Net Neutrality Threatened by Trump Administration

Tom Wheeler, the former chair of the FCC, used his final speech before stepping down to warn businesses and consumers that their choice of cloud services and business applications could be severely limited if the incoming administration strikes down the 2015 open internet order that he and his group put in place. This order positioned the FCC’s net neutrality regulation that prevents Internet Service Providers from slowing or blocking traffic on their networks. This gives all traffic equal opportunity and speed and prevents network favoritism.

Wheeler also showed concern for the Internet of Things, an area of economic growth that is quickly becoming top of mind to many businesses and policy makers in Washington.

“[T]he growth of the internet of things is another area that depends on the open connectivity of those things,” Wheeler said. “If ISPs can decide arbitrarily which IoT device can be connected, or favor their own IoT activity over their competitors, the bright future of IoT dims.” Wheeler continued, “As everything goes into the cloud, the ability to access the cloud free of gatekeepers is essential. If ISPs get to choose which applications and clouds work better than others in terms of access, speed and latency, they will control the cloud future,”.

Wheeler’s position may not be a surprise now but given his past as a lobbyist for the cable and wireless sector his support of net neutrality may come as a shock.

Bill Wilson, a consultant for Broadband Landing, said, “Wheeler may be underplaying the seriousness of the situation. Net Neutrality is the biggest deal that no one really understands. If consumers and small businesses actually realized what the internet would look like after it was bought and sold by large corporations that was be worried. This would be all that was being talked about.”

Wheeler has the same question many businesses do, namely will Trump dismantle a policy that is clearly working? With republicans openly opposed to net neutrality things do seem dire for the policy.

Wheeler’s speech not only acts as a warning to the incoming administration but also clearly attempts to widen the scope of the net neutrality debate as a whole. Consumer impact of the open internet order is almost always the lead in any discussion of net neutrality but here Wheeler’s focus was on the danger to businesses and their increasing use of cloud computing. Interruption or the slowing of these services is a bit more destructive than a video playing slow. Businesses might be required to completely change back office management systems. A company like could have their customer base divided between users that have an ISP that allows their traffic and ISP’s that won’t. Situations of this type could be repeated across many business services. If AT&T buys a firm that provides CMS to sales and marketing groups, it is not unthinkable that they would show preference to this firm over others.

Wheeler specifically calls out Verizon and AT&T for the “zero rating” programs that give some companies free access by not charging customers for the data they use. While this isn’t the feared “Fast Lane” net neutrality has been trying to avoid, it may actually be worse.

Wheeler finished his speech with, “It now falls to a new set of regulators, to a new FCC and to those who advocate before it and the Congress to determine the road that they want to take from here,” Wheeler said. “We are at a fork in that road. One path leads forward and the other leads back to relitigating solutions that are demonstrably working.”
While the fork in the road analogy fits, it’s actually a bit more drastic than Wheeler makes it seem. One road leads forward and the other leads back a decade and then off a cliff into a hole filled with alligators.

For more information about the largest high speed Internet providers in the United States, you can visit at

Make Your Book Stand A Chance

When you craft your book to be a bestseller, everyone involved i.e. you (the author), the publisher and the bookseller, are sure to make good money. A bestseller is the result of countless small decisions. Individually, none of these decisions would determine the overall success of the book. It is the collective whole of many good decisions that gives you a shot at creating a bestseller.

As an author, writing a bestseller is challenging and you need to mentally prepare yourself for the challenge. Your book is more likely to succeed, if it is written for being published as a ‘lead book’ in a particular market segment rather than as a book simply meant for a market segment. Your book need not be very large. However, it should provide solid, complete and comprehensive content to qualify as a bestseller. The terms solid, comprehensive and complete are relative and refer to whatever you as an author have set out to accomplish in your book.

