De Klerk has reclaimed the title 32 years after he was voted winner of the original competition, the Sanlam Financial Reporter of the Year in 1978.
He was selected from 109 entries from 70 journalists representing 25 different publications, online news services and radio and television stations, Sanlam said.
Lulu Letlape head of group corporate affairs of Sanlam said: "Apart from taking the overall prize, De Klerk also won the section Markets and Companies: magazines and weekly newspapers with his investigations, research and findings on the Sharemax saga. He was also a finalist in two sections from the 2010 competition."
De Klerk thanked Colleen Naude, who retired as editor of Finweek last year, for fearlessly backing him on his Sharemax stories in the face of strong opposition and intimidation from the company.
Jan de Lange, senior specialist writer at Sake24 won the category for Economy and Industry (dailies and online). It was the third year running that De Lange won this category. His winning entry comprised of several articles covering the ICT/ArcelorMittal mining rights drama, developments at Eskom to keep South Africa's lights on, as well as various labour issues. De Lange has established himself as one of the best financial journalists in South Africa today and keeps on setting the agenda for many debates.
Bert Ferreira, who retired a few years ago but still writes a column for Sake24, was given an honorary award for lifelong service to journalism. Ferreira (84) has worked at various financial publications throughout his career of more than 60 years, and is only the third recipient of this award.
His career in journalism began in 1951 as reporter at Die Volksblad. After a stint at the Pretoria News he worked in England for a year at the Norhern Echo in Durham. On his return, he became a financial reporter at Die Vaderland and later moved to Die Transvaler, where he was later involved in setting up the financial news burea for Perskor. He also worked as public relations practitioner, and that capacity advised Sanlam establishing the Financial Journalist of the Year competition. After another stint at Die Transvaler and a year at Rapport, he became the editor of Volkshandel in 1983. In 1986 Volkshandel was taken over by Finansies & Tegniek (now Finweek), where he stayed on. He retired early in the nineties from F&T, but shortly afterwards he joined Sake-Beeld, where he retired in 1998. He still writes a weekly column on international markets for Sake24.
Sanlam Limited chairman, Desmond Smith said that in the 37 years of the competition, Sanlam has, on recommendation of the adjudicators, twice presented special awards for lifelong or special contributions to financial journalism. The first was made to the late Harold Fridjohn, of the Rand Daily Mail. The second was made to Martin Weltz, editor of Noseweek. "I am pleased to make only the third such special award tonight and that is to Bert Ferreira - a veteran journalist in the South African media landscape. The lifelong service award recognizes exceptional dedication and achievement in financial journalism."
Several other writers for Finweek, Fin24 and Sake24 were finalists in their categories.
Other winners were:
- Rob Rose (last year's winner) and Stephan Hofstatter from Business Times/ The Times in the section Economy and Industry, magazines and weekly newspapers
- Julius Cobbett from Realestateweb in the Moneyweb group, in the section Markets and Companies: dailies and online;
- Bruce Cameron of Personal Finance in the section Personal Finance: Financial media (this is his unequalled 11th award).
- Pieter van Zyl from Huisgenoot/ YOU, in the section Personal Finance: Non-financial media;
- Sue Beukes and Chris Bishop, both from CNBC Africa, in the Audiovisual section;
- Claire Bisseker of Financial Mail, in the special section on the economic implications and effect of the 2010 Fifa World Cup; and
- Lindokuhle Xulu of Moneyweb for the best entry from an entrant with less than three year's experience.