The 2012 Van Ryn Black Business Quarterly (BBQ) Awards have seen business endorse Gauteng Premier, Nomvula Mokonyane, as the best public sector leader.
Mokonyane recently scooped the BBQ's Public Sector Visionary Award from the assembled South African business leaders at the 2012 Van Ryn's BBQ Awards held at Emperor's Palace.
The Gauteng Premier was honoured for her role in developing favourable conditions for black entrepreneurs and, even more importantly, improving the role of women in the public sector.
Mokonyane's passion for socio-economic transformation can be traced back to her active role in the fight against apartheid. Since then she has occupied various leadership roles bridging the gap between the private and public sector.
As the Premier of Gauteng, she has made significant strides in consolidating Gauteng's position as South Africa's economic dynamo, the BBQ said.
The Awards' organisers rewarded Mokonyane for the development and execution of the Gauteng financial turnaround strategy, which has made the province profitable and accessible to black entrepreneurs, particularly women and youth.
"Boasting a gross domestic product (GDP) which is now valued at R811bn, Gauteng generates 33.9% of South Africa's GDP and an astonishing 10% of the total GDP of the entire African continent. Clearly, Gauteng Province has a true visionary at the helm," said Kekeletso Khena, Director of the 11th annual Van Ryn's BBQ Awards.
The Van Ryn's BBQ Awards - South Africa Africa's Premier Black Business Awards - were launched in 2002 to promote sustainable black business to meet a need to recognise, honour and celebrate black business excellence at a time when black business was synonymous with informal township trading. The awards continue to offer a platform to celebrate and showcase those individuals and organisations who are torchbearers in our country's quest for socio-economic transformation.
The 2012 Van Ryn's BBQ Awards included 14 categories, which were adjudicated by independent industry experts such as Sasol CFO, Christian Ramon; Don Mkhwanazi (aptly known as the godfather of BEE); Herman Mashaba; Black Business Council CEO, Xolani Qubeka and Business Report editor, Ellis Mnyandu.
For the first time in the history of the awards, seven out of the nine individual awards were awarded to women.
"I am extremely delighted to see women take leading roles in business and being able to compete on equal footing in the male dominated business arena and in this case prove that given a chance, women are more than capable leaders and successful and profitable business owners," said Khena.
The finalists in the Public Sector Visionary Award category, including the Premier, were Transnet Freight Rail CEO Siyabonga Gama and Dr Vuyo Mahlati, current President of the International Women's Forum South Africa and inaugural member of South Africa's National Planning Commission.
"I am extremely humbled by this recognition. I must hasten to say that this Award is not mine alone but belongs to the thousands of dedicated Gauteng officials who make this province work a daily basis. This includes my colleagues in the Executive whose support has allowed me and the province to accomplish any of these achievements," Mokonyane said.