Before you publish your title, you need to do a lot of homework along with your publisher. It is critically essential that you acquire a full understanding of your target market segment. If you are unable to understand, what your target audience desires from you, failure is imminent. There is a tendency to define book markets as being comprised of people with identical/similar needs. The fact is that the content needs of people within a market segment vary quite substantially. Therefore, your bestseller, even when remaining focused, should be able to accommodate the needs of the broad spectrum of readers within the targeted market segment.

Different people adopt different approaches to reading books. Some people simply browse through a book till they find something interesting. Others may prefer sequential reading. Your bestseller should make it easy for the reader to find whatever he is looking for. Depending on the category of your book, you can include a brief table of contents, notes, illustrations, tips, sub-headings, cross-references and examples. You can provide an outline at the beginning of each chapter, in addition to tabs, appendices, glossaries, running heads etc. to help the reader quickly find the desired information. Every page should be packed full with information in a well-designed manner that is logical, elegant and easy on the reader’s eyes.

When you want your book to be a bestseller, it is critical that you break new ground in your writing. It means including ideas that are new, different and unique and meant to deliver more than what the book promises. The fact is that there are very few ideas that are completely new. In book publishing, ideas from every aspect of life are borrowed and modified as an ongoing process in the creation of new books. The crux is to develop and incorporate a few new ideas to clearly differentiate your book and make it stand out in the pack available in the market.

Even if your book is well authored, its chances of being published as a bestseller are dramatically enhanced when you have well-established connections with vendors and other industry experts.

Do Amazon Kindle Bestseller Lists Promote Authors Or The Kindle?

It has been said that the Amazon Kindle bestseller list is to be split into paid books and free eBooks. It has been said that there is to be a separate bestseller list of Kindle titles for paid and free eBooks. This is a departure from the current situation where the top 10 list of Kindle titles contains both free giveaway eBooks and those that are paid for, whether that price is 99 cents or $9.99.

Do Bestseller Lists Influence Readers?

The Kindle bestseller list has been used by many people, including publishers, to determine what people are reading on the e-reader platform, and while many contend that it makes no difference whether an eBook is offered free of charge or is paid for, other believe that free books confuse the issue of which are the most popular authors and genres.

The former state that readers will not download a book in which they have no interest, whether it is offered free or not. Similarly, a reader that follows a particular author will not desist from downloading a new work just because it has to be paid for. Even when the lists are split by Amazon, what is the reason for the position of each book on each list going to state? Are readers downloading free books because they are free or because they are popular? The same question still exists – it doesn’t go away just because the two are split into different lists.

By measuring the number of titles being downloaded from the Amazon store to Kindle Amazon can get a feel for which titles to stock in regular printed format. Publishers and booksellers use the same information for much the same purpose: which authors are popular and which should be stocked in what volume. The change will do nothing to change that, nor will it change the fact that it is still to Amazon that these interested parties will look for this information.

Barnes and Noble do not offer data on eBook downloads, and neither does Apple. Though the statistics would be very interesting: according to the review “Additions to the e-Reader Lineup: Barnes and Noble’s Nook”, the device allows users to download at least the half-million titles in the Google Books library (Digital Book Readers). The only other source of similar information might be Fictionwise, but Amazon is the widest used by publishers, booksellers and writers. The latter might find it more difficult to get to the top of the free list, although even this free list is contentious to many independent writers.

The Suggestion of Kindle Promotion

There is another side to the free list or to the free content in the current Kindle bestseller list. Recently, the bestseller list was topped by two books from author Terri Blackstock, both free. They were offered for a specific period after which they were to revert to the standard maximum Amazon price of $9.99 for the Kindle.

The reason given by publishers of best-selling authors such as Ms. Blackstock is that free books can promote the author – however, they can also promote the Kindle, the view being that books are available free, but if you don’t have a platform on which to read them then the free offer does not apply to you. So you purchase a Kindle to take advantage of the offer. Good psychology, and it is known to work.

