During a live-streamed event held on Thursday 12 November, DRDGOLD Ltd was announced as the Sunday Times Top 100 Company of the Year. In 2020, 13 of the top 20 places in the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies list were held by companies operating in the mining sector. The Sunday Times Top 100 Companies, futured by BCX, is one of the most prestigious and highly-anticipated events on the South African business calendar.

This year, Gugulethu Mfuphi performed as MC, with poet Lebo Mashile paying tribute to the country’s front-line healthcare workers, as well as those supporting infrastructure, and financial and consumer services, who have been committed to safeguarding the country.

To qualify for the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies, JSE-listed companies are required to hold a minimum market capitalisation of R5 billion as of 31 August 2020, with winners determined by the highest returns for their shareholders over a five year period, based on a theoretical initial investment of R10,000.

For the period from 1 September 2015 to 31 August 2020, DRDGOLD Ltd (JSE:DRD) showed an annual compound growth rate of 77.4%. This means that R10,000 invested in 2015 would have delivered R175,651 in 2020.

Harmony Gold Mining Company Ltd (JSE: HAR) and Kumba Iron Ore Ltd (JSE: KIO) placed second and third respectively.

Leadership awards

“The Sunday Times Top 100 Companies recognises South Africa’s captains of industry for the returns they deliver to shareholders, as well as the business leadership they provide,” said Sunday Times editor S’thembiso Msomi.

“We must recognise what the Private Sector has already done to keep us from falling off a precipice. We need to recognise those who have prioritised people over profits, when our country needs it now more than ever. Over the past 8 months, the pressure on business leaders has been immense and often overwhelming. Keeping people in jobs – while looking after shareholder interests – is a balancing act they’ve had to manage.”

The Business Leader of the Year Award acknowledges those who have made a significant contribution to the South African economy and achieved greatness throughout the previous year. It is decided by the CEO’s of the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies from the previous year.  This year Michael Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Nedbank received the accolade, joining an elite list of former recipients including Lesetja Kganyago, Pravin Gordhan, Dr Johan van Zyl, Dr Michael Jordaan, Gerrie Fourie and Phuthuma Nhleko, amongst others.

Jacko Maree, deputy chairman of Standard Bank, was celebrated with the Lifetime Achiever Award. The award is decided by a high-profile independent panel, recognising an individual that consistently contributes to the South African economy. Maree joins an exclusive group of previous Lifetime Achiever Award recipients including Adrian Gore, Dr Patrice Motsepe, Dr Johann Rupert, Dr Bobby Godsell, Brian Joffe, Former President Nelson Mandela, Allan Gray, Dr Stephen Koseff, Dr Richard Maponya, Dr Bill Venter, Dr Nthato Motlana, Sir Donald Gordon, Dr Sam Motsuenyane, Koos Bekker, Raymond Ackerman and Dr Anton Rupert.

An honorary award was bestowed for the first time in the history of the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies, with esteemed epidemiologist Professor Salim Abdool Karim being recognised for his commitment in guiding South African leadership in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

BCX Innovation Award winners

The winners of the second BCX Digital Innovation Awards were also streamed as part of the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies Awards event.

The BCX Digital Innovation Awards ‘honour South African organisations that have taken up the flag to transform their businesses through technological advancements and digital transformation.’

The winner in the SME category is Bottles App.  Checkers Sixty60 was announced as the overall winner in the corporate category.

“In my many years of working with many leadership teams and brands, I have come to a deeper realisation: whether you are an entrepreneur dreaming of your next idea, an ambitious hard-worker, or a CEO, the most important trait you need for our fast-moving future is the ability to change and innovate, “ said Jonas Bogoshi, Chief Executive Officer at BCX. “There are tough trading times ahead. But we look to the innovators of the past, present and future. We know that great innovation can thrive in difficult times. Let’s all continue to champion the spirit of innovation to rebuild our economy and reimagine our future.”

The Sunday Times Top 100 Companies results were compiled by Vestra Advisory and have been evaluated by Deloitte.

The results of the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies will be published in the newspaper on 15 November 2020.