South African Chamber of Commerce UK Business Awards Dinner: Fostering Bi-Lateral Trade and Celebrating Excellence

On Wednesday, 31st January members and supporters of the South African Chamber of Commerce UK gathered at Saddlers’ Hall, in the heart of the City of London, to honour businesses and individuals who have demonstrated outstanding achievements, innovation, and resilience in their respective fields, symbolising the dynamic business landscape of both the UK and South Africa across a broad range of disciplines. The awards exist to promote bi-lateral trade and cooperation, to celebrate the highest standards in business excellence, and to inspire up-and-coming businesspeople with the belief that with hard work and determination, success is an achievable goal.

Attended by almost 100 finalists, guests, members and supporters, the atmosphere was warm and the enthusiasm contagious. We were very grateful to the many finalists based in South Africa who made themselves available via Zoom to participate in the evening, which given the two-hour time difference made it quite a late night for them. It was wonderful to capture their reactions live, and heartwarming to witness the joy and gratitude the winners expressed, which made the months of preparation for the evening very worthwhile.  It was impossible not to be moved at the winner’s spontaneous reactions, showing that it makes a very real impact to have achievements recognised. The awards also provide a well-deserved exposure for some of South Africa’s finest in front of an international and influential audience.

Sponsored by Hogan Lovells, a long-term strategic member of the Chamber, the awards celebrated individuals and businesses from across the spectrum of South African society, with different age groups, women, and a representative variety of ethnic backgrounds represented. In his keynote address, Wessel Badenhorst, partner Hogan Lovells’ Johannesburg office highlighted the complications and challenges facing South Africa in this 30th year of democracy and likely the most pivotal General Election since 1994. He also congratulated the Chamber, saying, “The Awards evening was epic. Well done to Sharon Constançon and the team for putting together a flawless performance.”  

Andrew Selous MP, the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for South Africa, echoed this sentiment, saying, “Congratulations on a splendid evening which as a huge success.”

Sharon Constançon, Chairman of the South African Chamber of Commerce UK, said “Being selected as a finalist though the layers of judging is an amazing accomplishment in itself, and I was delighted to see 21 finalists achieve this honour. The judges had an extremely difficult task and I’m glad I wasn’t one of them.”

A catalogue of all the finalists can be found here, and profiles of the winners can be found here.

Please enjoy a short video of the highlights of the awards below:

YouTube player

The Awards is one of two premiere events in the Chamber’s annual calendar, providing a unique platform for business leaders, entrepreneurs, and professionals to connect, create links, explore collaborations, find synergies, and promote trade. Starting conversations and sharing contact information is all part of developing relationships that can lead to future business ventures.  

The Chamber is focussed on building the profile of South Africa in the City.  The current Sheriff to the Lord Mayor of the City of London was present at the awards, Alderman Bronek Masojada, a South African, attended in his Shrieval Black Tie with chains of office.

The pinnacle event of the year will be the Gala Dinner to be held on 19th June at Mansion House, hosted by the current Lord Mayor, Michael Mainelli, a supporter of the country and a close associate of the Chamber who has been involved in many of the Chamber’s events in recent years. Please book early to avoid disappointment.

Previous articleUnveiling the Winners: Awards 2023