Amazon, naturally, does not promote this as a reason for their free eBooks. If that is so, then why are new authors and independent small publishers unable to set a zero price to their eBooks on Kindle? Apparently it is only established publishers that can offer eBooks free on Kindle. When you consider that many more people are liable to download free books from established authors and publishers than from relative unknowns, then the Kindle promotion aspect of the freebies would appear to be a valid interpretation.

This is reinforced when you consider that those in most need of the publicity are the less well-know authors and publishers. So where does the ‘publicity’ aspect of free prices come in when the zero price is not available to those that need the publicity most?

Now, when we consider that the individual best-seller lists are going to give even more reasons for people to purchase the Kindle, the cynical among us might wonder at the thinking and motives behind separating one list into two that will result in even more free eBooks being offered that need the Kindle to read them. This shortly after the iPad release!


a) Free eBooks are offered
i. to promote the author and publisher OR
ll. to promote the Kindle.

b) Splitting the Amazon Kindle bestseller list into two;
i. Improves promotion of authors and publishers, OR
ii. Sells more Kindles against iPad competition.

c) Does allowing only recognized authors and larger publishers to offer eBooks free:
i. Promote all authors and publishers, or
ii. Sell more Kindles to read them?

The answer is obvious, and is likely why lesser authors had to price their eBooks at a minimum $0.99 in order to have them promoted in the Kindle Marketplace. This was true before splitting the Kindle bestseller list and likely will still be so after.

This appears to be a more believable explanation than that which is being promulgated on some blogs, that Amazon is offering specific types of eBook free in order to promote its own views on the world, such as promoting Christianity or any other such ideology. However, this type of manipulation does little to persuade those that have noticed this little-known inconsistency to believe in the impartiality of Amazon.

If Amazon is allowing free eBooks to be listed in a Kindle bestseller list, then Amazon should allow all authors or publishers that request it the facility to offer their books free on the Kindle Marketplace. Only then will it be seen to be impartial and fair.

“tips For An Bestseller Campaign”

Selling your book through is a great way to not only earn money, but to increase your visibility and credibility in the business world. For example, if your book achieves bestseller status then your sales could increase exponentially. Otherwise, your book listing may fall into the deep sea of books on Amazon. Therefore, earning best seller status is the top goal of many Internet businesses.

Following is a list of common questions regarding an bestseller campaign:

Question #1: Here’s my situation. I am working on an bestseller campaign. I have sent press releases. So far I have a list of 100,000 people that are being sent emails regarding the book and its release. I’ve heard that you are supposed to have 500,000 people on your email list in order to crack the top ten in Amazon. Is this true?

Answer: Not necessarily. The list of 500,000 names makes it more likely for you to hit the bestseller list, but if you have a quality list than you can still crack the top ten on Amazon. You may have a smaller list, but if you have a high percentage of buyers than your list could be more powerful than a larger list with a lower percentage of buyers.

Question #2: I’ve heard about using joint ventures to spread the word about my book’s release on However, I’m having trouble creating joint ventures because it is difficult to get people to commit to a venture with me since they don’t know me personally. Are there other options besides joint ventures?

Answer #2: Let’s first check out how you are going about obtaining joint ventures. The biggest problem with finding joint ventures for an bestseller campaign is that you don’t offer a value per value exchange. You can’t just ask people to promote you and your book to their list in exchange for nothing that benefits them.

You have to think how you can make the exchange valuable for the other person. Give them incentives that will make them more likely to send an email about your book to their list. Make sure to put a dollar amount value on the items that you offer the joint venture partner for free. Offer them bonuses that they can also offer in the email they send out to their list.

Also make sure to figure out how your vision helps push them towards their own vision. For example, some people want leads. Some people just want help. Find out what they want and need and offer it to them so they view promoting your book as a valuable exchange.

Run Away, Best Seller Books on Relationships May Be a Fraud

If you’ve lost your ex, the run away best seller books on relationships may be a complete fraud. This article is an attempt to show you how you might choose the best books on relationship building.

Why is it the run away best seller books on relationships may be a fraud for you? Because some of these books are written by someone who has never been in the trenches, so the author is only spouting words from the theories learned in college.

