Naspers Chairman awards top prizes

Today Mr Ton Vosloo, chairman of Naspers, presented the group’s top awards at a function after the company’s annual general meeting.

This year the Phil Weber award, the highest accolade for performance in the group, went to Naspers group company secretary, Gillian Kisbey-Green, and Mathatha Tsedu, one of the country’s most respected editors.

Gillian joined the Naspers group 21 years ago, initially at M-Net. As group company secretary since 2008, she is responsible for our interaction with the JSE and London Stock Exchange as well as corporate governance practices spanning multiple countries. Her ability to manage this complex portfolio has resulted in her being acknowledged as one of the top company secretaries in South Africa.

Mathatha Tsedu has played a vital role in ensuring press freedom in South Africa. He served several terms as chairman of the South African National Editors’ Forum, proving his mettle as a champion of the free press in talks with the government. He was instrumental in developing the recommendations of the Press Freedom Commission that strengthened the press code in South Africa.

The Chairman’s Award recognises a staff member who has walked the extra mile. Gakkie Isaacs, a driver and messenger for Via Afrika Publishers, has made the company ethos his own. Through his dedication and enterprise, he contributes to Via Afrika’s success.

Each year, Naspers awards the Order of Tafelberg to a bright business partner. Peter du Toit is managing director of CT Media, which publishes Soccer Laduma. With no publishing or journalistic experience, he launched and built this niche tabloid from under 20 000 copies to around 300 000 sales a week . Media24 bought an interest in the business in 2000, retaining Peter as publisher and editor. Soccer Laduma has now moved into the digital environment, becoming one of the biggest mobisites in South Africa, with over a million page views daily.

Mr Vosloo also thanked the group’s employees for their contribution to the performance for the year, saying “We reached a strategic milestone this year when managed revenues from our internet businesses exceeded those from pay television for the first time.” Despite the impact of the global economic crisis, Naspers has grown managed revenues, including its share of associates' results, at a compound annual rate of some 25% over the past five years. The group generated consolidated revenue growth of 27% to over R50 billion for the financial year to 31 March 2013.