Share this article

The African Access National Business Awards were made to the top performing companies and individuals in the country. City Parks was among the finalists.
CITY Parks was a finalist in a number of categories in the annual African Access National Business Awards, which were handed out at the Sandton Convention Centre on 23 June.

 

City Parks acting managing director Geoffrey Cooke at the awards ceremonyCity Parks acting managing director Geoffrey Cooke: nominated for Top Performing Government Leader AwardFor the first time, informal saving schemes such as stokvels and small, medium and micro enterprises were included in the awards. They competed against big companies and government parastatals.
 

City Parks was a finalist in the top performing company categories, for the Environmental Social Governance Award and the Business Tourism Award. In the top performing government category, City Parks was nominated for Parastatal of the Year Award.

The acting managing director of the utility, Geoffrey Cooke, was nominated for the Top Performing Government Leader Award, in the top performing individual category.

Cooke said Johannesburg City Parks has welcomed the nomination and acknowledgements in the categories of Top Performing Government entity and for the Top Performing Government Leader, from the National Business Awards.

"This recognition award reinforces that while we have made huge strides in addressing eco-recreational disparities – we still have so much more to do.

"City Parks is committed to ensuring that residents throughout the City of Joburg have access to the best possible outdoor recreation activities this city has to offer and will continue to seek innovative and sustainable solutions in the interest of creating vibrant and health conscious citizens."

More than 150 companies took part in the awards, which were made in 19 categories. To qualify, a company had to submit a detailed written motivation of its financial stability and policy, product or procedure innovation, improvement of retention of clients, increase in business, efficiency of operation and sustainability.

The Joburg Property Company was also in the running, as a finalist in for the Customer Focus Award. Big companies such as McDonald’s, Pick n Pay, Mutual and Federal, and Kumba Iron Ore walked away with major awards.

Job creation
Speaking at the ceremony, the chairman of Africa Access Holdings, Seth Phalatse, encouraged African businesses to work towards accelerating the economy and job creation.

Small businesses were a cornerstone of Africa’s economic growth, he said. “This year, the African Access National Business Awards are stepping out into the future, breaking new grounds, widening horizons.”

 

SAFA Danny JordaanSAFA vice-president Danny JordaanHe explained that stokvels had a profound impact on the social and economic development of the black community. The inaugural Stokvel Award was won by Kliptown Helping Hands, which has 38 members.
 

Penelope Zoya, one of them, said: “Kliptown Helping Hands is a stokvel that unites the community. The little money we are saving every month helps us a lot when we need it most.

“We help out one another other financially in arranging funerals, weddings and church events.”

Kliptown Helping Hands was started in 1983 as a men’s social scheme; they later involved their wives.

Hardy Daba, who is also a member, said that having women involved played a vital role in the growth of the scheme. “We share ideas, including family-related matters, and I think that makes our club very strong.”

Danny Jordaan
Addressing a host of business people who attended the ceremony, the vice-president of the South African Football Association, Danny Jordaan, said the time had come for the African continent to rise up.

“The World Cup was just a glimpse of what Africans are capable of producing, if we stay united … The World Cup turned the African economy into a roaring lion,” he said, urging businesses to build on the tournament’s legacy.

“It unlocked a vital piece of energy into our economy.”

He added: “Strive for excellence and never be discouraged by challenges; it is part of business. When you fall you must always stand up and rise again.”

Related stories:

It has been an excellent year
City Parks welcomes new leader
Halala Awards handed out
Joburg City Parks wins in Durban
Education tops greening agenda
Greening Soweto, tree by tree
Joburg back in LivCom spotlight