So the first thing you need to watch out for is the author with the fancy letters after his/her name. These authors may be practicing their theory on you. They probably never experienced a broken relationship; therefore, how can he/she give you advice? Does their “expert knowledge” really work in the real world?

Instead, look for books on relationships by authors who have used their knowledge to fix their own relationship. This author has either fixed his own relationship, or he has put bad relationships back together for his friends. The relationships he fixes aren’t therapy patients paying for 50 minute hours. These relationships are for people the author knows and cares deeply about.

Next, look for books whose bottom line is “Put the relationship aside for 30 days, take two aspirin and call me after that period of time. Most of your “save your relationships” eBooks are just that. Basically, they contain 50 pages of fluff that don’t deserve your attention or money.

Instead of this kind, find an eBook that will give you new information that your friends haven’t already told you.

Maybe the book should tell you what women really want the most. Maybe it should give you a step by step guide about how to give it to her. Look to see if this book will give you specific techniques to get relief from your pain.

Finally, check out the ones recommending the book. Were these testimonials written by the author or his second cousin?

You’re looking for books on relationships that are recommended by a wide variety of people. Look for people from all walks of life. Does the eBook work to fix relationships for someone from Kansas and the other from England?

Because books on relationships are on the run away best seller list doesn’t mean they aren’t a fraud. Most of them haven’t been written by someone who has experienced loss. Finding the right book or eBook on relationships takes work. Everything about relationships is work. Invest your money and time on the very best one.

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Best Seller Books on Relationships – How to Choose

If you find yourself in the middle of a breakup, good advice is to seek the best seller books on relationships. If you do decide to follow this path, then be very careful who you read. Remember, relationships are emotion based, and words on a page alone cannot cure that hurt you now feel. What you need to do is first ask around – what has helped others?

In this article, I will give you the inside scoop on finding the best authority on best seller books on relationships.

The biggest mistake you can make when looking for relationship books is being taken in by someone who has a lot of fancy letters after their name. Consider this – it has taken this person many years to get those MA’s and PhD’s. These people have spent years studying, spending time in libraries and going to classes. They may also be aligned with a school of thought that just does not resonate with you. To understand my thoughts, consider the differences between the teachings of Freud and Jung. Both were great thinkers and respected worldwide, but their differences in thought are as different as day and night. The work of people with degrees may win awards, but will their teachings help you out of your crisis?

A better line of attack would be to go for someone who has “been there, done that.” Things in the real world are always a lot different than in the world of academics. There is no replacement for real life experience. Many people have salvaged relationships, and have gone on to document these discoveries in books, and in books that are written with you in mind. Often, the author has had such a good experience with saving a relationship that they have the need to share and help others. This is the best seller books on relationships you should be going after.

The real question in reconciling a relationship is what works for you. Many self help books tell you to put the relationship to one side for a certain period of time, and work on getting your sanity in order. While that is good advice, it does not change the fact that you are missing your ex, and want them back. That is your driving need, not “fixing yourself.”

Your best bet is to look for a book that gives you information not readily available in the “self help” books. The information you need is not things your best friends can tell you – remember, they have YOUR best interest in mind, not your relationship. They want to see you happy, and are usually not concerned about your ex.

What you need is solid information – things such as what a woman may crave the most, or the man needs to have in his relationship with you. The book needs to cover techniques that help you deal with pain, and helps you understand why you are feeling that way.

One of the best ways to discover if a book is effective is to look at the testimonials on the sales page. If they aren’t there, or appear to be vague and misleading, then it is not the book for you. If, however, you see testimonials from varied cultures and different walks of life, then it is a good bet that you have found a winner.

The search for the best seller books on relationships [] isn’t an easy task. Maintaining a successful relationship is a tough job, too. Get the help you need at our website. Don’t suffer the pain of a breakup without seeking the best of help available.

