Small, emerging and medium-sized enterprises show off their innovation

South African Revenue Service commissioner Edward Kieswetter. File photo: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)

South African Revenue Service commissioner Edward Kieswetter. File photo: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)

Published Feb 17, 2024


SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter has commended small, emerging and medium-sized entrepreneurs for showing young people that it is possible to live their lives on the edge and continuously push technological innovation in how they run their businesses.

On Thursday night, Kieswetter gave a philosophical keynote address at the 32nd annual tt100 Business Innovation Awards held at the Da Vinci Institute in Modderfontein, East of Johannesburg.

The awards, once again, showed that small, emerging and medium-sized enterprises are able to compete well against large-scale enterprises with businesses such as Abiri Innovations, Sweet Vee, Artificial Advertising and Aziatron winning multiple awards in technology, innovation and management of people and systems categories.

“I am really excited when I experience South Africans showcasing their talents as we have seen tonight. For me, awards such as this one should be held at big arenas and halls. Firstly, they inspire other young people to know that the country has many talented young people who can compete with the best countries of the world. We often have challenges, and an enabling environment would help show that we too have innovators, and today, through the awards, we have seen how these young people use technology and innovation to solve business problems,” Kieswetter told Saturday Star on the sidelines of the awards.

This is despite widespread pessimism over South Africa’s skills shortages and the economic prospects of smaller enterprises.

In spite of challenges, some of the enterprises showed just how innovative and technologically advanced their businesses are.

One of the business owners who has used technology to solve practical problems in farming is Limpopo-based innovator and founder of Abiri Innovation Piet Mashita.

According to the adjudicators, his innovation in areas of farming has resulted in reduction of stock theft through tracking devices on cattle and other assets.

His business competed and won against leading innovators, such as Netstar.

“Our company has been able to provide innovative solutions in livestock tracking and monitoring for rural households, and we also provide identity and maps for rural areas and townships. We are proud to have won the four awards which we have won and for us coming from Limpopo, this means a lot,” Mashita said.

Over the past 32 years, the awards have promoted business innovation and the use of technology in developing new ways of conducting business. This year was no different as the awards celebrated enterprises that have made a mark in 2023.

Saturday Star

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