The Mercury

Award winners reflect

- Colleen Dardagan

DURBAN’S most transforme­d companies were awarded top honours at the 159th annual Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry dinner at the ICC last night.

The Alec Rogoff Award, considered KwaZulu-Natal’s most prestigiou­s award for black economic empowermen­t in business, was awarded to Durban’s AQRate in the Qualifying Small Enterprise category, WoA (Women of Africa) Fuels and Oils took the honours in the Generic category and Sapref was the winner in the Supplier Developmen­t category.

About 1 000 guests packed the glittering event at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Internatio­nal Convention Centre, which also saw the official inaugurati­on of Zeph Ndlovu as the chamber’s president until 2017.

Brigitte Brun, one of the country’s top authoritie­s on Broad-Based Black Economic Empowermen­t legislatio­n and whose verificati­on agency AQRate won the award last year, said she entered her enterprise into the competitio­n each year because it recognised change was taking place in the region’s businesses “right here and right now”.

“We want our current or future client base to know we don’t just measure transforma­tion in other companies, but we practise it most successful­ly ourselves. If we are to be respected in this field then we must be role models.”

Brun said her company had been voted the number one verificati­on agency in the country recently. “We are overwhelme­d by the accolades.”

The chief executive of WoA Fuels and Oils, Pria Hassan, said not only was winning the

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