Alden Smith is a freelance writer that spent many years working with couples having relationship issues while participating in vocational rehab. He believes that winning back lost love is not easy, but can be accomplished if you have the necessary tools.

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Standard Bank and Topco Media invite top women to the table

Businesswomen at the forefront of South African retail will join Standard bank and Topco Media for the exclusive Top Women in Retail Breakfast on 9 December, at the Maslow hotel in Johannesburg.
Standard Bank and Topco Media invite top women to the table
This inspiring event, featuring an all-women speakers’ programme, will echo the spirit of the 13th annual Standard Bank Top Women Awards, which took place in August 2016.

Like many industries, retail remains traditionally male-dominated. However, South African retail has seen remarkable growth in female leadership and entrepreneurship in recent years, making this three-hour event both a celebration of success and a strategic workshop for women leaders seeking to access new markets and accelerate growth.

Guests will hear from several respected thought leaders who have overcome retail challenges and achieved their goals in an enduringly tough industry and a currently tough economy. Speakers will cover topics such as “Simplifying retail”, “Buying local”, “The commercial advantage of more women in the retail boardroom”, and more.

Topco Media Director Karla Fletcher says, “The breakfast will empower, inspire, encourage leadership and open up the industry to more women in key decision roles. It will also honour those who have paved the way for emerging women leaders and provide a prestigious yet relaxed networking opportunity.”

Presidents and pioneers honoured at the National Business Awards

The 14th annual National Business Awards gave business and government leaders the red carpet treatment, when they gathered to honour South Africa’s most innovative and fast-growing companies.
National Business Awards 2016 winners
National Business Awards 2016 winners
The Awards took place at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg. Over the past 13 years, the National Business Awards has celebrated – in association with the publication Top Performing Companies – South Africa’s most inspiring and dynamic companies and organisations, across various industry sectors.

Employment services and activations company, Isilumko Staffing Solutions, took home the Customer Focus Award as well as the Diversity in the Workplace Award. Security and construction company, Calvin and Family Group, sped off with the Fast Growth Award – the company has grown tremendously; branching out into commercial, civil and retail development, and more recently into low-cost housing, schools, stadiums, water and sanitation. Adding to the Fast Growth Award, Calvin Mathibeli, Founder of the Calvin and Family Group, was announced as the Top Young Executive of the Year sponsored by TUMI.

National Business Awards winners are acknowledged on the basis of innovative business practices, product development, enterprise, sustainability and the overall success of the business. In addition, they are recognised for their social and environmental contributions through excellence of service, commitment to customers, ethical behaviour and environmental sustainability. Topco Media CEO, Ralf Fletcher, congratulated the winners and finalists and encouraged the spirit of entrepreneurship: “To stand out in today’s business environment, you have to be able to do what you do differently from your competitors. You must have a ground-breaking, innovative modus operandi” He spoke, also, of the importance of knowing your purpose, to sustain success: “it is the motivation behind every single thing you do. It’s the reason why you started doing what you do in the first place, and the reason you’ll do it tomorrow, next year and for as long as you are humanly capable”.

McKinsey & Company are at the forefront of their sector as transformation champions, and implement skills development programmes within their organisation. The company walked away with top honours last night, when they were announced as the National Business of Year. Previous winners of this accolade include EOH Holdings, Woolworths, Kelly Group and Kumba Iron Ore.

Keynote speaker and Minister in the Presidency of South Africa, Jeff Radebe; the Honourable Baleka Mbete; Dr Mathews Phosa; Asher Bohbot and Bonang Mohale, amongst many other leaders, joined in to celebrate the finalists and winners. Billion Group, Liberty Corporate, National School of Government are some of the big names who partnered with the National Business Awards.

The highlight of the evening saw President Thabo Mbeki, former President of the Republic of South Africa, being awarded the highly esteemed Lifetime Achievement Award sponsored by Public Sector Manager, for his many contributions to bettering our nation during and after his nine years as the second post-apartheid President of South Africa.

