The winners of the 16th edition of the 2016 KZN Exporter of the Year Awards, a partnership between Transnet Port Terminals [TPT] and the Durban Chamber of Commerce & Industry [DCCI], were announced at a glitzy gala banquet held at the iNkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban on Thursday night, the 20th of October 2016.

This year saw the introduction of four new categories, of which three of these awarded recipients for exporting “soft skills” rather than just the usual exporters of tangible products. Driving exports and promoting economic growth in Durban and KwaZulu-Natal is the spark to ignite a growing export industry – and ultimately a stronger economy. The event and awards provide a platform and ideal showcase for emerging and established businesses exporting a wide range of products and services.

Transnet Port Terminals’ CE, Karl Socikwa, said that TPT’s participation in these awards for KZN is vital, considering the role that the terminal operator plays within the province. ”The Port of Durban handles about 60 percent of the country’s imports and exports and is regarded as the busiest port in Sub-Saharan Africa. As the cog that ensures that the wheels of this country’s economy are continuously turning, it stands to reason that we continue to be involved with an event of this magnitude. Operation Phakisa, the government led initiative which will unlock the economic potential of South Africa’s maritime sector, also relies on the success of our country’s exporters in order to see the full benefits of the Blue Ocean Economy.“ Socikwa added.

Durban Chamber CEO, Dumile Cele recognised the vital role that exports play in the growth and development of the economy. “I am delighted that the awards have grown over the past 16 years, so much so that we were able to introduce 4 new categories this year. The Durban Chamber will continue to support and help grow our exporters through our Policy and Advocacy function, especially our Durban Port, Trade and Investment and Manufacturing Forums”.

The awards are supported by partners, such as the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Economic Affairs (EDTEA), Trade & Investment KwaZulu Natal (TIKZN), Ethekwini Maritime Cluster (EMC), Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) and the Export Credit Insurance Corporation (ECIC) to highlight successful exporters in Kwa-Zulu Natal.

This year’s category finalists and winners were the following:

Emerging Exporter: Sponsored by edtea

1.         Rocket Works (Pty) Ltd: Winner

2.         Microfinish: Finalist

3.         BBF Safety Group: Finalist

Small: Sponsored by SEDA

1.         Saddler Belts & Leathercraft (Pty) Ltd: Winner

2.         Africa! Ignite: Finalist

3.         Hillcrest AIDS Centre trust Woza Moya: Finalist

Medium: Sponsored by ECIC

1.         SBS Water Systems (Pty) Ltd: Winner

2.         Bata South Africa: Finalist

Large: Sponsored by TPT

1.         SUMITOMO Rubber South Africa (PTY) Ltd: Winner

2.         SAPPI Southern Africa: Finalist

3.         TOYOTA South Africa Motors (Pty) Limited: Finalist

Africa: Sponsored by TIKZN

1.         TOYOTA South Africa Motors (Pty) Limited: Winner

2.         Inhep Electrics Holding (PTY)  LTD: Finalist

3.         Pakco: Finalist

Service Provider: Sponsored by EMC

1.         Mediterranean Shipping Company (Pty) Ltd: Winner

2.         Röhlig-Grindrod (Pty) Ltd (As Agents Only): Finalist

3.         Saltrans Logistics: Finalist

Manufacturers: Sponsored by Durban Chamber

1.         SAPPI Southern Africa: Winner

2.         Microfinish: Finalist

3.         Inhep Electrics Holding (PTY)  LTD: Finalist

New category - Agro Processing: Sponsored by Durban ICC


New category - Creative Industries: Sponsored by Igagasi FM

Africa! Ignite

New category - Services Sector: Sponsored by Independent Newspapers

Indian Ocean Export Company (Pty) Ltd

New category - BEE Award: Sponsored by TPT

Röhlig-Grindrod (Pty) Ltd (As Agents Only)

The awards were adjudicated by, Zine Icheku – Transnet Port Terminals, Thato Tsautse – Ethekwini Maritime Cluster, Farai Moyo – EDTEA , Louise Pelser – Chairperson of the Durban Chamber Trade and Investment Forum, Claude Moodley – Trade & Investment KZN, Cedric Mnguni – SEDA and Odirile Ramasodi – ECIC. PricewaterhouseCoopers were the award auditors.

The awards continue to grow from strength to strength, KZN companies within the export industries are encouraged to apply for next year’s awards.