South Africa’s Top Five Wealthiest Blacks

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VENTURES AFRICA –  A new research this week revealed that 20 percent of high net worth individuals have accumulated their fortune through broad-based black economic empowerment (BB-BEE) such as share schemes in multinational corporations.

However, the top three of the five black high net worth individuals profiled by Ventures Africa had connections and they could have won the deals that made them rich because of this.

This has been a hot topic in Africa in the past couple of years, prompting the authorities to review the government’s policies of black economic empowerment (BEE), which were meant to address the economic imbalances of the past not to enrich the connected few. This makes the rating all the fascinating.

Patrice Motsepe, the founder and executive chairman of African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) is often referred to as Africa’s first black billionaire and the wealthiest black man in Africa. Motsepe has a net worth of $2.5 billion (R32 billion).

Who Is Motsepe?

He is Africa’s first black billionaire. His company ARM is a JSE-listed company that mines iron, manganese, chrome, platinum, copper, nickel, coal and gold. Motsepe is a shareholder in Sanlam, Africa’s second biggest life insurer. He is also the president and owner of Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club, which plays in Africa’s prestigious Premier Soccer League.

Motsepe acquired low-producing gold mine shafts in 1994 – the year in which South Africa held its first democratic elections – and turned them around. He benefited from South Africa’s Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) laws, which mandate that companies be at least 26 percent black-owned.

Cyril Ramaphosa, Motsepe’s brother-in-law and South Africa’s current deputy president, is the first billionaire deputy president in the post-apartheid South Africa. He is the founder and former executive chairman of Shanduka Group, an investment holding South African firm. His net worth is $550m (R6bn).

Who is Ramaphosa?

He is known for having played a major role in the founding of the new South Africa. He played a crucial part in the talks that led to a peaceful transition to in South Africa in 1994. He was also actively involved in the drafting of South Africa’s Constitution of 1996, which has been hailed as one of the best constitutions throughout the world.

Tokyo Sexwale was chairman of the formerly JSE-listed resources firm, Mvelaphanda Group, before he was appointed minister of human settlements during President Jacob Zuma’s first term in . His net worth is $200 million (R2.6 billion).

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Who is Sexwale?

He is a Soweto-born activist who served many years on Robben Island with Nelson Mandela and his comrades who were to life imprisonment following the Rivonia trial between 1963 and 1964. He is better known for breaking down next to the lifeless body of the communist leader Chris Hani who was shot by apartheid supporters outside his house in April 10 1993. He went on to play a major role at the funeral of the slain leader when he called on armed funeral attendees to stop firing in the air when it looked as though the shooting was going to get out of hand.

Sipho Nkosi is the CEO of Exxaro Resources, one of South Africa’s biggest diversified groups with interests in the coal, titanium dioxide, ferrous and energy markets. His net worth is $163 million (R2bn).

Who is Nkosi?

He is known for leading a company which in 2011 said its employee share scheme, Mpower, had reached maturity and paid out than R1billion. Almost 9 700 received up to R135 000 each. The company has become the first company in South Africa to achieve Road Transport Management System (RTMS) consignor and consignee accreditation. Nkosi a BCom degree, an MBA, a Diploma in Marketing Management and has also completed an Advanced Management Leadership Programme. He founded the Eyesizwe Holdings and served as its CEO before its merger into Exxaro in 2006.

Phuthuma Nhleko is the former CEO of Africa’s biggest operator, MTN. His net worth is $142 million (R1.7 bn).

Who is Nhleko?

He is known for turning one of South Africa’s small black empowered operators into a giant firm with 21 operations in Africa and the Middle East. MTN was formed in 1994, the year of South Africa’s all-important, all- elections. The company employs thousands of people with revenues of R72.7 bn ($6.7bn) as at August last year. He a BSc in civil engineering from Ohio State and MBA in finance from Atlanta .