Topco launches the National Business Conference

Since the National Business Awards was launched by Topco Media in 2002, it has brought together hundreds of innovative private- and public-sector organisations and individuals every year – the National Business Awards finalists.
Topco launches the National Business Conference

Also present have been top government decision-makers, iconic CEOs and business experts. The awards draw together hundreds of thought-leaders in the same venue to celebrate South Africa’s most inspiring top performers. The positive energy of such a unique gathering is infectious.

This year sees the first ancillary National Business Conference taking place, in advance of the evening awards. Topco Director, Karla Fletcher, explains the thinking behind it, “As a positivity-driven organisation, we realise that our responsibility is more than one of showcasing and awarding business excellence. We have a responsibility – and the networking capacity – to foster the sharing of business insight and wisdom; to provide a platform for economic leaders to share their secrets to success and their game-changing ideas”.

Rising through the obstacles

The Conference, held on 17 November, saw renowned businessman and politician, Dr Mathews Phosa, give a keynote address on “Rising through the obstacles”. He was joined by a distinguished line-up of top speakers including Greg Solomon, Jannie Venter, Asher Bohbot, Shirley Zinn and Lance Fanaroff. It also incorporated a Fast Track Networking (FTN) session, where delegates met to engage new partnerships and growth opportunities. This session was sponsored by one of the fastest-growing and most innovative organisations in SA, the Development Bank of Southern Africa. DBSA is instrumental in helping the Southern African region to become more integrated, energy-efficient and prosperous, and Topco was honoured to have their participation in the Conference.

Top500 research reveals who are the movers and shakers for 2016

What is happening in the economy, who are the export giants – and where they are exporting to…
In its quest to uncover South Africa’s top 500 best managed companies, Topco Media’s research department has uncovered some interesting facts about the South African economy:

Top500 research reveals who are the movers and shakers for 2016
Top500: South Africa’s best managed companies is a prestigious annual B2B publication wherein companies that are top of their game, and sector, are given the chance to feature and increase their exposure among peers, competitors and potential business partners.

The 8th edition of Top500 seeks to document the excellence evident in South African businesses. Companies in one hundred sectors are ranked against each other through rigorous research at Topco Media until five stand out from the pack to represent the top of their sector.

In its quest to uncover South Africa’s top 500 best managed companies, Topco Media’s research department has uncovered some interesting facts about the South African economy:

Five movers and shakers

We noted a 17% change in the number one position for the period under review:

Taking top honours for the first time in the past five years, snatching the top position from Shoprite Holdings Limited in the food retailers sector is Woolworths. Despite having the lowest turnover for the period under review, Woolworths wins with an impressive turnover growth of 45.4%, along with the highest rand growth.

The VKB Group is number one in the agricultural sector with the highest turnover, along with the highest rand growth with the highest in turnover per employee, the mark of a well-managed company in our rankings.

Servest Hygiene (hygiene sector) climbed the ranks from fifth to first spot with the highest turnover.

Liberty Holdings Limited has moved up from being ranked fourth last year to top place this year in the insurance (life) sector.

At the top of the information technology group sector, having climbed from fourth last year, is EOH Holdings. The company has the greatest turnover, along with the highest growth in turnover of 34.8%.

Fastest growing company

Capitec Bank Holdings: Fiver years’ revenue growth: 43.6%.

Capitec Bank recorded the highest annual client growth in the bank’s history in terms of active banking client numbers. The bank also increased its active client numbers by 1.03 million, to a total of 7.3 million for the year, and boosted headline earnings to R3.2 billion for the financial year ending February 2016, up 26% on the previous year. By offering accessible and affordable banking services to low-income South Africans, Capitec expanded to a size – and is a close contender to – the likes of FirstRand and Nedbank.

The bank’s brand acceptance continued to grow significantly in the market and showed a 26% growth in total retail deposits to R37.8 billion.

