkins

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