To date the bank has opened 720 branches and continue to expand their distribution footprint in key urban areas, having increased their number of ATMs by 287 to 3,705 for the year. Investing in improved mobile and internet banking platforms will help to maintain the steep growth line, placing the bank in prime position to take advantage of the constricted economic conditions and the bank’s value-for-money-offer.

What is happening in the economy: GDP

South Africa is responsible for nearly a quarter of the continent’s GDP.

While the country’s economy was traditionally rooted in the primary sectors recent economic growth has been driven mainly by the tertiary and secondary sectors. South Africa is rapidly moving towards becoming a knowledge-based economy, with a greater focus on technology, e-commerce and financial and other services.

The key sectors contributing to GDP and keeping the economic engine running are trade, finance, personal services, government, manufacturing and construction.

Q1 2016

Secondary sector – 0.2% growth
Manufacturing – 0.6%
Construction – 0.5%

Tertiary sector – 0.8% growth
Trade – 1.3% growth
Government – 1.1% growth
Finance – 1.9% growth
Personal Services – 1.1% growth

Our biggest export destination – the African continent

From a continental perspective, 29.1% of South African exports by value are delivered to other African countries while 28.9% are sold to Asian importers. South Africa ships another 23.3% to Europe with just 8.3% delivered to destinations in North America.

Sectors contributing to export are diversified chemicals, telecommunications, furniture, cable, industrials conglomerates and pharmaceuticals. Major export companies in South Africa are Sasol, MTN, Steinhoff International, Naspers, Bidvest Group, Aspen Pharmaceuticals and Remgro.

South Africa’s total Gross Domestic Product amounted to $724 billion in 2015. Therefore, exports accounted for about 11.3% of total South African economic output.

For exporting mining companies such as AngloGold Ashanti, and firms with extensive overseas revenue, such as media group Naspers, the weaker currency appears to be an unequivocal positive, boosting profits when overseas earnings are brought home.


The South African information and communication technologies (ICT) sector is the largest and most advanced in Africa, and is characterised by technology leadership, particularly in the field of mobile software and electronic banking services.

With a network that is 99.9% digital and includes the latest in wireless and satellite communication, the country has the most developed telecoms network in Africa.

South African companies are global leaders in pre-payment, revenue management and fraud prevention systems, and in the manufacture of set-top boxes, all of which are exported successfully to the rest of the world.

The electronics industry has repeatedly demonstrated world-class innovation and production. Investment opportunities lie in the development of access control systems and security equipment, automotive electronic subsystems, systems and software development in the banking and financial services sector, silicon processing for fibre optics, integrated circuits and solar cells. There are also significant opportunities for the export of hardware and associated services, as well as software and peripherals.

Research criteria

How the winners are decided

The Top500 research methodology has been designed in conjunction with the University of Cape Town’s Development Policy Research Unit.

Top500 aims to identify the top five companies in each of the 100 business sectors monitored by Topco Research Department. In order to do so, some measure of the qualities that we consider being characteristic of top companies must be designed in order to rank companies. To be classed as one of South Africa’s best companies, we expect companies to excel in three key spheres, namely financial performance, empowerment, and policy and accreditation.

The criteria within financial performance speak to the ideas of top companies being large, growing and productive institutions that are leaders by virtue of their size and dynamism. Financial performance is measured by four indicators: turnover, rate of turnover growth, rand turnover growth, and turnover per employee.

Size is both an indicator and an outcome of whether or not a company is a top company. From the perspective of financial performance, turnover is used to proxy company size and this indicator has a large weight within the measure. The dynamism of top companies is reflected in their ability to expand and grow, and so we include two indicators – one relative, one absolute – of growth in the score sheet. The former indicator is the rate of turnover growth over the year, since top companies are faster-growing, while the latter is the rand value of the turnover growth. Absolute turnover growth is included to account for the fact that top companies’ growth should make a large contribution to increased total output. These two indicators have a medium weight within the scoring system. Top companies are more productive than other companies and the final performance indicator, turnover per employee, which has a medium weight, speaks to this characteristic.